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What is the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

 The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level alternative admissions scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college supports to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.   HEAR has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that socio-economic disadvantage can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go to college.

 Who can apply to HEAR 2017?

HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2017 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. HEAR applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support.

 How do I apply to HEAR 2017?

For information about the process of applying to HEAR including the deadlines and criteria, please check the Access College website: www.accesscollege.ie

I am eligible for HEAR but how will I know if I will be considered for a reduced points place? 

Mary Immaculate College reserves reduced points’ places for eligible HEAR applicants on all undergraduate courses. This table provides detail of the minimum number of MIC HEAR reduced points places available on each course. Note that these numbers are for guideline purposes only and may vary from year to year.

To be considered for a reduced point HEAR place you must:
• Be eligible for HEAR
• Meet minimum entry requirements - As the minimum entry and subject     requirements  may be different for each course, applicants should check the prospectus for the requirements of each preference listed on your CAO form.
• Achieve a minimum of 300 points
• Eligible HEAR applicants must come within a differential of 40 CAO points below the standard CAO for the relevant year
• Eligible HEAR applicants must meet specific course requirements. 

Once these requirements have been met, Mary Immaculate College normally allocates the reduced point’s places to eligible applicants who come nearest to the full points for their preferred course after the prioritisation of applicants eligible for both HEAR and DARE.   If the quota of reduced places is not filled on one scheme, the unfilled quota will be made available to the other scheme.

The reduction in points for HEAR and/or DARE places in Mary Immaculate College can vary significantly every year. The amount of points a particular course is reduced by is dependent on a number of factors, which are:
• The overall number of places on the course
• The number of reduced points HEAR and / or DARE places on the course
• The number of HEAR and/or DARE eligible applicants competing for these reduced points places.
• Being eligible for HEAR and/or DARE does not guarantee you a reduced points place. 

 Prioritisation of Applicants Eligible for both HEAR and DARE

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 poverty and disability, HEAR and DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both HEAR and DARE when allocating reduced points places. Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration. 
Mary Immaculate College may reserve up to 5% of its places on each undergraduate programme for eligible HEAR and DARE applicants.  Mary Immaculate College will endeavor to exceed the minima.

Contition of a HEAR Offer 

Students who receive a HEAR offer must attend an orientation programme on campus.

Deferring a HEAR Offer 

Eligible HEAR Students who wish to defer their place should follow the College's deferral procedures.

How do I find out more?

Please visit www.accesscollege.ie

The MIC contact for HEAR is Maura Moore: access@mic.ul.ie or 061-204927

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Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel: +35361 204300