13 December 2018
While hundreds of Gympie school leavers nervously wait for university offers and the release of OP scores this Saturday, it is a different vibe for a group of 19 students from Gympie State High School.
The students, including school captain Natalya Lee, found out they had places at USC as they were finishing their final week of school in mid-November after opting to apply for the University’s Early Offer Guarantee program.
Natalya, who will study Occupational Therapy next year, said it felt good to already have next year sorted and not to have to worry about her OP.
“Although I was doing really well in school and was confident I would make it into the Occupational Therapy through the OP system, I figured ‘why not apply early’,” she said.
“I feel like so much stress has been taken off my shoulders. I like to be organised and knowing that I can study something I’ll love makes me feel so excited.”
Natalya is among 750 school leavers from 105 different Queensland schools who gained early and guaranteed offers to USC degrees before receiving their Year 12 results and Overall Position (OP) scores which determine university entry.
The popularity of the scheme is growing, with an increase of almost 40 percent in applicants from 2017 and a 24 percent jump in the number of participating schools in the past two years.
The early offer capped off a year of success for the aspiring singer, who has performed at the past two Gympie Music Musters.
The 17-year-old was awarded Gympie’s Youth Cultural and Citizenship on Australia Day and recently received her school’s ADF Leadership and Teamwork Long Tan award and the George Hooyer music award.
“Although high school was such an amazing experience for me and I was exposed to so many opportunities, I am so excited to start university and open new doors.,” Natalya said.
“When I went to the USC Open Day earlier this year I knew straight away that this is where I wanted to go.
“All of the people from USC that I spoke to had such a great attitude and vibe, and that’s something I want to be around while studying and learning new things.”
USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Nelson said the Early Offer Guarantee scheme helped students have security around their future before finishing school.
“To be eligible for the program students need to complete any prerequisite subjects for their chosen program, ensure their academic performance and potential is in line with the OP or rank required, and have the endorsement of their school,” she said.
Professor Nelson expects interest in early offers to grow with the introduction of Australian Tertiary Admission Rank to replace the OP system, starting with Year 11 students in 2019.
Applications are still open to study at USC in 2019.
— Clare McKay