Four pieces of information must come together to enable the main round of offers to issue (round 1):
- Entry requirements
these are known well in advance as they must be published and available to schools two years in advance so potential applicants can make appropriate subject choices.
- Number of applicants
this is not final until after the "change of mind" closing date of 1 July.
- Leaving Certificate results
which issue in mid August each year. Round 1 offers usually issue within a week.
- Number of offers
Each Admissions Officer determines the appropriate number of offers to make to fill the places based on the history of acceptance rate and other trends.
When these four pieces of information are combined the CAO computer program, checks all applicants for eligibility. Then it ranks eligible applicants on the basis of their points scores, and issues offers based on the highest preference to which the applicant is entitled.
Please note: there are two rounds prior to round 1:
Round A: early July - mature applicants and those who have deferred from the previous year
Round 0: early August - QQI-FET, graduate entry and balance of mature applicants.
Round 1 issues following the issue of the Leaving Certificate results (mid-August)
After Round 1 offers are made on a weekly basis to fill any remaining spaces until the end of September.