I am thinking of deferring any CAO place I get offered in August. How do I go about deferring my place?
An applicant who receives an offer of a place and who wishes to defer taking up that place for one year must seek the agreement of the relevant Higher Education Institute. You can never presume that you can defer a place as it is totally at the discretion of the HEI in question.
It is advisable to contact the admissions office in the HEI you expect to get offered a place from to see what their policy is on deferrals and to do this before offers are made available. There is no point in thinking about a deferral if this option won’t be available to you. However, most HEIs do have this facility in place. You should refer to the CAO handbook for the specific steps to follow on receipt of offer notice.
In order to take up your deferred place, the applicant must reapply through the CAO in the succeeding year, paying the appropriate application fee, and placing the deferred course as the only preference on the application form.
A deferral is a postponed acceptance so, generally speaking, a college will not allow students to defer a place in one college, and take up another college place in the same year. Some colleges are not sympathetic to deferral if the applicant plans to repeat the Leaving Certificate.
There is usually no problem, however, with taking a place on a Post Leaving Certificate course (PLC) during a deferral year because a PLC course is not allocated through the CAO system, and is regarded as further education rather than as higher education.