An advantage to getting this arduous task done and dusted early is you can save yourself €15. There is a discounted fee of €30 if you apply online before 5pm on 20 January 2022.

The fee then increases to the normal rate of €45 for applications by 1 February.

For those who miss the boat altogether and send in an application later in the year it rises to €60, so it pays you to be on time.

You can only send one application to CAO per year, so you have to make sure you get it right, after all this is your future that you’re essentially designing.

Before starting the online application, you should make sure of the following:

  • You have a valid email address.
  • You’ll be required to create a password so have ideas to hand or you can make life simple by using a password manager (your web browser can provide this or download one from your app store).
  • Mature students should have qualification documentation to hand, for example, Leaving Cert results or other previous qualifications.
  • A valid debit or credit card with sufficient funds if you are paying online.
  • And you should also have researched the courses you would like to apply for thoroughly. is an excellent resource giving details of all the higher education options in Ireland.
  • Choosing the order of preference

    Without sounding too dramatic, it is vital that you put your courses in your genuine order of preference – not the order in which you think you have the best chance of being offered a place.

    If your preferred course is listed lower on your preferences than the one which is offered to you it will no longer be an option to you.

    The only course that can be offered to you in the second and third round of offers is a course which is listed, in your order of preferences, other than the course you were offered first time around.

    Don’t make the same mistake many who have gone before you have.

    Go forth and give your future education the best shot you can.