CAO Information

4th November 2019

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

We hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to you to keep you up to date on the CAO application process to Irish colleges .Your daughter has been given a C.A.O handbook and this will be an invaluable guide to the C.A.O process. In addition the C.A.O website contains a wealth of information. The closing date for C.A.O is 1st February and to avail of the discounted application fee, the closing date is 20th January. Students will have the opportunity to complete the CAO demo form online in school in early December.

We have attended a number of Open days already this year – U.L, L.I.T, Limerick School of Art and Design, Mary Immaculate, , U.C.C (5th year). We have attended th I.T Tralee on October 25th and we will be attending the Careers Fair in the I.T. Tralee on November 20th. The following colleges have been or will be coming to the school to speak to 6th year students:
U.L, NUI Galway, Shannon College of Hotel Management, I.T Tralee, C.I.T., U.C.C, Mary Immaculate, Griffith College Cork, Kerry College of Further Education and Colaiste na Riochta Listowel (P.L.C). (In addition, U.C.C will be having an information evening for 6th year parents on Thursday 7th November from 6pm-8pm in the Aula Maxima U.C.C)
If your daughter has a disability, a significant ongoing illness and or specific learning difficulty, she is encouraged to indicate this on the C.A.O application form (by the 1st March) and will be asked to complete a separate Supplementary Information form. Full details of the process DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) can be accessed on or

If your daughter is eligible for HEAR (Higher Education Access Route), a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, she must indicate this in her CAO application form (by the 1st March) that she wishes to apply for the HEAR scheme and fully and correctly complete all elements of the online HEAR form. Once she has completed the HEAR application form, a checklist will appear on screen telling her which documents she needs to supply.
Supporting documentation for HEAR and DARE must be provided by the 15th March. Students must pay close attention to the deadlines for all parts of the DARE and HEAR applications. If you would like more information on these access programmes an information evening for HEAR/DARE will be held in The Tralee I.T. Sports Arena on Tuesday November 19th at 7pm for HEAR and at 8 pm for DARE. A talk on C.A.O will also be on at 7pm and another talk on S.U.S.I (Grants) will be at 7 & 8pm.You will also have the opportunity to attend a separate HEAR/DARE talk on Saturday 11th January in I.T. Tralee from 10am-2pm.

It is important to note that exemptions are a separate matter to supplying HEIs with information about a disability or specific learning difficulty. If your daughter, for any reason, is seeking exemptions from minimum entry requirements (e.g. exemptions from Irish or modern language requirements) then she should contact the admissions offices of the HEIs. If the HEI is N.U.I. (e.g. UCC, NUIG, UCD, NUI Maynooth) then she can look for further details on If, however she is applying to a non-NUI college (e.g. UL, Trinity, DCU) then she should contact the college directly for instructions on how to apply for the language exemption.

Some courses are ‘restricted’. This is indicated on the CAO booklet. Such courses require a student to apply on or before the 1st February 2020. Late applications will not be accepted. Such courses could include those that require an interview, portfolio, performance, aptitude test etc.
Medicine is a restricted entry course. If your daughter is applying for Medicine she will need to register for the C.A.O and then with her C.A.O application number, apply for the HPAT aptitude test on The date for the HPAT test is Saturday 22nd February 2020. Med Entry is a government accredited registered training organisation specialising in HPAT preparation. Med Entry offers discounts of 30% for two or more students and numerous scholarships. For more information visit and

In relation to grants, scholarships and awards, there is a dedicated website which gives all the information on financial support for further and higher education. All grant applications will be made online to SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) through the website or

On a final note your daughter will be given every assistance and encouragement here in school, but it is her own responsibility to ensure that an application is submitted complete, correct and on time.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your daughter every success in her future decision making. If you have any queries or questions feel free to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Yours faithfully
Mary Mulcahy/Brídín Kearney
Guidance Counsellors

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