Access Office

Prospective Students

All applicants for first year full-time courses at IT Sligo must first apply through the CAO in the usual manner.  See for further details on how to do this.

Applicants in the following categories may enter their chosen course without reaching the required Leaving Certificate points:

  • DARE/ HEAR Eligible Applicants
  • Mature Applicants

Third Level Access is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020


  • DARE, Disability Support or Autism Supports
  • Shelley Brady, Disability Officer
  • Tel: +353 (0)71 9177355
  • Mature Students, 1916 Bursary, Sanctuary Scholarships
  • Linda Mc Gloin, Access Officer
  • Tel: +353 (071) 9305417

Student Assistance Fund


• All applications without exception that are missing supporting documentation from their envelope/email will be put into an ‘Incomplete Applications folder’ for consideration at the end of the assessment process. This could result in no funding remaining to consider your application.
• No late applications will be accepted
• You will receive an automated email to your student email when your application has been processed and is (a) ready for assessment or (b) further information is required.
• We will not have the time to be responding to individual queries on the status of applications
• The onus is on each student to check their student email daily for further information regarding their application or other important information
• If you wish to email your supporting documents please email them in PDF or JPEG format only

Closing Date to apply for SAF
• Closing date for applications is Friday 5th March @ 5.00pm SHARP
• Closing date for receipt of Supporting documents is Monday 15th March @ 5.00pm SHARP. No late applications will be accepted. Please note if you are providing your evidence by post or dropping them to the college only one envelope with supporting documentation will be accepted, the envelope must be clearly marked SAF and your student ID Number on it. Any application that is missing supporting documentation is deemed ‘Incomplete’. Please only submit one email with all your documents attached also.

What is the Student Assistant Fund?

The Student Assistance Fund is intended to support students whose participation in higher education would otherwise be at risk as a direct result of financial difficulties. The Student Assistance Fund is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. The Student Assistance Fund records are kept strictly confidential.

Am I eligible to Apply?

• You may apply for funding if you are a full-time or part time student, registered with IT Sligo participating on a third level course of at least one year, leading to a higher education award (NFQ level 6-10).
• Students on courses that do not lead to a higher education award are not eligible for SAF.
• International students who are not eligible for EU fees are not eligible to apply for funding
• Student Assistance Fund is only available for students who are experiencing financial hardship or unexpected financial hardship.
What can I use it for?
• Books and other class materials
• Rent, heating and lighting bills
• Food
• Essential travel
• In the case of parent students, un-registered childcare
• Medical costs
• Other financial emergency or difficulty
Students who have been impacted financially by Covid-19 are eligible to apply for financial help. You must provide evidence of your financial difficulty due to the pandemic.

What costs are not covered?
• Tuition fees
• Registration fees
• Repayment of student debt/loan

How do I Apply?

• Login above with your Student ID and password. Deadlines are outlined at the top of this page and are strictly adhered to.
• Complete an on-line application, this will be emailed to your student email account and available on our website. Please take note of the closing date as no late applications can be accepted.
• You must provide all supporting documents requested in the application. Failure to do so can cause delay in processing your application. An online application is not a complete application and will not be processed without the supporting documents. Supporting documents are queued for assessment based on the date they have been received by the access office.
• Supporting documents can be submitted in the following manner:
1. Posted to Access Office, IT Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo
2. Manually placed in the secure box at reception, clearly marked SAF Applications
3. Or emailed to as a PDF or JPEG only. Please do not email documents that are not in JPEG or PDF format, these applications will be returned to you.

(your application will be delayed if you do not provide all evidence required)

1. Signed Cover letter,
2. Evidence of SUSI
3. If you are not in receipt of SUSI then you must outline as to why you are not in receipt of SUSI. If this is for threshold purposes, then you must provide your household Income in the format of your parents/guardians Employment Detail Summary (P60) or Statement of Liability (P21)
4. Evidence of Rent/mortgage (Rent form is available to download on the on-line application), evidence of mortgage payment is required
5. 2 months bank statements, for December and January, these must have your name on them so that they can be linked to your account, and they must show all transactions
6. Evidence of income, 3 payslips or highlight on bank statement your wages or PUP whichever is relevant
7. Evidence of Social Welfare Payment if relevant
8. If you are a parent and in receipt of Children’s Allowance, please provide evidence
9. If you are a parent and use an un-registered childcare provider and are claiming for un-registered childcare, then you must provide evidence
10. Your spouse/partner’s income details/social welfare payment

What happens to my application?

• Supporting documents are opened on a first in first opened basis. Supporting documents are matched to your on-line application and if your application is complete then it is brought to the next Welfare Assessment. If you have not submitted all the required documentation you will receive an automated message outlining what documents are required. The onus is on the student to follow up with this documentation failure to do so means your application is deemed INCOMPLETE and left on file.
• All COMPLETED applications are brought before the Welfare Committee for consideration.
• The Committee may require further clarification in relation to aspects of the application
• Applicants will receive email notifications on the decision of the Committee with further instructions of how payment will be made.
• It is important to note that there are limited funds available so we prioritise those who are most in need and not every request for funding can be met. SAF Fund is a means test fund.
• Payment can take anything up to 30 days to be paid.


The Institute of Technology, Sligo Access Office has a specific responsibility to support students attending the college who have a disability or special needs due to chronic illness.  It is however the responsibility of any student with a disability or special needs to make contact with the Access Office at the beginning of each academic year so that their needs can be reviewed.  The Institute of Technology Sligo cannot take responsibility for failing to support a student where the student has not identified their needs to the Access Office.  Supports for students with disabilities are continuously being developed and it is important that students make themselves aware of these developments.

Register with Disability/Learning Support Services

In registering with the Disability Support Service, the student and Disability Support Worker will agree an individual support plan tailored to the specific requirements of that student with referrals to other members of college staff only as appropriate.

Supports Available

The Disability Support Service  acts as an advocate on behalf of the students with a disability, students with Autism or (ASD)  or special need in the Institute of Technology, Sligo.  By registering with the Disability Support Service, supports can be requested and developed in relation to academic and physical requirements within the college on the student’s behalf.  An application can be made to the Higher Education Authority for funding to facilitate the student in his / her studies, purchase and loan equipment intended to assist the student during his / her studies at the Institute of Technology Sligo.  As it will take some time to develop some of the supports required by any student, students are urged to make contact with the Disability Support Service as soon as is possible following return to study at  Institute of Technology Sligo.

Specific procedures are in place to support students with disabilities or special needs to perform on an equal basis as their class peers.  The Policy Guidelines and Procedures for the Granting of Reasonable Accommodations in Examinations to Students with Disabilities can be accessed here.

In order to provide accurate supports and accommodations, the Disability Support Service requires medical documentation from the appropriate medical professional. The Guide to Providing evidence of your disability for support can be accessed here.

The Assistive Technology Suite offers students with disabilities a quiet room to study where they have access to printers and PCs with specific software. It is located on the first floor in the Student Support Services Centre.

DARE at IT Sligo

Course options available:  All courses will accept qualified DARE applicants, the courses that applicants are likely to study will reflect that popularity of courses in general.

Minimum entry requirements: All DARE applicants will have to meet minimum academic entry requirements in addition to DARE eligibility.  For Higher Certificate (Level 6) courses the minimum points required for entry through DARE will be 120 points.  For Ordinary Degree (Level 7) courses, the minimum points required for entry through DARE will be 150 points. For Honours Degree (Level 8) courses, the minimum points required for entry through DARE will be 200. Some courses also carry mathematics, health or fitness to study requirements which will also have to be met.

DARE and FETAC Entry:  DARE entry is for leaving certificate applicants only, however IT Sligo will be operating a supplementary entry route for FETAC applicants who meet the DARE eligibility criteria.  These will be given bonus points for entry, these places will be in addition to the DARE places available in the first year at IT Sligo.

Applicants applying for FETAC courses must email or to have bonus points applied for entry.

Disability Supports at IT Sligo:  The provision of supports to students with disabilities at IT Sligo is separate from special consideration for entry provided through DARE, all students with disabilities should contact the Disability Support Service as early as possible to develop their individual support plan regardless of how they entered IT Sligo.

Learning Support Service

At Institute of Technology Sligo, the Learning Support Tutor provides learning support to students who have dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties.

Students who have been diagnosed as having dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties should contact the Learning Support Tutor early in the academic year to develop their Individual Support Plan.

In order to provide accurate supports and accommodations, the Learning Support Service requires medical documentation from the appropriate medical professional. Refer to the Guide to Providing evidence of your disability for support (link here.)

Dyslexia screening can also be arranged in the college for students who suspect they may have dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties.

Supports provided by the Learning Support Tutor include:

  • Dyslexia Screening
  • Study Skills Information
  • Use of Assistive Technology Suite
  • Assistive Technology
  • Reasonable Accommodation at Examinations
  • Applications to the Department of Education and Skills to the Fund for Students with Disabilities on behalf of students with up to date psychological assessments
  • Liaising with relevant staff to ensure students achieve their full potential at Institute of Technology Sligo.
  • One to one or group support

The Learning Support Tutor is located in the main building, first floor, third door, opposite Yeat’s Library.

HEAR Scheme at IT Sligo

IT Sligo is part of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR).  This is a college and university scheme that offers places on reduced points and extra college support 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 on to college. HEAR applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support.

Who should apply to HEAR?

HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2018 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. Mature and FET (Further Education and Training) students have their own admissions routes and should contact college admissions offices for more information. Applications to HEAR can only be made online through the CAO.  For further information on this scheme check out the following website

Benefits of HEAR

  • Reduced Points

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 reserved number of 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, 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 can vary every year.

College Supports

If you get a place through HEAR, you will receive a variety of academic, personal and social supports while at college.

How to apply to HEAR?

  • Apply online to CAO by 17:15 on 1 February.
  • No later than 17:15 on 1st March, you must indicate in your CAO application that you wish to apply for the HEAR scheme and you must fully and correctly complete all elements the HEAR form (the HEAR form is a part of your CAO application).
  • Submit relevant evidence in support of your application to arrive at CAO no later than 17:15 on 1 April.

HEAR applications can only be made online at

More information on HEAR is available from your school Guidance Counsellor or NCI’s Student Support Office. Information can also be found on:

Mature Students

A mature applicant is someone who is aged 23 or older on January 1st of the calendar year of application to third level education. Mature applicants, must apply to the Central Application Office (CAO), Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway on or before 1st February. Application forms can be obtained from the CAO or online at Applicants are subsequently interviewed by IT Sligo in April. The CAO also accepts ‘late applications’ before a May 1st closing date. A second round of interviews takes place in late summer in IT Sligo and late applicants are called for interview only if places remain unfilled on their chosen course.