Changing your preferences

As a mid-year applicant, you are able to change preferences as many times as you wish, until applications close at 5pm, Friday 6 June 2014.

Changing preferences does not incur any additional fees.

If you do decide to change preferences, make sure that you have checked the course Selection Criteria listed on the mid-year CourseSearch, to make sure you are eligible and meet all requirements.

Register here for a VTAC user account and start your application today.

Posted in Applying, Course Preferences, Dates and Deadlines | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eligibility and SEAS Categories: mid-year applications

Following on from our blogs last week on Impact Statements and Statements of Support and Should I apply for Special Consideration SEAS?, here is an overview of eligibility and SEAS categories.

The first thing to do before submitting your application for the Special Entry Access Scheme, is to check your eligibility and identify which categories you can apply for.

To be eligible for SEAS, you need to be a citizen of Australia or New Zealand; or hold a permanent Australian residency visa.

Below is an overview of each of the SEAS categories. Keep in mind that not all institutions recognise all categories.

For comprehensive information, please see the SEAS page on the VTAC website.

Category 1 – Personal information and location

This category takes into consideration your age (specifically for Mature Age entry schemes), recognition as an Indigenous Australian, living or school postcode (for regional or rural isolation), under-represented school and gender.

Category 1 of SEAS passes on the information you have already supplied on your application, to assess whether you are part of an under-represented applicant pool. You don’t need to provide any further documentation to apply for these categories.

Everyone can apply for Category 1 and it is as simple as ticking a box.

For more, see Category 1: Personal information and location

Category 2 – Non-English Speaking Background

For applicants who have arrived in Australia in the last 10 years from a non-English speaking country.

For more, see Category 2: Non-English speaking background

Category 3 – Difficult circumstances

If circumstances in your life have disadvantaged or prevented you from achieving your educational potential, you should apply to category 3.

The disadvantage can be identified as being short-term (from 2012-2014) or long term (prior to 2011).

Examples of disadvantage may include: homelessness, long-term illness of a family member, refugee status, divorce or separation of your parents, death of a family member or friend, natural disaster. This is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list, but a guide as to the circumstances that institutions consider.

When applying to this category, you will also need to submit an Impact Statement and Statement of Support.

For more, see Category 3: Difficult circumstances

Category 4 – Disadvantaged financial background

If financial circumstances in your life have disadvantaged or prevented you from achieving your educational potential, you should apply to category 4.

To apply to this category, you need to either be in the receipt of a Centrelink benefit, OR submit an Impact Statement and Statement of Support.

For more, see Category 4: Disadvantaged financial background

Category 5 – Disability or medical condition

Applicants who have experienced educational disadvantaged as a result of disability or medical condition.

If you are applying to this category, you will need to provide an Impact Statement and obtain a Statement of Support.

For more, see Category 5: Disability or medical condition

Category 6 – Under-Represented schools

Category 6 only applies to applicants who are currently enrolled in a year 12 program and who are applying specifically to Schools Access La Trobe (SALT), Federation University Australia (REEP) and Victoria University (PPP).

For more, see Category 6: Under-represented schools

Posted in Applying, Documentation, Special Consideration (SEAS) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Impact Statement and Statements of Support

When you submit a SEAS application, for most of the categories you will need to provide some sort of evidence to prove or describe your educational disadvantage.

There are two types of statements. One is provided by you, the applicant, the other provided by a medical professional, or by someone who knows you and can support your claims.

Impact Statements

An Impact Statement should clearly detail the impact of the disadvantage on your education. The most important thing to communicate in an Impact Statement is the impact of the disadvantage.

Good Impact Statements should include information on how the circumstances have had an adverse impact on:

  • Your ability to study and perform assessment tasks
  • Your ability to access educational resources
  • Your ability to attend school or tuition

Good Impact Statements are heartfelt and personalised, succinct, honest, explain the context, date and impact of the disadvantage.

If you do not list this information, your SEAS application may not be considered.

What not to write:

  • Long winded statements or those that read “call me for more information”
  • Blank statements or those that assume a Statement of Support is sufficient
  • Statements that refer to another part of the application, e.g. “see scholarships” or “it’s too hard to explain”
  • Orchestrated statements – try and be genuine

Statement of Support

A Statement of Support is evidence that supports your SEAS claim.

If you are applying for Category 5 – Disability or medical condition, you should get a Statement of Support from a medical practitioner who is familiar of your circumstances and can support your claims and explain how the condition has impacted on your education.

In addition, you can also get a Statement of Support for SEAS Categories 3, 4 and 5 from a responsible person (see the VTAC website for definition of this), to support your claims and can comment on the educational impact.

Applicants should ask those supplying a Statement of Support, to:

  • Clearly outline the situation, or if Category 5 (disability or medical) condition
  • Include a timeline
  • Outline how you have been educationally impacted

If you need to get a statement from a medical professional, start making appointments now, in order to submit your documentation by the Mid-Year deadline of 5pm, Friday 6 June 2014.

Any documentation you supply in hard-copy, should be accompanied by a coversheet (available in your user account).

Two most important things to remember: evidence and impact is the key.

Posted in Applying, Documentation, Special Consideration (SEAS) | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Should I apply for Special Consideration SEAS?

Submitting your Mid-Year application and not sure if you qualify for SEAS or special consideration? Read on, it may be easier than you think.

What is SEAS?

The Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) is for applicants who have experienced a long-term educational disadvantage. SEAS is an umbrella program run by most institutions.

Some institutions run their own schemes, these are referred to as Special Consideration schemes. A list of these can be found here on the VTAC website.

How to apply for SEAS?

When you apply through VTAC (that is, you have registered and submitted a minimum of one preference), you are able to apply for SEAS. It is activated through your VTAC User Account.

There are 6 different categories within the application, for applicants to detail the disadvantage they have experienced.

Applicants can apply to all of the categories that are relevant to their situation. However the requirements for documentation, personal statements and Statements of Support must be fulfilled for each category.

How can SEAS help?

A SEAS application will take into consideration the circumstances of disadvantage experienced.

At an institutional level, each institution the applicant is applying to will assess the application, consider the circumstances and apply their selection policy.

A SEAS application does not change results or qualifications already achieved, it enables selection officers to consider the circumstances that may have affected your educational progress.

What doesn’t SEAS do?

Submitting a SEAS application doesn’t mean that you are exempt from meeting the selection requirements of the course. You will still be required to attend all interviews or auditions, sit any tests required, submit all folios and fill out required forms.

How does SEAS affect offers?

Submitting a SEAS application doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed an offer. Selection officers may take into consideration your educational disadvantage when ranking eligible applicants for a course.

Posted in Applying, Documentation, Mature Age, Mid-Year, Non Year 12 (NONY12, NY12), Special Consideration (SEAS) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What is an Admissions Test?

Admissions Tests are used as a form of assessment to determine your competency, ability to analyse, understand and to think critically about issues. A course may use an admissions test as a basis for selection.

VTAC runs exams for the Australian Law Schools Entrance Test (ALSET) and the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) in both Multiple Choice and Written English formats.

The ALSET is a requirement for Deakin Law courses, however only some applicants will need to sit the ASLET. Deakin provides more information on this page on their website.

If an Admissions Test is listed as a Selection Requirement in the course entry in CourseSearch, this means that it is necessary to complete the test in order to be considered for a place in the course.

Sitting a STAT may only be a requirement for some applicants (depending on previous experience and studies) so check carefully.

The STAT and ALSET are not requirements for students currently studying a year 12 program, who are applying to a Victorian institution.

The rules around STAT exams change from state-to-state, so if you’re applying to an institution outside of Victoria, it is possible that you will need to sit a STAT. Check the institution you’re applying to.

If you have read all of the information available on the course and it’s still not clear to you whether you need to sit an Admissions Test, contact the institution directly as to whether you need to sit or not and get their response in writing.

VTAC has a fairly strict refund policy, so if you incorrectly book a test without checking first, you may not be eligible for a refund.

Preparation
If you are a bit nervous, have not sat an exam in a while or are looking for some assistance, you may want to consider attending a STAT Multiple Choice Workshop. VTAC will be holding full-day workshops that coincide with the test sitting dates. Check out this page on the VTAC website for information.

The next workshop will be held on Saturday 10 May 2014.

There are practice questions available in the Candidate Information Booklet and more available for purchase from ACER.

STAT and ALSET dates
Scheduled sitting dates and times can be found on the VTAC website. There are both regional and metro sittings for Mid-Year applications. See When and Where: STAT and When and Where: ALSET.

How to book an Admissions Test
Admissions Tests are booked through your user account. First register for a user account and then log in to book a session.

Other Admissions Tests
For information on other admissions tests, such as the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT), the International Student Admissions Test (ISAT) and the VETASSESS, please visit their respective websites.

Posted in Admissions Tests, Applying, Frequently Asked Questions, Non Year 12 (NONY12, NY12), Policies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I considered Mature Age?

Returning to study? The term “mature age” can be confusing, so we’ll do our best to make the process a little clearer.

  • There is only one application – everyone completes the same course application.
  • The course application will ask a number of questions that will determine the type of applicant you are (for example, whether or not you have a year 12 qualification or are considered a Non-Year 12 applicant)
  • The concept of ‘mature age’ does not necessarily mean that you will automatically qualify for a course.
  • Each institution has their own definition and rules around what it considers mature age, so to be considered on the basis of your age, you will need to apply for Special Consideration (SEAS), specifically Category 1.

The Course Application

You don’t need to declare yourself ‘mature age’ during registration or application. All you need to do is to answer the application questions accurately and it will designate your application category.

The only place it will be important to differentiate yourself between someone who has a year 12 qualification or someone who has no other education, will be when you look at the Selection Requirements you need to meet for the course/s you’re applying for.

SEAS – The special consideration application: Category 1

Personal information and location

When you apply for SEAS: Category 1 the application considers demographic information you have supplied on your application. Including age. Institutions use this information as an alternative for some who may not meet the minimum tertiary entrance requirements.

For example, let’s say that you’re 21. You have no formal study, but you want to apply for a bachelor degree. How do Universities separate you from all of the other applicants? How can you prove you’re special? Will you complete the course? Will you be successful in the course?

By applying to Category 1 of SEAS, you are declaring that:

  • You may not have the specific assessable formal education required for the course
  • You may have studied a long time ago
  • You may have no other educational qualification but you do have relevant work experience

To make sure that you qualify for the course/s you’re applying to, make sure you follow some of the following as a guide:

  1. Check the Selection Requirements of individual courses on CourseSearch to see what else you need to do to support your application.
  2. Apply for SEAS, including Category 1 through your user account.
  3. Check the criteria for SEAS from the institution you’re applying to – for example, some institutions require those applying under mature age consideration (SEAS, Category 1) to sit an Admissions Test.
  4. Check for other special consideration programs that may be available to you.
Posted in Applying, Mature Age, Non Year 12 (NONY12, NY12), Special Consideration (SEAS) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mid-Year Applications now open!

Mid-year applications are now open! Register for a user account and start choosing from courses that offer mid-year intake.

It is still possible to look at courses from Main Round (earlier this year) as a guide for Main Round 2015.Mid-Year CourseSearch Archived CourseSearch

For more information, check out this blog from last week.

Posted in Applying, Mid-Year, Registration | Tagged , | Leave a comment