Students who applied to the Central Applications Office (CAO) this year have until 5:15pm tomorrow, July 1, to alter their application.

Earlier this year, the CAO revealed that there had been a 17% rise in the number of students applying to study third-level degrees in agriculture or horticulture in 2017, compared to the previous year.

Over 7,500 students sat their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science exam a little over a week ago. Students will receive their exam results in mid-August.

CAO applicants are reminded that they will be allowed to add, remove or change the order of their course choices free of charge prior to the deadline.

However, applicants are advised to “think carefully” about introducing new courses or changing their order of preference at this stage in the application process.

Applicants are also asked to remember to place their course choices in genuine order of preference, the General Manager of the CAO, Joseph O’Grady, said.

“Every year we experience a surge in last-minute amendments to CAO applications. This is due to a number of factors – for example more time spent researching courses and the introduction of new areas of interest.

In 2016, 54% of applicants availed of the ‘Change of Mind’ facility at least once.

“What we would like to advise applicants to avoid doing is making changes to their order of preference or course choices based on how they feel they have performed in their examinations.

“If applicants simply follow the golden rule of placing all of their courses in their genuine order of preference they will be offered the course highest up on their preference list that they are deemed entitled to, if any,” he said.

Applicants can expect to receive their first offers from the CAO on Monday, August 21. They will be notified by post and e-mail if they have received an offer, and they will have until 5:15pm on Monday, August 28, to register an acceptance.

Those who don’t receive a first round offer from the CAO will receive a Statement of Application Record, which they must carefully check and notify the CAO of any errors or omissions.

Second round offers are expected to be issued on Thursday, August 31.