Crucial deadlines loom for students keen on HEAR and DARE schemes
Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30
For students who are applying to the HEAR and DARE programmes one final, but crucial deadline remains. Prospective students must ensure that all documents relating to these applications are with the CAO office in Galway no later than April 1.
DARE is an alternative entry route for CAO applicants who have a disability or specific learning difficulty. It offers applicants the possibility of entering a course with reduced points. Students may still also receive educational support irrespective of whether or not they qualify for DARE.
At this time, DARE applicants must have indicated their intention to apply for DARE on their CAO form and completed the supplementary information form online. This must have been done by March 1.
In "supplementary information", students will see two sections, academic reference and evidence of disability. Both of these sections contain a form, which should be printed out.
The academic reference form should be given to the relevant person in the school to complete, this may be the resource teacher, year head, or guidance counsellor. The form must also be stamped by the school and signed by the school principal.
The second section contains a form named 'evidence of disability.' This also needs to be printed out and sent to the relevant professional. The person to whom the form is sent differs depending on the reason for the application. For instance, it may be a consultant or a psychologist.
More information on who should complete this form can be found on accesscollege.ie. Both forms should be returned to the student or the parent who should then forward the forms to the CAO.
It may be prudent to send them by registered post or ask for a certificate of postage. Any paper work to do with the DARE application must be with the CAO no later than 5.15pm on April 1. Care should be taken to print the applicant's CAO number on every item.
HEAR is an alternative entry route for CAO applicants who are educationally disadvantaged. There are a number of criteria under which students may be deemed eligible and it offers applicants the opportunity to enter a course with reduced points as well other pastoral and academic supports.
In this way, it is different from the SUSI grant, which offers financial support to students based on means testing.
At this time HEAR applicants must have indicated their intention to apply for the HEAR programme on their CAO form and completed the supplementary information form by March 1.
After completing this section, a personalised list of supporting documents will be generated.
This may include evidence such as income and tax documents, evidence of social welfare payments or medical card.
Applicants may also need a parent to apply for many of them. All documents listed must be received by the CAO no later than 5.15pm on April 1.
It may be prudent to send them by registered post or request a certificate of postage. The applicant's CAO number should be clearly printed on all documents.
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Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin