The International Protection Student Scheme

The International Protection Student Scheme

The International Protection Student Scheme (for Further and Higher Education Students)  provides financial grants for students who are in the protection system or at the leave to remain (but not deportation order) stage.

To apply, a student must be pursuing one of the approved course types:

  • a post leaving certificate (PLC) course
  • an undergraduate course
  • a postgraduate course

Your income will need to be under certain limits to receive a grant. This may or may not include your parents’ income.


The ‘Student Support Scheme for International Protection Applicants (people seeking asylum)’ has been renamed the ‘International Protection Student Scheme 2022’.

If you are a student without a stamp 4, who receives a CAO offer, and are in the International Protection system for three years prior to the start date of your course, you are eligible to apply for this grant (identical to SUSI apart from the nationality requirement).

Besides the name change, please note these differences to last year:

  • It is now being administered by SUSI and not DFHERIS.
  • The application form is an editable pdf but it must be printed and posted to (no stamp required): SUSI, PO Box 12209, Freepost FDN7608, Dublin 4
Students with Disabilities/ DARE

Students with Disabilities/ DARE


DARE is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2024  whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and/or other EU qualifications.

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. Find out below if your disability is one considered under the DARE scheme. Click HERE for more information

There is a wide range of disabilities that are included in the DARE scheme. Supports that might be available:

  • Learning support
  • Special conditions for examinations
  • Provisions of technology
  • Additional tuition or note taking as appropriate.

If you have indicated on you CAO form that you have a disability or specific learning difficulty, the colleges Disability Services will be informed as soon as you accept your place.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:

  • Contact the disability officer in the Universities/ Institute of Technology for information on where would suit your needs best. While doing a PLC contact the principal, resource teacher or guidance counsellor.
  • If your college not does not offer the type of accessible accommodation, you require contact the Local Authority/ County Council where the college is located and request accessible accommodation.
  • The student’s union may also be able to support you in finding suitable housing.


What is HEAR?

What is HEAR?

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a higher education admissions scheme for Leaving Certificate students (under 23) whose economic or social background are underrepresented in higher education.

How do I apply to HEAR?

  • Review the HEAR Handbook and the application timeline with your parent(s)/guardian(s) and/or your school’s Guidance Counsellor.
  • Complete the online application form through cao.ie 
  • The online application process will generate a Supporting Document Checklist based on your answers. Ensure that you have copies of all supporting documents needed.

Check out the following for FAQ’s: https://accesscollege.ie/hear/faqs/

CAO – Central Applications Office

CAO – Central Applications Office

The Central Applications Office processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Decisions on admissions to undergraduate courses are made by the HEIs who instruct CAO to make offers to successful candidates. Click HERE to view the CAO website for more information.

PDF copy of 2024 handbook

Important dates for 2024 Applicants:-

Timetable of Events

Please note:

  1. These dates may be amended.
  2. Tests and interviews form part of the entry-requirements for certain courses.
    Please consult the literature of the HEI for further information.


6th November 2024 (12:00) CAO online application facility opens.
CAO Change of Course choices facility opens
20th January 2024 (17:00) Apply online by this date to avail of the discounted application fee of €30.
1st February (17:00) Normal closing date for applications.
6th February (12:00) Online facility to amend course choices becomes available (€10 Fee)
Test Window:
16th-25th February
HPAT Test – Undergraduate Entry to Medicine
Test centre sitting:
20th-21st February
HPAT Test – Undergraduate Entry to Medicine
1st March (17:00)

Closing date for amending course choices
Closing date for completion of mature section of application form
Closing date for final completion of online HEAR/DARE forms.

Most tests and interviews for restricted courses are held in March and April

5th March (12:00) Late application facility opens.
15th March (17:00) Latest date for HEAR/DARE supporting documentation to arrive in CAO
Test window:
Late March
GAMSAT Test – Graduate Entry to Medicine. The fee to sit the exam in Ireland 2023 is €341.
Registration window:
Mature Nursing Test – register for the tests at www.nmbi.ie
Test window:
Mature Nursing Test
1st May (17:00) Closing date for late applications
7th May (12:00) Online Change of Mind facility becomes available (Free)
Before End of May Late Paper Applicants will be sent a Statement of Course Choices
(Contact CAO if you do not receive it)
Before End of May Statement of Application Record sent to all applicants
(Contact CAO if you do not receive it)
1st July (17:00) Change of Mind closes
Early July Round A offers for certain Non-Standard categories of applicants – applicants receive an offer by e-mail and SMS text
TBC Round A acceptances closing date.
22nd July (17:00) Exceptional closing date for late applications for those already attending a participating HEI
TBC Round 0 offers for certain Non-Standard categories of applicant – applicants receive an offer by e-mail and SMS text
TBC Round 0 acceptances closing date.
TBC Current year Leaving Certificate results issued
TBC Round 1 offers available from 14:00 online – also issued by e-mail and SMS text.
Applicants who have not received an offer will receive a `Statement of Application` e-mail.
TBC Available Place facility opens
TBC Round 1 acceptances closing date.
TBC Round 2 offers available online.
TBC Round 2 acceptances closing date.
TBC Round 3 offers available online – applicants will also receive an offer notification by e-mail and SMS text.
TBC Round 3 acceptances closing date.
TBC Round 4 offers available online – applicants will also receive an offer notification by e-mail and SMS text.
TBC Round 4 acceptances closing date.
TBC Round 5 offers available online – applicants will also receive an offer notification by e-mail and SMS text.
TBC Round 5 acceptances closing date.
TBC HEIs begin registration
TBC Results of Leaving Certificate appeals released
TBC Offer Season Ends.
Student Universal Support Ireland – SUSI

Student Universal Support Ireland – SUSI

Before applying for your grant, you are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria by selecting your student type based on whether you are PLCUndergraduatePostgraduate or Studying Outside the State.  You can also use the Eligibility Reckoner where you can quickly and easily self-assess whether you may be eligible for a grant on https://susi.ie/

The SUSI Grant may include a maintenance grant and/or a fee grant, depending on your eligibility. Applications open in April and close in November, it is probably better to apply as early as possible so that, if eligible, your funding will be secured before starting college.

The application process can be completed in more than one sitting, you can save your work and then return to it.  A step-by-step guide to completing your application is provided on their website.

To read more about the Student Universal Support Ireland – SUSICLICK HERE