Career Guidance Counsellor Rory White’s column series continues with a look at the DARE and HEAR admission schemes.
DARE and HEAR
By now you should have made your application to CAO for September 2020 entry. The deadline for applying to the DARE and HEAR schemes is approaching fast. Check out this quick guide below while the main website for getting information on the DARE and HEAR schemes is www.accesscollege.ie. They can also be found on Facebook.
What is DARE and HEAR?
DARE and HEAR are admission schemes that have been introduced in order to promote equality of access into higher education in the Republic of Ireland for those with disabilities- DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) and those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds-HEAR (Higher Education Access Route). The vast majority of colleges throughout the country participate in the scheme.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit for both the DARE and HEAR schemes is reduced points for entry. The number of points a course is reduced by is dependent on a couple of things. The number of places on the course; the number of places reserved for DARE & HEAR on the course and the number of eligible applicants competing for these places.
There are other benefits to the schemes including orientation programmes; help with tuition/study; social meetings and financial help (if available) and advice.
How do I know if am I eligible?
DARE is for school leavers under the age of 23 who can prove they have one or more of the disabilities listed below and show that the disability has had a negative impact on your secondary education.
HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 who meet a combination of financial, social and cultural criteria. The key criteria is 1. Family income. This can vary according to the amount of dependent children in the family or whether someone else from the family is studying also.
The other criteria are-
- Medical Card Holder
- Means tested Social Welfare recipient
- Socio-Economic Group
- Attended a DEIS school
- From a recognised disadvantaged area
How do I apply?
Applications are made online through your CAO application where there is a section dedicated to DARE and HEAR. It is important to get help from a parent or guardian when completing the application as there are several sections relevant to income/employment.
When are the closing dates?
The closing date for application to both schemes is coming up soon on March 1st while the supporting documents will need to be submitted by March 15th.
When will I know if I have been successful?
Applicants will be informed if they are eligible shortly after the Leaving Certificate is over. However, being eligible just means that you can compete for one of the DARE or HEAR places on your chosen course.
Rory has been a Guidance Counsellor at Finn Valley College for the past 10 years and is a member of the Donegal Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.
Applying for college or changing careers is one of the most important and exciting decisions someone can make, and Rory will be here to offer advice and top tips on the many options that are available.