CAO Status Check Online – How to Check Your CAO Application

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes all applications for courses in post-schooling education for the Higher Education Institutions and Universities of South Africa. This article tells you how you to view your CAO status check application via the CAO student portal.

How Do I view my CAO Status Check Online?

You can check your CAO application status online via the CAO student Portal.

  1. First, access the CAO Portal at the following link:
  2. Select and enter one of the following identification numbers:
    – CAO Number
    – ID Number
    – Passport Number
  3. Then click the Submit button

You will now be presented with your CAO application status.

CAO Status Status

What do the different statuses mean?

The CAO uses specific terms to indicate what progress the institution has made in considering your application process. Please see the below list of admission application status updates:

Waiting for a Decision: The institution/school has not yet considered your application (This is the default status for on-time applications).

Late Application: This is a default status as your application was received after the closing date for the programme. Each institution deals with late applications in different ways. Refer to the institutions’ prospectus for further information.

Awaiting Results: The institution is waiting for further results (e.g. June, Trial, or Final NSC results) before deciding on your application.

Conditional Offer: The institution will accept you provided that you meet the requirements. Where space is limited, these may be higher than the minimum requirements for the programme published in this Handbook. Some programmes may conduct assessment tests at registration. This may be withdrawn if you do not indicate that you want to accept the place or if your final results are not as good as your earlier results.

Firm Offer: You are offered a place by the institution/university. This may be withdrawn if you do not indicate that you want to accept the place or if your final results are not as good as your earlier results.

Has Not Met Programme Ranking Criteria: You do not meet the institution’s specific criteria. Refer to the institutions’ prospectus for further information. You may complete a Change of Mind Request Form on which you can change the programme ranking.

Interview/Audition/Portfolio: The programme has _ special selection procedures. Institutions should contact you with details of the date, time and venue. You may need to follow up with the institution directly.

Please Supply Academic Record: The institution requires a copy of your academic record from your current or previous study at the tertiary level.

Please Supply USAf/SAQA Evaluation: The institution requires a Universities South Africa (USAf)/SAQA evaluation of the foreign exam results you may have written.

Programme Closed: No further applications will be considered.

Refer to Decision: The application has to be assessed before the ‘status can be changed.

Regret Programme Discontinued: The institution has decided that they will no longer be offering a programme that was initially listed in this Handbook. In some cases, institutions may advise on an alternative programme that you can apply for. Complete a Change of Mind Request Form at no cost to yourself.

Regret Unsuccessful: The institution has decided not to offer you a place for whatever reason according to their selection processes.

Short-listed, Standby and Wait-listed: The institution is considering your application but has not yet decided whether they will be able to offer you a place.

Unsuccessful Following Placement Test/Interview: The institution has decided not to offer you a place following the entrance test you wrote or the interview you attended. There are also many messages the institution can use to tell you that they are unable to offer you a place.

Important Dates for Your CAO Application

1st April 2021 – Applications for 2022 first semester entry opens and an on-time fee of R250.00 payable.

31st May 2021 – Last Day of On-Time for the administration fee of R250.00 for 2021 second semester applications.

1st June 2021 – A late administration fee of R470.00 now applies for 2021 second-semester applications.

1st August 2021 – Applications for second-semester entry open and on-time fee of R250.00 payable.

31st October 2021 – Last Day of On-Time for administration fee of R250.00 for 2022 first semester applications.

1st November 2021 – A late administration fee of R470.00 now applies for 2022 first-semester applications.

How much is the CAO Application Fee in South Africa?

The CAO application fee is R250 for South African Citizens and R300 for international applicants providing it is submitted on time.

If the documents and forms reach the CAO after the deadline then a late fee applies, this is R470 for SA Citizens and R580 for international students.

You can pay the CAO application fee with one of the below methods: 

Payment optionWhere payment can be madePayment type accepted
EASYPAY            * Preferred payment option*Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, Woolworths or any store displaying the EasyPay sign.Cash, Debit or Credit Card
Paying online by Credit CardVisit Click on ‘My Application’, enter your CAO or ID number and follow the prompts.Credit Card Payment ONLY
Credit or Debit Card paymentAt the CAO Office. Gate 11, UKZN, Mary Thiphe Street, Cato Manor, DurbanCredit or Debit Card

How do I know if CAO have received my documents?

To get acknowledgment of receipt of your documents and application form from the CAO, you need to include a stamped-addressed postcard or envelope with your application mailing.

CAO will then return acknowledgment in this postcard/envelope on receipt. However, please note that the CAO is not able to check the correctness and completeness of the supporting documents, they will simply confirm to the student that they’ve been received.

How can I access my CAO documents?

CAO will scan your documents electronically and they will then be made available to view online. You can see your online application on the ‘My Application’ section of the CAO website.

CAO Contact Details

Prospective students can contact the CAO directly, either online contact via social media/email. Or using the phone number below.

Twitter: @CAOKZN
Facebook: @CentralApplicationsOffice

CAO Address: Mary Thiphe Street (formerly corner of Francois and Cato Manor Roads), Cato Manor, Durban
CAO Contact Number: (031) 268 4444 or Share Call: 086 0860 CAO / 086 0860 226
Contact Hours: Monday – Friday 08:00 – 16:30
CAO Email address:

Please do not send any queries after the closing date. View our other bursaries/scholarships open for application here:

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