Special Consideration & Educational Access Schemes
If you’ve experienced something that’s had a negative impact on your marks in Year 11 & 12, DON’T GIVE UP! There are schemes designed to help you gain recognition for your work, so read on:
Special consideration isn’t designed to give you an advantage and it’s not a privilege. It simply makes applying to University fair for everyone.
These schemes give universities the opportunity to assess the impact of your individual situation on your studies and results, and if they consider that you’ve been negatively impacted, but still shown determination and hard work, an adjustment or change your ATAR or OP results may be made.
So if you’ve been sick, injured, grieving, live in a regional or remote area, or spent time caring for another family member applying for special consideration could help your chances of being offered a spot at uni.
You can apply directly to individual institutions (details can be found on their websites), but often you can simply include the application as part of your general application to University.
We know how hard it can be to understand the process – that’s why we’ve done the hard work, read through all the relevant information and called the processing bodies themselves to clarify what you need to do. This blog covers what you need to know, but if you’re confused or want more help please get in touch with the processing body in your state or university directly to find out more.
How to find schemes and check if you are eligible
Victoria – VTAC the Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS).
Familiarise yourself with a demonstration application here.
Queensland – QTAC the Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
They have the following categories:
- Financial Hardship
- Home Environment and Responsibilities
- English Language Difficulty
- Personal Illness or Disability
- Educational Disruption
Find out more about the categories and check your eligibility for each here.
NSW & ACT – UAC the Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
To apply for EAS you’ll have to be able to prove that your Year 11 and or 12 studies have been negatively impacted for a period of 6 months or more, as the result of circumstances beyond your control or choosing.
You’ll also have to be a UAC undergraduate applicant and an Australian citizen / permanent resident.
WA – TISC
TISC does this process for you automatically. Fill in your course application (remember to answer all the questions), and the information you’ve provided is used to work out any ATAR adjustments you’re eligible for.
Current Year 12 students will receive a University Admission Advice Letter (UAAL), it’ll tell you if you’re eligible for a pathway for one or more universities, and what your Selection Rank(s) for each university will be.
SA & NT – SATAC Special Consideration / Universities Equity Scheme and Adjustment Factors
As part of your course application, answer all questions and the Universities will use all the information you’ve provided to work out if you’re eligible for special consideration / Universities Equity Scheme.
You should also consider applying for individual adjustment factors (previously called Bonus Points). If you apply for this, participating institutions are able to add ‘adjustment factors’ to your university aggregate, which may have a positive effect on your selection ranking within those institutions.
Basically applying for adjustment factors, (if you’re considered to be eligible), could improve your chances of getting offered a place on one of the courses on your preferences list.
You’re eligible to apply for Individual adjustments if:
- you or your parents have a Commonwealth means-tested income support payment
- you or your parents have a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
- you are the holder of a School Card (under the Government of South Australia’s School Card scheme).
Or if you’re applying for the Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Scheme (applies to courses at Charles Darwin, Flinders, and University of Adelaide not CQ University) and you successfully complete a subject in any one of these 4 categories:
- 20 credits of a LOTE in the Languages Learning Area (not including the subject Language and Culture – two 10 credit Australian indigenous language subjects can be paired in lieu of a 20 credit LOTE)
- 2ESH20 English or 2ELS20 English Literary Studies
- 2MHS20 Mathematical Methods
- 2MSC20 Specialist Mathematics
When will you find out if you’ve been successful?
You won’t be notified of a YES or NO response to your application; you’ll just get an offer as part of the undergraduate offer rounds. Here’s how the system works:
- Once you’ve submitted your application for special consideration, the processing bodies will check that the forms have been filled out correctly and that all the necessary documentation has been supplied and matches the requirements
- When your ATAR/OP results are published your special consideration application along with the course application will be forwarded to the Universities you’ve applied to on your preferences list
- Universities have their own weighting systems that they apply to each category / section / reason of the special considerations application. They will increase your selection rank for the course you have applied for (this is called an equity adjustment), OR they will allocate you a place reserved for EAS students
- So, your university choice + course choice + special consideration category + number & quality of applications in your cohort = the adjustment to your ATAR / OP score
What does all this mean? You won’t be told about any adjustments made to your score, but if, for example, you applied to do a Law degree at Monash University which required an ATAR of 95 and your ATAR result was 94, yet you receive an offer, you can assume that your special consideration application got you over the line.
The exception to this is SATAC – if you’re in SA or the NT and you are applying for individual adjustments, then it’s your responsibility as an applicant to follow up with SATAC (call 1300 138 440 (local call cost within Australia)), they’ll be able to confirm whether you’ll get the extra points towards your selection ranking.
- Make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete special consideration applications.
- Getting together all the documentation / supporting information can take several weeks and the cut-off dates aren’t too far away. So get cracking.
Special consideration probably won’t apply for things such as:
- not completing secondary school
- changing school subjects by choice, resulting in you not meeting entry requirements
- missed time from school for activities that are a personal choice (for example, sport, musical or cultural activities)
Here’s how to apply in your state:
Victoria – VTAC
- You can only apply for SEAS after you have submitted your course application.
- Before your apply for SEAS, make sure you have all the information you might need – Personal information and location, disadvantaged financial background, disability or medical condition, difficult circumstances.
When you’re ready to apply:
- Log into your VTAC account using your VTAC ID and PIN
- Select ‘Special consideration (SEAS) application’ in your VTAC account and then click on the SEAS application link at the top of the page
- Only fill out the sections relevant to your application. There are 4 sections, Categories 1-4 (for detailed information about each category & what you’ll need click in the links above)
- Click on “Submit” to complete your SEAS application. You’ll get an email acknowledging your application and you can review your application in your VTAC account
Tip 1: Each section has strict character limits (letters, spaces and punctuation marks), not a word limit. Keep your responses brief and to-the-point to avoid going over the character limit
Tip 2: For VTAC it’s a good idea to submit your course application first, then apply for both SEAS and Scholarships at the same time in a secondary application. You might be granted one and not the other but either way, your chances of receiving an offer are improved
Queensland – QTAC
- You can apply for EAS at the same time as lodging your QTAC course application
- If you’ve already applied to QTAC you can still apply for EAS. You’ll just need to download the relevant cover sheet and submit it along with supporting documentation to QTAC
- Coversheets for each category you’re applying for (you can apply for any or all of them) are here. The 5 categories are financial hardship, home environment and responsibilities, English language difficulty, personal illness or disability, and educational disruption
- If you follow the steps in the blog listed above to complete your application and apply for all the EAS categories at the same time, QTAC will email you the cover sheets you’ll need to fill in and return
- QTAC will also contact you if you need to send them supporting documentation
Tip: For a “How to” guide on lodging your application through QTAC see our previous blog The steps you need to know to apply for University
Lodging a separate EAS application
- Download the relevant cover sheet(s) – see section 3 above for the link.
- Fill in the cover sheets.
- Submit to QTAC by logging into Application Services and navigating to the “Outstanding Documents” section. Or you can post your documents, along with a copy of the cover sheet to QTAC, PO Box 1331, Milton, QLD 4064, Australia.
- Make sure you submit all applications, cover sheets and supporting documentation before the deadline.
NSW & ACT – UAC
- Submit your undergraduate application through UAC
- In your undergraduate application click the “Apply for EAS” button
- Open the first category of disadvantage and answer all questions. Press “Save” to close the window. If you are eligible, then this category will be added to the “Claimed Disadvantages” section
- Repeat for each category of disadvantage. They include: disrupted schooling, financial hardship, severe family disruption, excessive family responsibilities, English language difficulty, personal illness / disability, refugee status, school environment.
- Download a cover sheet for each of your claimed disadvantage categories. These also detail the eligibility criteria and supporting documents you’ll require
- Upload the document cover sheet and any supporting documentation
- Accept the declaration
- Submit your EAS application to UAC before the deadline
Tip 1: For a “How to” guide on lodging you application through QTAC see our previous blog The steps you need to know to apply for University
Tip 2: You can apply after lodging your UAC course application too, by logging into your undergraduate application.
Tip 3: You can also download a hard copy if you’re unable to complete an online application. When you post your documents, UAC will scan and upload them and return the originals to you
Tip 4: Get all your documentation together so you can upload and submit it all at the same time. Your application can’t be assessed until all your documentation has been received by UAC
Note: You can only submit one EAS application in each admissions period, so make sure you cover all bases and get it done in time
WA – TISC
They’ve made it easy so there’s no need to apply separately – just make sure you answer all the questions on your course application and provide full and accurate details where necessary.
SA & NT – SATAC
Read our blog The Steps you need to know to apply for University for a step by step guide to applying to University through SATAC. Make sure you answer all questions, providing full and accurate details where required. This will automatically ensure you are assessed for special consideration / Universities Equity Scheme.
You won’t need to apply for individual adjustments if you study at one of the eligible equity schools listed for 2018 (see lists in ‘Where to find the information and checking your eligibility’ section above).
If you’re a current year 12 student who has a Centrelink means-tested income support payment or who holds a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card in your own name. To apply for individual adjustments, you will need to:
- Enter your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) in to your undergraduate application.
- Tick the box authorising SATAC to match your data with Centrelink
If you’re a current year 12 student and your parent/guardian has a Commonwealth means-tested income support payment, or has a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card. To apply for individual adjustments, you will need to:
- Fill in the relevant application form (which you will find in the documents page of your undergraduate application)
- Fill it in and submit it along with the supporting documentation (see below)
Acceptable supporting documents include:
- a letter from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in your own or your parent/guardian’s name showing you/they have a Commonwealth means-tested income support payment during the year in which you achieved your ATAR
- a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment summary (issued for taxation purposes) in your own or your parent/guardian’s name showing payments of a Commonwealth means-tested income support payment in the year in which you achieved your ATAR
- a copy of a Centrelink or Department of Veteran’s Affairs Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card in your own or your parent/guardian’s name valid for the year in which you achieved your ATAR
- a letter from the South Australian government Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) confirming you were eligible for assistance under the School Card Scheme for the year in which you achieved your ATAR.
Note: Screen printouts of Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment details are not acceptable unless they have been stamped by the issuing office.
Tip: All supporting documents must be attached to the application form for individual adjustments – you can access this form from the Documents page of your undergraduate application.
VTAC – SEAS Applications are open now and close 5pm 12 October 2018.
QTAC – Applications are open now and you should aim to get your course and EAS applications done by 7 December 2018 to make sure your application’s considered for first offers round.
UAC – Applications are open now and you should aim to get your course and EAS applications done by 23 November 2018 to make sure you’ll know if you’re eligible to change your preferences in time for the main round of offers.
WA – 11pm on 12 December 2018 is the cut off for first main round applications, and if you’re applying through TISC your special consideration is automatically part of this application.
SATAC – after speaking to SATAC, we recommend that you complete your undergraduate application and any applications for individual adjustments by 28 September 2018. However, the last date to meet consideration for first main round offers is 3 December 2018.