DARE admissions scheme for students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties

What is the DARE scheme? 

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) supports students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties to access college, by allocating a number of third-level places to them on a reduced points basis.  

You must be under 23 years of age on the 1st of January of the year the course starts.  You may qualify as a parent who is applying for education courses or one of your children may qualify. 

You must also provide information about your disability and how it has affected your education.  

You can find details of the places available through DARE on the websites of the participating third-level colleges. 


If you get a place through DARE you will also be offered a range of supports such as study skills and mentoring. The supports available will vary from college to college.  

Whether you apply for college through DARE or through the standard CAO procedure, there are supports for student with disabilities while they are at college. 

The Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) also has information about student services and about accessing college.

How do I apply? 

To get a college place under the DARE scheme you must apply online through the CAO.