In Section 6 of the HEAR application form, select no contact for one parent.
In Section 7, select the parent/guardian who contributes to your family’s income and answer Yes or No as appropriate for that parent under Type of Income (e.g. Employee, paid employment, social welfare).
With regards to divorced or separated parents, the income of the parent with whom the applicant lives will be taken into account. If parents are separated but remain residing in the same house as the applicant, both incomes will be taken into account.
When completing a HEAR application, you will receive online prompts requesting that you submit specific documentation.
You will receive a supporting document checklist at the bottom of the application form. The supporting document checklist will list what documents you need to submit to the CAO to complete your HEAR application. The checklist is based on the answers you give in Section 7 of the online HEAR application form.
You can apply online on the CAO website from 5th November 2021. As part of the application process, and depending on individual circumstances, you will be asked to submit documentation relating to your parent(s)/guardian(s) or to yourself to support your application. You must be able to clearly document household income in the year specified.
Examples of the documentation required are:
- Statement(s) of Liability (formerly known as P21(s)) or Self-Assessment Letter – Chapter 4 for 2020.
- Department of Social Protection form or statement for 2020.
Further information on the type of supporting documents required is available on page 19 (the Supporting Document Section) of the HEAR Application Handbook.
All supporting documents must be returned to the CAO no later than 15 March 2022 Late documentation will not be accepted.
Indicator 1 – Low Income
Is the household income below the HEAR Income threshold in 2020?
Indicator 2 – Medical Card
Is the applicant or his/her mother/father/guardian in receipt of a medical card (in date on 31st December 2021)?
Indicator 3 – Social Welfare
Is the applicant’s mother/father/guardian in receipt of a means-tested social welfare payment (for a minimum of 26 weeks in the relevant year) 2020?
Indicator 4 – Socio-Economic Grouping (based on occupation and employment status)
Is the applicant a member of a group underrepresented in higher education?
Indicator 5 – DEIS School
Did the applicant attend a school part of the Department of Education & Science “DEIS” scheme (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) for the duration of their second level education?
Indicator 6 – Geographical Area
Does the applicant live in an area of concentrated disadvantage?
The combinations for eligibility are:
INDICATOR 1 plus 2 plus 4 or 5 or 6
INDICATOR 1 plus 3 plus 4 or 5 or 6
INDICATOR 1 plus 4 plus 5 or 6
INDICATOR 1 plus 5 plus 6
Each of the colleges set aside a quota of places for HEAR students each year. For further information on the number of places available in particular institutions or courses, please contact the access office in the college of your choice.
Dublin City University (DCU)
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Marino Institute of Education
Mary Immaculate College
Munster Technological University, Cork Campus
Munster Technological University, Kerry Campus
National College of Ireland
National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
Pontifical University Maynooth
RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
St Angela’s College Sligo
Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone Campus
Technological University of the Shannon, Limerick Campus
Trinity College (TCD)
University College Cork (UCC)
University College Dublin (UCD)
University of Limerick (UL)
This means students can apply through HEAR for the quota of places in any of these colleges.
If you apply to HEAR and meet the application criteria (that is, are deemed eligible for HEAR) you may be offered a place even if you do not have enough Leaving Certificate points for your preferred course. Each participating college and university has a number of reserved places to offer eligible HEAR applicants at lower or reduced Leaving Certificate points.
An example of a reduced points offer is that the Leaving Certificate points for a particular course is 366 points. An eligible HEAR applicant could be offered a place with a lower points score, e.g. 356 points. This applicant would also, like all other applicants applying to college on the basis of their Leaving Certificate results, need to meet the minimum entry requirements and any specific programme requirements before being considered for a HEAR reduced points offer. The reduction in points for HEAR places varies every year.
The number of points a particular course is reduced by is dependent on a number of factors, such as;
- The overall number of places on the course.
- The number of reserved HEAR places on the course.
- The number of HEAR eligible applicants competing for these reserved places.
HEAR was set up to tackle educational disadvantage. Socio-economic disadvantage negatively impacts on educational attainment at school and affects progression by some second level students to third level. Research in Ireland shows that, for example, the son/daughter of an unskilled manual worker (e.g. factory worker) is less likely to progress to higher education than the son/daughter of a higher professional (e.g. doctor).
HEAR is for school leavers (under 23 yrs as of 1 January 2022) who are resident in the Republic of Ireland, who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education, and who come from socio-economic groups in Irish society that are underrepresented in third level.