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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

DARE and Other Entry Routes

Some colleges offer a reduction in the standard CAO course entry points requirement to students whose disability has had a big impact on their education to date. Examples of a big impact could be, missing long periods of school due to illness, limited access to texts due to a visual impairment or poor memory/concentration causing below par study and exam performance.

This type of admissions route is known as supplementary entry and students who qualify could end up securing a place between 10-15% below the points requirement. In real terms this could mean for example getting offered a course which is pitched at 450 points despite only getting 400 points in your Leaving Cert.

What is DARE and how does it differ from other routes?

DARE (or Disability Access Route to Education) is simply one of the available supplementary routes involving 18 Irish colleges which have banded together to standardise the processing of applications from students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties. With the exception of ticking a single extra box on your CAO application (in the SIF section) and providing some extra documentation, the application processes for DARE and the other individual college supplementary routes is identical.

What colleges take part in DARE and what other colleges offer supplementary entry?

The colleges participating in DARE are:

  • Athlone Institute of Technology
  • Church of Ireland College of Education
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • Dublin City University
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Institute of Technology Sligo
  • Marino Institute of Education
  • Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
  • Mater Dei Institute of Education
  • Maynooth University
  • National College of Ireland
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Pontifical University, Maynooth
  • St. Angela's College, Sligo
  • St. Patrick's Institute of Education, Drumcondra, Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick

Other colleges operating individual supplementary admissions routes:

  • Carlow College
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Galway Mayo Institute of Technology *
  • Blanchardstown Institute of Technology *
  • Institute of Technology Carlow *
  • Institute of Technology Tallaght *
  • National College of Art & Design
  • Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

All the colleges listed above apply the same closing dates as DARE except those marked with an asterisk *. Contact these institutions directly for information.

How Do I Apply for a Supplementary Entry Route Like Dare?

The application for supplementary entry is simply an extra section of your overall CAO application. As well as completing some extra information on the online form, you are required to complete and return two hard copy forms known as the Educational Impact Statement and Evidence of Disability forms. Get a detailed description of the process on the 'Your CAO Application Page'.

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