The Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS) explained

If you’re in Year 12 and you’d like to receive an early offer for uni next year, before you’ve sat your exams, there are a few options out there for you.

Early Entry Programs

Our Early Entry guide is being updated right now and will be released later this week. It contains details of lots of programs across Australia that could get you an early conditional offer and reduce some of the pressure around exam time.

Check back on our website for your downloadable copy.


The Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS)

Some universities use information about you, provided by your school, as the basis for making you a conditional offer to study with them.

You could get an offer before you’ve sat your exams or your ATAR has been released.

The SRS is administered through UAC, who are the tertiary admissions centre for most universities in NSW and the ACT.


How SRS works

Your school needs to be involved in your application. They will rate you in different study areas based on your performance in Year 11 and 12 so far.

They will also rate you on the following:

  • How good you are at abstract thinking and analysis
  • Your ability to organise and express thoughts and ideas orally and in written form
  • How well you work and learn independently
  • What your long-term goals are and evidence of your motivation to achieve them
  • How well-suited they think you are to tertiary studies

These ratings provided by your school, along with a completed application form, are forwarded on to the university. They will then decide whether they’d like to offer you an early conditional offer.


Which universities accept SRS applications? 

Partnering UAC universities who will consider SRS for undergraduate admissions include: 

Australian Catholic University

Charles Sturt University

International College of Management, Sydney

Macquarie University

National Art School

SAE Creative Media Institute

University of Canberra

University of New England

University of Newcastle

University of Sydney

University of Technology Sydney

Western Sydney University


Each university has their own criteria and application requirements (including dates), so you’ll need to check them once you’ve decided what your preferences are to see whether you’re eligible to apply.


Who is eligible to apply for SRS?

The minimum requirement to apply for SRS is that you must be:

  • A current Australian Year 12 student who will qualify for an ATAR (or IB) in 2020
  • Be applying through UAC for undergraduate admission onto a course at a participating institution (see list above) in 2021

Other than that, there are a variety of eligibility criteria which depend on the individual universities, but examples include:

  • Year 11 and 12 results show potential
  • School ratings (principal thinks you’re a good candidate to study at uni)
  • Be applying from a school in NSW
  • Be eligible for Educational Access Schemes (EAS) through UAC, e.g. from low-socio economic area, experienced financial disadvantage.


How to apply for SRS through UAC

Find the key dates:

  • Application open dates – you can apply for SRS through UAC from Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Application cut-off date (TBC)
  • Anticipated notification date if you’re successful (TBC – usually mid-November)

We recommend adding all the dates to your calendar and setting reminders.

Remember to check your nominated email account to track your application, and to find out if you’ve received an offer.

Note: don’t use a school email address in case you receive any information about your SRS application after you’ve left Year 12, and always check your junk folder.

UAC key dates haven’t been published yet, but we’ve been advised that you should check back after 1 April 2020 when they open for 2021 admission applications.

You’ll also need to check each institutions page (see the links above) for cut-off dates. Again, not all of them have been updated for 2020 yet, so check back or contact them directly to make sure you don’t miss the boat.

  1. Complete a UAC application for an undergraduate course in 2021 (fee applies)
  2. Log in to the SRS application using your UAC application number and PIN
  3. Enter your Year 11 studies (only if prompted)
    NSW and ACT school applicants: UAC obtains these direct from the relevant educational authorities so you won’t need to carry out this step
    All other applicants: Enter the details of your Year 11 studies and upload a PDF of your Year 11 school report
  4. Upload and required institution-specific documents
  5. Check your application is correct and submit it
  6. Accept the declaration
  7. Download a copy of your Confirmation of Application
  8. Once UAC receives your SRS application, they’ll email your school principal a link to access your details.
  9. Your principal or nominated staff member will rate your skills and aptitude. If they choose not to rate you, then your SRS application can’t be processed. You may want to speak with them before you lodge an application.


You may have other options

If you’re not at school in NSW or the ACT, and you’re not planning on applying to one of the universities listed above, you may still be eligible to receive an early conditional offer.

  • Make sure you check out our Early Entry Guide for 2021 after it’s published later this week
  • Find out if other universities offer a similar principal recommendation program, e.g.: Principal’s Recommendation Scheme at CQUSchool Recommendation Program at Flinders, or STAR Early Offer at Southern Cross Uni
  • Check eligibility for educational access schemes (EAS or SEAS) and find out how to apply
  • Find out about elite athlete and performers programs you could be eligible for
  • Check eligibility and apply for any co-op scholarships that could get you an early offer (plus more benefits). We’ve written a guide for that, you can have a read

If you’re not eligible to apply for the SRS or other early offer schemes, don’t stress. You can still apply for the course and/or university you want through the traditional routes – direct entry or through the relevant TAC. Then as long as your ATAR meets the entry requirements, you could receive an offer in the main rounds from December 2020.


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