How to apply through the CAO
The Central Applications Office (CAO) is a non-profit organisation that offers the service of processing applications for prospective students seeking entrance into tertiary institutions in Southern Africa. There are more than 25 institutions enlisted that are mainly located in Kwazulu-Natal. The application process can be completed through three main options being, online, on their app and via post.
CAO Online Application Process
Through the CAO website (www.cao.ac.za), one can start with their application and have the liberty of choosing up to 6 programmes to apply to at any of the institutions that they are linked with without having to obtain multiple application forms. In the initial process, it is important to make yourself familiar with how to use the programme list. It will expect you to know information such as which institution, campus and course you want to enrol into. Several summary codes will be listed that correspond to the aforementioned information that you will have to put on the application.
The remainder of the application will ask you to fill out your personal information while following the prompts. Once the application is down, you need to print out the declaration and deposit slip. Thereafter, an application fee must be paid for the application to be processed. Alongside the declaration and the deposit slip, the proof of payment and other necessary documents need to be attached.
These documents can be posted to the CAO with the address, Gate 11 Central Services Complex – UKZN, Mary Thiphe St, Westridge, Durban, 4091 or they can be handed into the CAO office directly. It is imperative to remember your CAO number and password as it is needed to track your application status. An application number should also be sent to your email address, if not, it suggests that there was a problem with your application and therefore contacting customer help through their email address, firstname.lastname@example.org is required.
CAO Mobile App Application Process
The CAO mobile app is compatible with Apple and Android devices. Go to your respective app store and search ‘Central Applications Office’, where you can install the app. The application can be made on the app; however, your supporting documents will have to be uploaded on the CAO website.
CAO Hard-Copy Application Form
These are the options that one has to obtain a hard-copy application form: download it from the CAO website and print it out, contact them via the phone number 031 268 4444, email them via email@example.com or visit them at the CAO office in Durban. If you call or email them, you can request for your application to be sent to your address. The completed application form must be sent to their email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The minimum documents that are expected are;
- A copy of your ID
- Your final grade 11 or 12 report (depending on which of the two grades you have currently completed)
- And the highest qualification you have achieved.
If you have received a conditional acceptance with your Grade 11 results, then you need to send them your mid-year Grade 12 results and final results as soon as you get them. Any additional documents you need to attach to your application will be dependent on the institution(s) you apply to.
The application process for semester 1 in 2023 is open now and closes on 30th September 2022 for all courses except medicine which closes 30th June 2022. On-time applications are R250 for South African citizens and R300 for International citizens. Late South African applicants can expect to pay R470 while International citizens will pay R580.
If you plan to start the course later on in the semester, you should consult the Handbook or the CAO helpline and which will tell you how to proceed with your application. The application fee is payable online with a debit or credit card or at any Easy Pay outlet, e.g. Shoprite, Woolworths, Checkers and Pick n’ Pay. The other option is paying at the CAO office.
How to track your CAO Application
Applicants should track their application through the CAO website and then click on ‘My Application’, where they will be expected to fill in their details and follow the prompts to view their application status. The CAO’s online Handbook should suffice in offering further information about the organisation and the institutions aligned with it.