The CAO Change of Mind facility is your chance to review your CAO choices and is a fantastic opportunity to reassess your initial selections. The facility, which is free of charge, is open until 5pm on 1 July until which point you can add new courses, remove courses, or rearrange the order of your course selection as many times as you would like. In advance of the deadline Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Admissions Office Manager, Anne-Marie Hannon, and current MIC students, have the following advice.
Ms Hannon encourages applicants to take all the practical steps to ensure they are well-informed before filling in their CAO form, and strongly advises they make the CAO website their first port of call. She says: “Here you will find several useful tools and lots of information that will help you with your decision-making process. Be sure to check out the Important Dates section – a comprehensive list of key dates remaining in this year’s CAO application process. The Course Finder, which lists all courses at third-level institutions in the Republic of Ireland, can be searched by institution or by course key words, and the Leaving Certificate Points Calculator allows you to calculate your points score by selecting the exam year and entering your results by level and grade."
There is also an especially useful Have a question facility on the CAO website, along with information for parents/guardians and useful links to everything from Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and much more.
Ms Hannon also recommends that applicants carefully research any programmes that they are interested in applying for and look at such things as minimum entry requirements and fees. Applicants should also contact their school guidance counsellors, as they are an extremely helpful source of information and advice.
She adds: “All third-level institutions have immensely helpful information for CAO applicants on their websites. MIC’s CAO Hub has programme details, great insights into the student experience, loads of video content, virtual campus tours as well as an FAQ section, and Pubble - a real-time on-line messaging facility where you can submit any questions you have about MIC, or our programmes, in advance of the CAO deadline on 1 July."
MIC Thurles, BA in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies mature student Shane Walsh advises applicants to talk to past pupils, and current college students, about their experiences. Shane said he found this to be hugely beneficial when he was making his CAO choices and made him feel at ease when he received his MIC offer. Shane said: “I am delighted to be here now, and I would advise people to do the same thing. The energy around the place is brilliant and it is great craic.”
MIC Limerick, BA in English Language & Literature and Media & Communications Studies student Christopher Forrestal advises those who are thinking about putting MIC’s Bachelor of Arts on their CAO application, and subsequently receive an offer, to try all 14 subjects in the first week of college. Christopher says: “You never know what you might fall in love with and end up making a career out of. Leave your ideas of what you are going to do and try to experience everything.”
The MIC CAO Hub is where applicants can also find out about MIC’s new programme, and subject, offerings including MIC Thurles’s new BA in Education, Home Economics & Business Studies, and the addition of Business Studies to MIC’s Bachelor of Arts. Information on the Bachelor of Science in Psychology (B Sc in Psychology), BA in Early Childhood Care and Education and MIC’s range of primary and post-primary school teaching can also be found on the CAO Hub.
MIC Student Recruitment Officer, Dr Patrick Cosgrove adds: “MIC prides itself on offering students the complete student experience and career focussed Level 8 programmes in Liberal Arts and Education designed to prepare graduates for the real world. Prospective students can get a sense of this from the range of video content now on the CAO Hub. They can also learn about the first-class facilities on offer, sporting scholarships, bursaries and awards, and the home-away-from-home feel where a sense of belonging is fostered. At MIC students are not just a number but an integral part of the MIC community.”
Watch the MIC Student Experience Day panel discussion for more advice.