Great expectations: What to do if your child's OP isn’t what you expected - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Parent Lounge Update

Great expectations: What to do if your child's OP isn’t what you expected

7 Dec 2016

OP release date is here! After 12 years of homework and exams, waiting for that number can be as nerve-wracking for you as it is for your child. Will your child get the OP he or she is hoping for? And what do you do if your child is disappointed?

Here are some things to keep in mind if the OP is lower – or higher – than expected.

If your child didn’t do as well as expected

If your child's OP is lower than hoped for, it is natural to feel disappointed. But it’s also important to reassure your child that a lower OP is not the end of the world – it’s just a different beginning.

If your child is unlikely to receive a first preference offer, encourage him or her to look at alternative programs in the same study area. This doesn’t mean giving up on goals: a less in-demand program can be a great stepping stone to the first-preference degree. Other students find that the back-up program was the right one all along. Speak to your school career advisor or contact Student Central for advice on the best pathways.

If Year 12 was challenging for your child, a bridging program like USC’s fee-free* Tertiary Preparation Pathway will build the knowledge and habits needed to succeed at uni. Your child can try subjects in maths, biology, business and more, and after completing TPP will be able to gain direct entry into most USC degree programs.

If you or your child would like to speak to someone in person, come along to our special Meet USC - Options event on Tuesday 17 January where your child can finalise their offer, change preferences and get all of their questions answered. If you're also considering studying at USC in the future, it's a great opportunity to come on campus, take a tour and learn more about your options.

If your child did better than expected

A higher OP can open up exciting new opportunities for your child's future. However, resist the temptation to apply for ‘prestigious’, high-demand courses simply because you can. For instance, if your child wants a career that involves working outdoors, a law degree may not be the best choice long term. Instead, you could encourage your child to expand his or her horizons with a double degree.

Your child should also consider applying for scholarships. School leavers who achieve an OP1 or 2 and have USC as their first preference automatically receive a USC Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship, worth up to $12,000 over the course of their program. All eligible students will be identified by USC through the OP Guarantee Scholarship Scheme soon after their QTAC application assessment.

*Tuition fees may apply for international students

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