CAO Status Check and Login –

CAO- Central Application Office. CAO processes all courses that are applied in post-schooling education for the Higher Education Institutions and Universities of South Africa. And on this page, you will learn CAO Status Check and Login guide on its official

This article tells you about the CAO, and how to see your CAO Status Check Application via CAO student portal.


About Central Application Office

The main mission of the central Application office is to process applications in a fair and better manner.

The universities and colleges delegate the administration of admissions to the Central Application Office, but colleges and universities still retain full control of admissions.

The Postgraduate Application Centre is a related organization that looks at some taught postgraduate courses.

CAO was established in January 1976 and based in Galway, with a total of nine colleges and universities participating at first.

The first beginners of the school (first students) processed through the CAO process and commenced their courses in 1978.

Regional Technical Colleges and Dublin Institute of Technology independently introduced the Central Admissions service (CAS). The Dublin state of Technology and Regional Technical Colleges were both outside the Initial Central Application Office. Starting in the 1991 intake the Central Application Office and Central Admissions Service decided to join their admission procedures, so students only have to complete one joint application form for both systems. The next year after this the common points scale came into operation, with the six best results from one sitting of the Leaving Certificate becoming the standard in the common points scale; before that there had been some allowance to gather points by rewriting the Leaving Certificate more than once. Also, the combined system was taken as an opportunity to decrease non-standard applications such as interviews for selection and portfolio of work, and in general to simply or make easy the applications process. At last, the CAS was subsumed into the CAO.


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How to view your Status Check Online

To check your CAO application status online, you have to do that through your student portal.

  1. First, gain access to the portal by following this link:
  2. Choose and enter one of the following numbers for identification
  • ID Number
  • CAO Number
  • Passport Number
  1. Then click the “Submit” button

After that, you will be presented with your CAO application status.


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Different Statuses and their Meaning

CAO has specific terms they use in showing the progress the institution has made concerning our application process. Below is a list that will show you the list of application status updates.

Waiting for a Decision: this means the institution/school has not yet considered your application(that means you have not yet been given admission) it’s the default status for the on-time application.

Late Application: this is a default status that shows your application to the school was received after the closing date for the program. Each institution/school has different ways of dealing with late applications, so to know the institution of your choice’s penalty for the late application you have to refer to the institution’s prospectus.

Awaiting Results: this means the institution is waiting for other results before considering your application. Results like June, Trial or Final Nsc results

Conditional Offer: this means that the institution will accept your application based on your meeting their requirements. When there is not enough space for everyone, there may be requests higher than the minimum request published in the Handbook. Some programs or institutions may conduct assessment tests when applicants are registering. This offer may be withdrawn if you do not indicate that you want to accept the place or the offer may be collected if your final results are not as good as the earlier results.

Firm Offer: this happens in the case where you are offered a place in the university or institution. But this offer can be withdrawn if you do not accept the place or if your final results are not as good as your earlier results.

Has Not Met Programme Ranking Criteria: this is the case where you do not meet the institution ranking criteria. To know about the specific criteria of the university or institution of your choice refer to the institution’s prospectus. Just so you know, you can complete a Change of Mind Request Form on which you can change program Ranking(that’s to a course or program that fits your ranking)

Interview or Audition or Portfolio: The program had special selection procedures you have to undergo before getting admission. Institutions will contact you on the details of the date, time to be there, and venue you should be at. You may have to follow up with the institution directly for specific instructions.

Please Supply Academic Record: The University or institution needs a copy of your academic record from your current or previous study at the tertiary level ( for mostly Postgraduates or students that want to transfer schools).

Please Supply USAF or SAQA Evaluation: for international students or students coming from outside the country, the university or institution requires a University South Africa (USAF) or SAQA evaluation of the foreign exam results you may have written. It is absolutely necessary for some institutions.

Program Closed: this means the university or institution does not want any further applications.

Refer for Decision: this means the application has to be thoroughly accessed before the status can be changed.

Regret program Discontinued: this is the case where the institution removes a program that they were formerly offering and was initiated in the Handbook. In some cases, institutions may advise or give you an alternative program that you can apply for. Finish a change of mind request form at no cost to yourself.

Regret Unsuccessful: The institution has decided to not offer you a place for whatever reason according to the way they select candidates.

Short-listed, Standby, and Wait-listed: the institution has seen your application and is considering but they are not sure if they can be able to give you admission.

Unsuccessful Following Placement Test or Interview: in this case, you may have been considered but later rejected due to many reasons, some are failures of the entrance exam or interview you attended.

Important Dates You Should Consider For Your CAO Application.


Application Fee in South Africa

CAO application fee for South African citizens is R250 and R300 for international applicants provided it is submitted at the right time.

Then if the application is submitted after the deadline there is a penalty fee attached to it. For South Africans, the fee is R470 while for international students the fee is R580.


There are different methods by which you can pay for the Application

For those that are confused about how to make their CAO application fee, this is a guide that will show you where to make your application fee without stress. Here are different methods how to pay your application fee.

Method of payment Where you can make payments Types of payment accepted

A preferred way of making payments

ShopRite, checkers, pick-n-pay, Woolworths, or any store showcasing the EasyPay sign. Debit, credit card, or cash.
Using a credit card to pay online Visit, click on “my application” put in your CAO or ID Number, and follow the steps. Payment can be made through credit card only.
Payment through credit or debit card You pay at the CAO office direct, the office is at Gate 11, UKZN, Mary Thiphe Street, Cato Manor, Durban Using a credit card or debit card.


How to Know if has Received your Documents

In order to get recognition of receipt of your documents and application form from the CAO, you need to add a stamped-addressed postcard or envelope with your mailed application.

CAO will then return recognition in the postcard or envelope on receipt. Meanwhile please note that CAO won’t be able to check the correctness and completeness of the supporting documents you sent. They will simply confirm to the applicant that their document has been received.


How to Access your Documents

CAO will help you scan your documents electronically and you can view them online, you can see your application on the “My Application” section of the CAO website or page.


Contact Details

Students that are making use of CAO can contact their office either online with their social media handles or with their email, or better still using their phone numbers.

Social media handle:

  • Twitter: @CAOKZN
  • Facebook: @CentralApplicationsOffice

CAO address or Location: Mary Thiphe Street (the former corner of Francois and Cato Manor Roads), Cato Manor, Durban.

CAO Phone Number: (031) 268 4444, 086 0860 Or 086 0860 226

Working Hours: Mondays to Fridays

Time: 08:00 am to 16:30 pm

CAO Email address:

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