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How to Check CAO Status 2024

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The journey towards higher education is an exciting pivotal moment in one’s life, and for those who have started this journey through the CAO website, the anticipation of checking the CAO application status adds a layer of excitement.

CAO Web Dashboard: Picture Source-CAO

The CAO stands as a key gateway for prospective students, facilitating the application process to various institutions in South Africa.

In this article, we will guide you through the seamless process of checking your CAO application status.

Whether you are eagerly awaiting confirmation of admission or curious about the progress of your application, understanding the steps to access your status is essential.

Let’s also explore the user-friendly methods that the CAO provides, ensuring that you stay informed on your educational journey.

What is CAO?

According to the organization, the Central Applications Office (CAO) is an organization that processes applications for undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in Ireland.

It also acts as a clearinghouse for applications, allowing prospective students to apply to multiple institutions with one application.

The CAO also manages the system of points used to rank applicants for oversubscribed courses.

CAO Application Status Portal 

The CAO website for checking the CAO application status with the Central Applications Office provides aspiring students with the means to conveniently access and verify their admission status online.

Similarly, for those who are beneficiaries of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and wish to check their grant status, the relevant information can be found on the CAO website.

CAO Status Check

The first thing to do in the CAO application status process is to go to the CAO website here: https://cao.ac.za/MyApplicationLogin.aspx 

Then, the link will take you to the Central Applications Office page.

From a list of options, you will see ‘Check my Application’, click on that, and select one of the following to insert (CAO number, ID number, passport number) in the space below, then click ‘Submit’ when done.

CAO Application Fee

If the application is submitted within the stipulated time frame, South African citizens are required to pay an application fee of R250, while international applicants must pay R300.

However, for both South African citizens and international students, a late fee of R470 is applicable should the documents and forms reach the CAO website after the specified deadline.

CAO Application Fee Payment Options

When it comes to the CAO Application Fee payment options, there are different payment options, payment locations, and types of payment accepted. Here are the different payment options:

First of all, ‘Easypay’ is CAO’s most preferred payment option. With Easypay, you can make payments at Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, or any store that displays the Easypay sign.

Then With Easypay, CAO accepts credit or debit cards and cash as its accepted payment types.

Also, another payment option that CAO accepts is paying online with Credit card by visiting https://www.cao.ie/index.php click on ‘My Application’, enter your details then follow the prompts on your screen.

Overall, the last payment is the credit or debit card payment, which is at the CAO Office at Gate 11, UKZN, Mary Thiphe Street, Cato Manor, Durban. 

Different CAO Application Status Meaning

According to CAO, different specific terms are used to indicate how far an institution has gone in processing an individual’s application on the CAO website. Here is a list of the different CAO application status:

Waiting for a Decision

Firstly, this status means that the institution has not considered your application yet.

Late Application

Also. from the CAO website, this means that your application was received after the deadline of a particular program, and late applications are treated differently from other applications.

Awaiting Results

Then, this means that the institution is waiting for more results before making a final decision concerning your application.

Conditional Offer

A conditional offer means that the institution you applied to has accepted you.

In the case where they have accepted more students and there is limited space, the institution will indicate more requirements than those published in the CAO handbook.

Then, If you do not indicate that you want the offer of admission, the offer may be withdrawn.

Firm Offer

Next is the firm offer, which is similar to a conditional offer but means that the institution has accepted you. The offer may be withdrawn if you do not indicate that you have accepted it.

Please Supply Academic Record

From the CAO website, this means that you have to provide your academic records from your previous or current institution.


This is a special process that will be used in the selection process of applicants by the institution.

The institution will communicate the date, time, and location to individuals for this particular procedure.

Has Not Met Programme Ranking Criteria

This particular status means that you do not meet the institution’s requirements. You can check out the institution’s requirements on their prospectus.

Refer for Decision

Next we have the status above which depicts that before your application can be changed, it must first be assessed.

Please Supply USAf/SAQA Evaluation

After the previous one, next means that Universities South Africa(USAF) will need to further evaluate your application.

Programme Closed

Furthermore, Program Closed cites that the institution is no longer accepting  application.

Unsuccessful Following Placement Test/Interview

Moreover, this one shows that. Due to the result of the placement test or interview you took with an institution, they have decided to discontinue the application process with you.

Regret Unsuccessful

After that, this means the institution has decided not to offer you a place based on their selection process and criteria.

Regret Programme Discontinued

Then, this means that the institution has decided to discontinue the original program listed in the Handbook that you applied for.

In some cases, institutions offer alternative courses that you can choose from by simply filling out a Change of Mind Request form.

Short-listed, Standby and Wait-listed

Finally, this application status means that you have been shortlisted by the institution but then they have not decided if you will be accepted.

Contact Details of CAO

The Central Application Office can be contacted by prospective candidates and other individuals between the hours of 8AM to 16:30PM via email, social media, a phone call  or through their physical office. Here are different ways you can contact CAO:

Email Address: customerservice@cao.ac.za 

CAO Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/centralapplicationsoffice 

CAO Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/caokzn 

CAO Contact Details:  (031) 268 4444.

Physical Address: Mary Thiphe Street (formerly corner of Francois and Cato Manor Roads), Cato Manor, Durban


In conclusion, navigating the Central Applications Office to check your CAO application status marks a crucial step in the journey towards higher education.

also, as we wrap up this guide, we’ve explored the straightforward methods provided by CAO to keep you informed about the progress of your application.

Finally, Whether you are on the brink of securing admission or patiently awaiting further steps, the ability to carry out CAO status check ensures that you stay engaged and proactive in shaping your academic future.


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Peremoboere Numa
Peremoboere Numa

Pere is a versatile SEO writer with a Master's degree in English, who is dedicated to creating engaging and impactful content.

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