On the right path | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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On the right path

4 Dec 2017

After 12 years of school, OP release date is here. Many recent Year 12 graduates (and their parents!) are anxiously awaiting their results, and the university offers that will follow.

But what do you do if your child doesn’t get the results they were expecting or aren’t offered a place in their first preference degree?

There are many pathways to university

If your child doesn’t get the OP they were hoping for, it’s natural to feel disappointed. But it’s important to reassure them that it’s not the end of the world – it’s just a different beginning to the one they were expecting.

A lower than expected OP doesn’t mean your child needs to immediately give up on their career goals. But it can be a good opportunity to reassess their plans, so they know for sure that they’re on the right path. Take some time to chat with your child about their goals and the type of study and work they want to pursue. Then, you can help them think about the next steps.

If your child is unlikely to receive an offer for their first preference degree, encourage them to think about alternative programs in the same study area. Even better, help them look for programs that include some of the same courses or subject material as their first preference degree.

Enrolling in a similar program and achieving solid results in first year can be a stepping stone to their first choice. Or, they might find that their back-up program was the right choice all along!

Your child may need to submit a change of preference at this stage. Visit the QTAC website for information on how to change preferences. You can contact USC Student Central for advice on the best pathways.

Bridging the gap

If Year 12 was challenging for your child, a bridging program like USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) will build the skills and habits they need 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.

USC also offers associate degrees in business, science and medical laboratory science. These are two-year programs that provide an alternative pathway into university, with possible entry into and credit for the equivalent three-year degree on completion.

To accept or not?

If your child doesn’t receive an offer for his or her first preference, but does receive an offer for a lower preference, it’s possible to respond with a conditional acceptance for the lower preference course. This is like reserving the offer as a back-up option, so they can still be considered for higher preferences in later rounds.

If your child doesn't receive an offer for a higher preference in later rounds, they can return to the conditionally accepted offer and enrol in that program.

How to get help

If you or your child need some help with planning their study for 2018, come along to our Meet USC—Options event on Thursday 18 January, 2pm-5pm at USC Sunshine Coast or 2pm-4pm at USC Fraser Coast where you can come and speak to USC’s staff and discuss options.

Subscribe to the Parent Lounge Update and keep up-to-date with everything you need to know about uni for your child.

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