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Applying to CAO as a Mature Student

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Progressing to Higher Education happens at different stages for people.

While many students apply to progress directly after completing the Leaving Cert, others do so at a later stage. Anyone who is aged 23 on or before January the 1 on the year of entry are categorised as ‘mature applicants’. Most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) require mature applicants to apply to CAO by the February 1st deadline (5pm) and include course choices. Some HEIs may have different age requirements and may consider applications after the February 1 deadline so it is advised to look at the details for mature applicant entry on the website of the HEI you are applying to. You should also take a look at all the detail available on www.cao.ie/mature, including a presentation for applicants. In the case of many of HEIs, mature applicants will have to take extra assessments and may also need to attend for interview, details of which you will find on their websites.
The Mature Applicant Form, which is part of the CAO application process must be completed by March the 1 deadline at 5pm. This allows applicants to give lots more information which will be taken into account by the HEIs and includes the following sections – Highest Qualification to Date, Current Studies, Post-secondary Education, Second Level Education, Non-certificate courses, Employment or Voluntary Work, English Language Proficiency (if applicable), References, Statement of Interest (no more than 1,500 characters), Hobbies/Interests and Additional Information. As well as completing the Mature Applicant Form online, it is also necessary to send supporting documentation to CAO by post to arrive within in 10 days of registering online with CAO. These include evidence of any qualifications, supplementary information, any extra documentation required by each of the HEIs you are applying and evidence of competency in the English language if it is not your first language. Mature applicants to nursing/midwifery or to primary teaching do not need to complete the Mature Applicant Form unless you are also applying for other courses. Further information about applying for these particular courses can be found on the college websites. A small number of colleges take applications directly from mature applicant, the list of which can be found on www.cao.ie/mature
There are two main things that concern people returning to education as mature students – the financial commitment and the fear that academically it may be too difficult. In the case of funding the return to college it is important to check out financial supports on www.susi.ie as well as www.hea.ie/funding-governance-performance/funding/student-finance/It is also a good idea to contact the fees office of the HEIs that you are applying to. The worry about academic challenges is very understandable as many mature applicants will not have studied for a considerable amount of time and some may not have completed many formal exams. This is where the support of the staff in Mature Student Offices in the HEIs is invaluable. They are available to guide you through the application process, to answer queries you have on internal assessments and to inform you of academic supports available prior to and post entry. If you haven’t already made contact with them, I strongly recommend that you do, they will give you enormous support and reassurance.
The decision to return to education as a mature student is a big one so take time to consider it carefully. Research your options, the application process and financial supports thoroughly. While is it a big step, it is one that will reap rewards both personally and professionally.

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Applecroft B&B named in Ireland’s Top 10

By Michelle Crean What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic. Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s […]

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By Michelle Crean

What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic.

Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s Top 10 B&Bs for 2022 by the Irish Independent ‘Reader Travel Awards’ while Ireland’s Best B&B was named as Dingle’s Pax House.

The couple began their business in 1997 and are very happy with the feedback from visitors who voted for their B&B, especially after two difficult years.

“I’m thrilled, especially as we’re celebrating our silver jubilee this year,” Kathy told the Killarney Advertiser.

The couple built their house in the early ’80s and aptly named it ‘Applecroft’ as it was built in a field which has an orchard.

In the late ’90s they opened five spacious rooms up, each with its own theme; 
‘Poet’s Corner’, ‘Past Times’, ‘The 19th Green’, ‘The Race-goer’s Club’ and ‘The Kerry Way’, for guests as Kathy, who worked in The Europe Hotel and the Great Southern Killarney for many years, had a passion to bring a great stay experience to guests visiting Killarney. They kept themselves busy planting in their two acre garden during the pandemic.

They have won numerous awards over the years and have had film crews in but this latest award is the icing on the cake for the couple who are looking forward to reopening in late March.

“It’s amazing, and a bonus especially with the two years we’ve had. We’ve never experienced anything like that. It was “wow” – we were preparing to reopen on St Patrick’s Day that year and all of a sudden everything closed down on the 16. It was a big shock.”

Don creates amazing bread and scones which guests rave about, she added.

“I was delighted as we came tenth for breakfast and sixth for the B&B.”

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Tributes paid to life-long Legion supporter

By Sean Moriarty Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday. Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage. As well as a life-long supporter of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday.

Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage.

As well as a life-long supporter of Legion, he played basketball in the famous town leagues of the 1970s and the seven-a-side soccer ‘Wipeouts’ competitions.

“He was a very proud Legion man and always flew the green and white flag out his window whenever the club was playing in a big game,” PRO Enda Walshe told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was a fervent loyal club supporter but was also one of the characters of the winter basketball leagues.”

Tim was also a regular participant in Dart Pub Leagues back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tim’s funeral took place today (Friday). He was laid to rest at Killarney Burial Ground after 10am Mass St Mary’s Cathedral.

Tim is survived by his wife Nuala, his children Joanne, Paudie and Timmy, and was a much loved grandfather to Stephen, Makaela, Chloe, Padraic, Keelan, Alex and the late Lorna. He will also be sadly missed by his daughters-in-law Margaret and Sharon, son-in-law Tony, sisters Kathleen, Sheila and Ann, brothers Lewis-John and Paddy, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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