ATARs are out - does your child need to change their preferences? | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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ATARs are out - does your child need to change their preferences?

Once your child has received their ATAR results, they may want to change their preferences if things didn’t go as planned. Changing preferences allows students to add, remove or re-order their study choices, so regardless if your child’s results are better or worse than expected, they can still adjust program preferences before offers are made.

Changing preferences is really common, and often students decide to adjust their preferences because they’ve had more time to think about what it is they really want to study now that the stress of Year 12 exams is over. Students may also decide to change preferences because their ATAR results were higher or lower than they anticipated and the great thing is that there is flexibility to make changes after results are released.

Now that your child has their ATAR, what’s next?

When your child has their ATAR, they can check it against the selection rank for programs from the previous year. Although ranks can change from year to year, it’s still a great indicator for what to expect for this year’s minimum selection ranks.

If your child has surprised themselves and received a higher score than expected, remind them not to just change your preferences because they’re now eligible for different programs. Encourage them to stick with the programs that they’re most interested in studying as this will put them on the right path for success!

If your child’s ATAR is only slightly below the selection rank for your preference, they should keep it in their preference list as the lowest selection rank may move up or down and they may still receive an offer.

If your child’s ATAR is lower than they were hoping, it’s a good idea for them to refine their preferences to ensure they’re still able to get into a university program. Most programs have pathway options to enable students to transfer into the program of their choice later on.

Chancellor State College Guidance Office, Dominic Towler always reminds his students that they can ‘change preferences three times at no cost, so it’s important to keep one of these free changes available for after they receive their results.’

Get informed

Before your child changes their preferences, it’s important they get advice to make sure they’re making the right decision. Keep an eye on key dates and entry requirements to make sure they meet change of preference deadlines and are eligible for the upcoming offer round.

You and your child can attend an information session, like UniSC’s Options and Opportunities Online Information Session on Sunday 18 December to get any questions answered about changing preferences and pathway options available.

TAFE/Vocational studies

Your child can complete a TAFE/VET qualification to get into university. We’ll assign a selection rank for a completed Certificate III or Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma. Your child may even receive credit for prior learning, reducing the cost and time on their UniSC degree.

Pathway Diplomas

UniSC’s pathway diplomas are another great way for students to get into university if they didn’t get the ATAR they were hoping for. Through a pathway diploma, students will 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. UniSC offers pathway diplomas in Business InnovationCreative IndustriesScience and Technology, and Social and Human Services.

If your child is unsure which option is best for them, they can always talk to our friendly Student Central team to get advice.

So as your child begins preparing for their final assessments, it may help to ease the pressure by reminding them that there are many ways to get into university, they may just require a little extra work and some flexibility in their plans. Encourage them to do their best, but always be there for them and provide reassurance if things don’t go to plan.

Parent talking to their child

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