The central applications office [CAO] is an applications processing office developed to make it easier for students to submit their applications to higher education institutions.
By acting as a middle man, CAO offers prospective students access to the fullest range of study programmes in higher education institutions in Southern Africa.
Major universities in South Africa like the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, use CAO to process their applications.
If you are a prospective student who would like to use CAO to apply to your desired university, here’s how…
How to submit an application to a university through CAO
Step 1: Visit the Central Applications Office [CAO] official website www.cao.ac.za, and click ‘Apply now.’
Step 2: Enter your personal details.
Step 3: Enter a valid email address.
*This is required for both security and communication purposes. Happen to enter an email address that does not work. You will not be able to receive any important updates on your application.
Step 4: Select the qualification that you would like to apply for.
Step 5: Create a login password.
Be sure to create a password that you will be able to remember with ease. You will later need this password to log in to the CAO student portal when you want to check the application status of your application.
Step 6: The last step is to click ‘Proceed with the application.’
On the next webpage, you will then receive a CAO application number as well as the rest of your application details. You will also receive an email with a verification code and a confirmation of your CAO application.
If you forget your password, you will be able to reset it by clicking ‘forgot my password. To successfully reset it, you will need your Cao application number, date of birth, and registered email address.
With the CAO student portal, students who have already submitted their applications can check their applications’ status on the portal.
How to check CAO application status
● Visit www.cao.ac.za
● Click on ‘My application’
● Fill in the required details and follow the instructions
● On the next web page, you should be able to see your application status
– If you have already submitted an application form, DO NOT submit a duplicate application via the internet.
– The CAO will only accept one application form per student for a specific enrolment year or period.
– Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you at hand before you start applying.
Whilst applying, you will be required to select a payment method of your choice in order to pay the CAO application fee.
If you are paying by credit/ debit card, you will be redirected to a payment screen on the next web page. Once your payment has been processed, you will be redirected back to the CAO website to continue with your application.
Please note: All application fees are non-refundable.