How do I access Special Consideration?

Help for current Year 12’s to get to uni


2020 has been brutal, but everyone recognises that it is a year unlike any other. In response plenty of institutions are rallying around to make sure that if you’re in Year 12 right now and want to apply for uni in 2021, you won’t be disadvantaged.


What is Special Consideration?


Special consideration is a pathway designed to help you get to uni, even if you’ve had a hard time and experienced some disruption to your education in Year 11 or 12 (through no fault of your own).

There are a few different categories that could make you eligible and in 2020 a few new ones have been added.

Using evidence supplied by you detailing how your studies have been impacted (potentially bringing your ATAR down), uni’s or TACs can decide whether to be more lenient with their entry requirements or provide adjustment factors (bonus points) that could boost your selection rank.

For example applying for special consideration could get you an offer with a lower selection rank than otherwise advertised.

But it’s not a free ride, you’ll still have to meet institutional and other course requirements. And once you’re at uni you’ll still have to maintain the expected GPA to keep your place.


Am I eligible for Special Consideration?


This year if you’re in Year 12 anywhere in Australia, there’s a high chance the answer is YES you are.


How do I access Special Consideration?


Lots of universities have implemented their own COVID Entry Pathways that could help you get into the uni or  course you’ve been dreaming of, no matter how hard this year has been. You can see them all in the Apply to Uni Guide 2021, or check out each institutions website.

TACs have also been busy making sure applications made through them will be assessed fairly. So whether you apply directly to a university or you’ll be applying through a TAC, make sure you find out:

  • If there’s a special consideration pathway open to you
  • Your eligibility to apply
  • Application requirements
  • Deadlines for your application to be submitted


Applying for Special Consideration through TACs


Some TACs (Tertiary Admissions Centres) have updated or added new categories that could make you eligible to apply for special consideration or access schemes:


VTAC’s Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS)


From 7 August 2020 VTAC introduced two additional SEAS sub-categories under Category 4: Difficult Circumstances to include:

  • 2019-2020 bushfire impacts, or
  • COVID-19 remote learning

There’s even a streamlined application process for the COVID-19 category. You’ll still need to lodge an application and indicate you’re claiming the COVID-19 subsection, but you won’t have to write a statement.

Your school will have to provide an assessment of how they think you would have ranked if COVID hadn’t happened.


UAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS)


From 1 August 2020 you could be eligible to claim disadvantage (under the financial hardship section of the application), if your parents have been claiming Job Keeper or Job Seeker.

Even if you’re not eligible for either of the above categories, if you’ve been disadvantaged in 2020 (not necessarily COVID related), you could be eligible to apply for EAS under one of their other nine categories.


QTAC Educational Access Scheme (EAS)


QTAC have 6 categories under their EAS scheme and you can apply for as many as you like.

If your study has been negatively affected due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for QTAC’s EAS in one of the existing categories but they have stated “No COVID-19 specific categories will be created”.




You can apply to SATAC for Adjustment Factors and Equity Scholarships if you’re eligible.

As of 7 August no COVID specific pathways had been created. However “SATAC is working together with the SACE Board, the universities, TAFE SA, and our other stakeholders to ensure you are not disadvantaged in your further education.” So watch this space.


TISC Educational Access Scheme (EAS)


TISC have now created an EAS pathway, there are 5 categories to consider. You can lodge an EAS application after you’ve submitted your initial TISC application (and paid the fee).




UTAS are offering admission special consideration for students impacted by the 2019-2020 bushfires  and in response to COVID-19.


Don’t miss out


If you’d like to be assessed for special consideration, submit a separate completed document (if required) to the university or TAC where you’ve lodged your application to study.

Include all necessary information and attached documents and make sure you lodge it before the deadline.

TAC Deadlines for Special Consideration Applications are:

  • VTAC 5pm 9 October 2020
  • UAC 20 November 2020 deadline for December Round 2 offers, or 25 December for January Round 1 offers.
  • QTAC submit EAS applications by 9 December 2020 for offer rounds on 23 December and 14 January
  • TISC 11pm 28 December 2020 for main round offers on 15 January.
  • UTAS 5 pm (AEDST) 8th January 2021.

Note: Still unsure whether you can apply for special consideration after reading this blog?  It’s definitely worth giving the TAC or uni a call, find out all your options and key dates, then get your application sent.

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