If you're thinking about mid-year entry, you're certainly not alone.
Thousands of students apply for the mid-year intake each year — some because they've extended their summer holidays to do some overseas travel, while others just want a more flexible start date for their course.
Intrigued? Here's what you need to know.
Mid-year entry is available at all qualification levels
The great thing about mid-year entry is that it's available at all levels — from vocational certificates through to postgraduate degrees — and at all types of institutions.
But remember to do your research, as not all courses are eligible. Some only offer one intake per year or only offer a limited number of semester two places — if the latter is the case, look for a back-up option.
The application process is a little different
When you begin completing your applications, you may find that the process is different than it is for the main application period.
It may be that you need to apply to the institution directly, rather than through your state or territory's Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC).
Keep in mind though that some institutions and courses require all applications to be submitted directly, no matter when you apply, while some always go through the TAC. The exact process depends on each institution so it's best to check.
Remember to research entry requirements too (in most cases, they will not differ from those for the main round).
A delayed start doesn't (always) mean a delayed finish
Although you may begin your course a little later than your cohort, this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be six months behind when it comes to graduation.
Many institutions offer catch-up options such as summer classes or weekend intensives. Those that run on a trimester system allow you take on a full set of subjects over the summer break, which is another great way to get ahead.
In some courses, particularly in areas such as international business and languages, you are also likely to find short-term study tours that contribute to your course credit.
Institutions run mid-year information sessions to answer your questions
If you need more information about the course you are considering, look no further than mid-year information sessions.
Like open days, these give you get a feel for the campus and its facilities while also giving you the opportunity to have your questions answered by the experts — lecturers, tutors and sometimes even current students.
You can expect to be able to attend seminars detailing everything from subjects on offer to likely career outcomes.
If the institution you're interested in isn't running a mid-year information session, contact the admissions team or the course coordinator to see if you can arrange an appointment to discuss your application.