DARE applicants

Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a supplementary admissions scheme for school leavers with disabilities.

DARE was established by a number of colleges and universities as clear evidence shows that disability can have a negative impact on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.

School leavers who meet the eligibility criteria compete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis in National College of Ireland. All applicants must meet the Irish Leaving Certificate (or equivalent), matriculation / minimum entry and subject requirements. As the minimum entry and subject requirements may be different for each course, applicants should check this prospectus for the requirements of each preference listed on your CAO form.

NCI applies a points reduction of 50 points* for DARE applicants across all full-time programmes. Students must meet all minimum entry requirements for the programme they have applied to as well as meeting the reduced minimum points requirement.

*This applies to applications for courses starting in September 2020.

Who should apply to DARE?

DARE is for school leavers (under 23 years old as at January 1st), who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not meet the points for their preferred course, due to the impact of a disability. Mature and FETAC students have different admissions routes.

How to apply to DARE

  • Apply to CAO by 17:15 on 1st February
  • No later than 17:15 on 1st March, you must disclose your disability and/or specific learning difficulty in your CAO application and fully and correctly complete Section A of the Supplementary Information Form (the SIF is a part of your CAO application). If you wish to be considered for the DARE scheme, you must indicate this on Section A of the fully completed SIF by ticking “Yes” to Question 5 by 17:15 on 1st March.
  • You must return the fully completed Second Level Academic Reference (Section B) and Evidence of Disability (Section C) of the SIF to arrive at CAO no later than 17:15 on 15th March.

Applicants with a Specific Learning Difficulty or Dyspraxia must return a fully completed psycho-educational assessment completed by an appropriately qualified Psychologist, in place of Section C. Applicants with Dyspraxia must also provide additional verification (For more information on evidence of disability see www.accesscollege.ie).

Condition of a DARE offer

Students who receive a DARE offer must register with the Disability Service and agree on a schedule of meetings with the service.

More Information on DARE is available from your school Guidance Counsellor or NCI’s disability support office. Information can also be found on: www.accesscollege.ie, www.cao.ie.