Applying through QTAC: Frequently asked questions - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Parent Lounge Update

Applying through QTAC: Frequently asked questions

12 Aug 2020

With applications open to study at USC, now is the time to make sure your child has everything they need to make their application process as seamless as possible. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions when it comes to applying through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

How do you apply?

Current Year 12 students apply online via the QTAC website. You child will need:

  • Their personal details, including information about their school and any VET qualifications they may have completed
  • The names and QTAC codes of the program/s they’re applying for. Make sure they’ve written down the right QTAC code for their chosen study location – the code is different for each USC campus
  • Their 10-digit Learner Unique Identifier (LUI) number
  • Payment for the application fee

Your child can list up to six degree preferences on their QTAC application, with their preferred degree as first preference.

The application fee for Year 12 students is $45 until 28 February 2021. After that, the fee increases to $77. For non-Year 12 students, the application fee is $77 until 30 September 2020. After this date, the fee increases to $182 up until 31 January 2021

If your child has completed USC's Headstart program, they will need to list their Headstart study in the Post-secondary section of their application. QTAC will obtain their grades directly from USC.

When do applications close?

Under the current QTAC application process, there is no official 'closing' date for applications. Instead, each offer round has its own due date to apply and submit documents. (Keep reading for more information about offer rounds.)

It's best to encourage your child to complete their application as soon as possible, so QTAC has plenty of time to complete the assessment process. For more information visit the QTAC key dates page.

Can QTAC preferences be changed?

After your child submits their QTAC application, they can change their preferences up to three times free of charge. Each change made after that will cost $45.

There is also a limited window to change preferences after an offer has been made. For more information visit the QTAC key dates page.

What is a minimum selection threshold?

The minimum selection threshold is the minimum ATAR or QTAC selection rank required for entry to a course. Thresholds can vary from semester to semester and offer round to offer round, depending on the number and quality of applications a course receives.

The QTAC Guide and USC's website includes minimum selection thresholds from the previous year, which you can use as an indicator of the level of achievement likely to be required to gain a place. It's important to remember, however, that the required ATAR for entry in each year may differ from the previous year, depending on the number of applicants, their ATARs/selection ranks, and the number of places available in each course.

You can find more information about minimum selection thresholds on the QTAC website, or contact USC Student Central.

When are offers sent?

Most Year 12 students will receive their offer just before Christmas. However, the timing of an offer depends on a number of factors, including your child’s ATAR or rank and the specific university and program applied for.

Some programs have a flexible number of places available, while others have a restricted number. If your child has applied for a program with a restriction, expect to hear in one of the scheduled offer rounds, most likely on 14 January.

If the program has subject prerequisites (previous study that has to have been completed to gain entry into a program) or requires a minimum ATAR for entry, your child is likely to hear after ATARs are released. This could be just before Christmas or it may be on 14 January.

If your child has successfully applied for USC's Early Offer Guarantee program, they can receive their offer as early as 21 August 2020.

Some programs do not have number restrictions or subject prerequisites. Students who have applied for these programs may receive offers as early as the last day of Year 12.

What to do once your child receives their offer?

If your child receives an offer, they will get a notification from QTAC. They will need to login into their QTAC account and choose to accept/defer/decline this offer. They will also receive an offer from USC. This will include all the information your child needs to enrol in their classes and get ready for a flying start to their first semester at USC. For more information about the steps to activate your child’s offer and enrol, visit our Getting Started at USC page.

What happens if your child doesn't get an offer in January?

Your child may still receive an offer at a later date. Not everyone who is made an offer enrols, so places may become available.

If your child doesn’t receive an offer in the 14 January offer round, it’s a good idea to encourage them to have a look at their preferences and make adjustments according to their ATAR.

If they don’t receive an offer in any of the QTAC rounds, encourage them to contact us and ask about other pathways to study.

Does your child have to start university in 2021?

If your child receives an offer but doesn’t want to start university straight away, it is possible to defer the offer. Most universities will let students defer an offer for up to one year. At USC, we allow students to defer most programs for up to two years. Visit our website for more information about how to defer an offer.

Who can I speak to for more information?

You can chat online with a real USC student every weekday from 10am to 5pm. You can also contact our USC Student Central team who can help answer questions about getting started at USC.

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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