How do university applications work? QTAC explained

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How do university applications work? QTAC explained


22 August 2017

If your child is thinking about university, they will need to apply through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC). QTAC applications for 2018 are now open, so it's a great time to brush up on your QTAC knowledge.

Be sure to also register for our special Meet USC - Parent Info and Headstart event on Tuesday 12 September, which will include a special presentation on getting into university.

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
  • 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 $42 until 18 February, 2018. After that, the fee increases to $71.

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.)

The first due date is 26 September 2017. 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 $42.

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 course cut-off?

A course cut-off is the minimum OP or QTAC selection rank required for entry to a course. Cut-offs vary from year to year and from offer round to offer round, depending on the number and quality of applications a course receives.

The QTAC Guide includes an OP cut-off 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 OP for entry in each year may differ from the previous year, depending on the number of applicants, their OPs and the number of places available in each course.

You can find more information about course cut-offs on the QTAC website, or contact USC Student Central.

When are offers sent?

The main QTAC offer round is on Tuesday 16 January 2018. However, some students will receive offers before or after this date.

The timing of an offer depends on a number of factors, including your child’s OP or entry rank and the specific university and program applied for.

Some programs have a flexible number of places available, while others have a restricted number or ‘quota’. If your child has applied for a program with a quota, expect to hear in one of the scheduled offer rounds, most likely on 16 January.

If the program has subject prerequisites or requires a minimum OP for entry, your child is likely to hear after OPs are released. This could be just before Christmas or it may be on 16 January.

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

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 son or daughter doesn’t receive an offer in the major offer round it’s a good idea to encourage them to have a look at their preferences and make adjustments according to their OP.

If they don’t receive an offer in any of the QTAC rounds, contact us and ask about alternative entry pathways.

Does your child have to start university in 2018?

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 for up to two years. Visit our website for more information about how to defer an offer.




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