Leaving Cert helpdesk: admission to courses on the Dare scheme

Queries about getting into college via the Disability Access Route to Education


These helpdesk questions were asked online by students and parents and answered by guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett

My daughter got 430 points today and was accepted on the Dare scheme. She had a seizure during two of the exams and this was evident in the lower-than-expected grade in two of her subjects. Is there any allowance for such an incident?

I am sorry to hear that. Well done to your daughter on such good results and particularly under such difficult circumstances. However, I am afraid that there is no other support for your daughter; only the Dare scheme. This scheme offers places on reduced points to school leavers with disabilities.

I received 395 points in the Leaving Cert and my first choice is Marino with 460 points. I qualify for the Dare scheme - do you think it's possible I will get in?  

From speaking to a representative of Marino it looks as if the maximum number of points a Dare applicant can hope to get a reduction of is up to 40 points.  We have no way of knowing what the points for Marino will be this year but if the points remain at 460 it may not be good news for your application.  I'm afraid it is a waiting game until Monday to see what emerges from the CAO.

Can you tell me if you are guaranteed extra points if you have been accepted on the Dare scheme? It seems UCD and Trinity do not award many extra points compared to IT colleges or maybe the available Dare places on certain courses are very low?

You are not guaranteed extra points because you have been accepted by Dare. Colleges vary in how they allocate their Dare places. In many colleges a quota of places is set aside for Dare applicants and a mini points system is set up for those places between those applicants; hence you may get a place on a reduced level of points. If you are concerned about how TCD or UCD allocate places, I would advise giving the access offices of these colleges a ring and finding out what system they have in place for the allocation of Dare places.

My daughter got 355 points. She was hoping for social science in UCD or communications in DCU. She has been approved for Dare. Do you think she will be offered either of these? Thanks

Social science last year finished at 400 and communications in DCU was at 415 outside the Dare scheme. If the points stay at a similar level it seems a sizeable jump for your daughter to get a place on one of these courses. Having said that, it is not a definite no, it depends on the number of places allocated for Dare on these courses and then the points of the successful Dare applicants for these courses. It may be worth your while to check out the Dare website at accesscollege.ie to get further information about individual colleges.

My son has qualified for Dare but his course states he needs two HC3 results and he only got one. Does this eliminate him from that course?

I am afraid so. You must meet the course entry requirements first.