Worried your child won’t get the ATAR they need? There are many pathways to uni – don’t let the ATAR shake you! | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Worried your child won’t get the ATAR they need? There are many pathways to uni – don’t let the ATAR shake you!

2021 has been an unsettling and challenging time for everyone, particularly for Year 12 students. If things haven’t quite gone to plan for your child this year, it doesn’t mean their chances of going to uni are over. There’s never been more reason for your child to gain some certainty in their plans to study their dream degree in 2022. Whether or not your child is ATAR eligible, USC has a range of pathways available to ensure your child has every opportunity to study at USC.

Early Offer Guarantee

Your child can beat the stress of getting into uni through USC’s Early Offer Guarantee program, which enables eligible Year 12 students to receive an early and guaranteed place at USC as early as August. These offers are made before the release of Year 12 results, so students don’t have to wait until the December or January QTAC offer rounds to start planning their uni journey. The offer is made based on the school Principal’s recommendation and is independent of your child’s Year 12 results, however students must still meet subject prerequisites and complete Year 12. For more information, your child can chat with the Early Offer Guarantee Coordinator within their school or contact USC Student Central.

Tertiary Preparation Pathway

If your child doesn’t meet the entry requirements for their chosen program or would like to improve their academic skills before enrolling in a degree, USC offers the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) program to help them access university study. TPP is a six-month bridging program that allows students to experience university life before jumping into a full degree. TPP courses are free for domestic students, and after successful completion, students will be able to gain direct entry into most USC degrees. To apply for this program, students submit their application online through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

TAFE/Vocational studies

A TAFE/AQF (Australian Qualification Framework) Certificate III or IV can also provide an entry pathway to USC. We’ll assign a selection rank for a completed Certificate III or Certificate IV, or if a student has completed at least one semester of a Diploma or Advanced Diploma. In some cases, a student may be eligible for credit for prior learning. Receiving credit for previous study may reduce the cost and time it takes to complete a USC degree and means your child will not have to repeat similar courses. For more information about this pathway option, contact USC Student Central.


USC offers pathway university diplomas, allowing students to get a taste of university and have something to show for it without the commitment of a full degree program. These diplomas are stand-alone qualifications that will give your child direct entry and up to one year’s credit for selected bachelor’s degrees. USC offers diplomas in Business Innovation, Creative Industries, Science and Technology, and Social and Human Services. To be eligible for entry, students need to be either 17 or have completed Year 12, and must not have completed any further tertiary study. To apply, visit qtac.edu.au.

Indigenous Direct Entry and Access Scheme (IDEAS)

If a student identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, they may be given direct entry to a program based on their potential to succeed through IDEAS. This is a direct entry scheme for students who may not have received an ATAR, who received an ATAR that does not meet the cut-off for their chosen degree, or, who might not have completed Year 12. To be eligible for IDEAS, applicants must complete the online form. For more information, contact USC’s Indigenous Services team.

There are many ways to begin enjoying a university experience – your child just needs to find the right path for them. At USC, opportunity is everywhere. If you would like to discuss which pathway is best for your child, you can chat online with USC Monday-Friday from 10am to 5pm.

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