The ATAR is a major source of stress all year round for HSC students, the fear of not attaining the guaranteed ATAR for their dream course looming over their heads. It’s a stressful time – students believing that they’re not capable of attaining a high ATAR or the fear of missing out on their number one preference by just one or two ATAR points. You get reassured a lot – “Don’t worry, there’s so many pathways into university. There’s a lot of options” – but what exactly are these pathways and options?
Here are some examples:
- School Recommendations Scheme (SRS): The SRS is by far one of the easiest ways to gain entry into an undergraduate degree prior to even receiving your HSC results or ATAR. You simply just apply to your course preferences via the SRS Check and Change webpage, with participating universities examining your Year 11 results, your school’s recommendations of your aptitude and any other select criteria. The University Admissions Centre (UAC) does it all – you barely have to lift a finger! You may then receive an unconditional offer (doesn’t take your ATAR into account in the slightest) or a conditional offer (where you have to achieve a certain ATAR – usually lowered from the guaranteed selection rank).
- Educational Access Scheme (EAS): EAS provides you entry into a course through taking into account any disadvantages you may have had within your final two years of schooling. This includes different categories of disadvantage such as financial hardship, illness, excessive family responsibility and more as long as you meet the varying criteria for the different categories of disadvantage. For example – the University of Sydney’s E12 scheme – which lowers the guaranteed ATAR for select courses, provided you meet the EAS requirements.
- Macquarie Leaders and Achievers Scheme: provides you with an opportunity to obtain an offer from Macquarie University for select degrees prior to even sitting the HSC exams, with offers being made based on the merit of leadership within the community as well as Year 11 results.
- Academic merit: includes Macquarie University’s Academic Entry Program, the University of Sydney’s Academic Excellence Scheme as well Western Sydney University’s True Reward Program, all rewarding you for success within specific subjects. In spite of not having met the guaranteed ATAR for your first preference, you may still be eligible for entry into the course provided you do well in HSC subjects corresponding to the undergraduate degree you are applying for.
As cliché as it sounds, there are a lot of options – ensuring that you will make it into university.