While the release of tertiary offers brings excitement to plenty of students, it can be a disappointing time for those who don’t receive a university place. If you are one of the many students who did not receive an offer, it does not mean that all is lost – there are plenty of pathways available to lead you towards your dream course and career.
Wait for other offer rounds
If you have missed out on the first offer round, wait for the subsequent releases throughout January and February before exploring other options. Your state or territory’s Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC) will continue to process your application through each offer round, meaning you will still be in the mix for your preferences if they are available.
Change your course preferences
It is a good idea to revisit your preference list if you have missed out on your original choices. Try re-arranging your course list to select a new first preference or consider exploring courses in your field of interest that have lower admission requirements than your initial preferences.
Register for supplementary offers
Consider registering your details for supplementary offers, where you give your TAC permission to circulate your application to institutions that have course vacancies. You can opt into supplementary orders through your TAC account, but make sure you do so before the closing date (check out your TAC or contact them directly to get this information).
Explore pathway and foundation study options
Many institutions offer pathway or foundation programs, so it is worth contacting them to explore your further study options. Several university courses have associated diploma programs that not only provide you with a qualification, but can also function as credit and even provide guaranteed entry into a Bachelor degree. Foundation studies are designed to prepare you for tertiary study and are a great option for international or non-Year 12 students who require additional learning to meet the prerequisites for their desired university course. It is important that you consult with your institution to ensure that your chosen pathway or foundation program is recognised as a valid form of entry into your preferred university degree.
Consider vocational study
While the vocational education and training (VET) sector is often seen as a second-choice to university, it is actually a great way to explore post-school study opportunities across a range of different industries. VET combines practical learning with work experience, allowing you to progress from Certificate I level through to Advanced Diploma and even Bachelor qualifications during your studies. If you have your heart set on university, keep in mind that the successful completion of a VET course can be used as credit towards further study – just ensure that you confirm its entry standing with your institution.
Look into apprenticeships and traineeships
An apprenticeship or traineeship combines work, training and study at a variety of qualification levels across several different occupations and trades. Both involve a legal training contact between you and your employer, where you undertake supervised on-the-job training and off-site learning through a recognised training provider. Apprenticeships involve the learning of a skilled trade to gain a nationally recognised qualification, while traineeships can be undertaken across a number of occupations. Use job search engines, newspaper advertisements and word of mouth from family and friends to find an employer who is willing to recruit you as an apprentice or trainee, before researching training providers who can help you fulfil your off-site learning requirements.