ATU is a member of the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) Scheme.
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.
DARE offers reduced points places to school-leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.
Additional information is also available on the DARE website at www.accesscollege.ie/dare.
ATU HEAR DARE brochure
School-leavers with a disability applying for full-time undergraduate courses at ATU should apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO), indicating on their application that they have a disability or specific learning difficulty.
DARE is for school-leavers under the age of 23 as of 1st January in the year of applying, who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education, but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of a disability on their second level education.
Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and other EU qualifications.
Applicants wishing to apply to DARE should do so online through the CAO by 1st February.
Full instructions on how to apply to the DARE Scheme are available on the DARE website at www.accesscollege.ie
There is an informative video on how to apply to the DARE Scheme coming soon!
Each member Institute/University of DARE applies the scheme slightly differently in terms of available places, points reductions and so on.
ATU reserves places on all full-time undergraduate courses to offer on a reduced-points basis to DARE-eligible students.
Students who enter ATU through the DARE Scheme should register with the Disability Support Service and undergo a needs assessment in order to receive the support they need during their time at ATU. We cannot provide support to students who do not register with us.
Please note: You do not have to enter ATU through the DARE Scheme in order to receive supports during your time here. If, for whatever reason, you are deemed ineligible for the DARE Scheme but still have a disability, you may still be able to register with the Disability Support Service.
In order to be considered for a reduced-points offer for ATU courses through the DARE scheme, you must apply to study at ATU through the CAO, apply for DARE, and meet all the following criteria:
- You must be deemed DARE-eligible.
- You must meet the minimum entry requirements for your chosen course. Details on the minimum entry requirements for each course are available in the ATU prospectus.
- You must achieve at least 160 Leaving Certificate points.
If you meet all the above criteria, you may be considered for a reduced-points offer of a place on your chosen course.
For applicants who meet all the above criteria, ATU offers a points reduction of up to 50 points of the required points for each course.
Example: If a courses' points requirement is 320 points, applicants with 280 points or more may be considered for a reduced-points offer.
ATU prioritises offers to the following students:
- DARE-eligible students with Visual, Hearing or Physical Disabilities.
- DARE-eligible students who are also eligible for the HEAR Scheme.
Reduced-points offers are first made to these prioritised applicants.
Reduced-points offers are then made to any remaining applicants who are within 50 points of their chosen course.
Research has identified that students with the following disabilities are particularly under-represented in higher education relative to all students with disabilities in Ireland:
- Physical/Mobility Disabilities
- Blind or Visually Impaired
- Deaf or Hard of Hearing
In order to increase the numbers of DARE students with physical and sensory disabilities being admitted to higher education, the DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise these three groups when allocating reduced points places.
Eligible applicants with physical and visual/hearing disabilities can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.
Research has identified that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face considerable challenges in terms of their chances of progressing to higher education in Ireland.
In order to increase the number of students facing the "double disadvantage" of socio-economic disadvantage and disability, DARE and HEAR colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both DARE and HEAR when allocating reduced points places.
Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.
Please note: Being DARE-eligible does not guarantee you a reduced-points offer.
ATU is also a member of the HEAR Scheme. In cases where reserved places for HEAR applicants have not been filled, these places may be offered to eligible DARE applicants. Similarly, in cases where reserved places for DARE applicants have not been filled, these places may be offered to HEAR applicants.
DARE-eligible applicants who achieve more than or equal to the required points for their chosen course may receive offers in the same manner as any other student and do not count against the 5% of places allocated for reduced-points offers.
Such students must still meet the minimum entry requirements for their chosen course, and are encouraged to register with the Access and Disability Office in order to receive supports during their time at ATU.