Understanding the tertiary education system can be tough. With all the choices you have to make and the sudden deadlines thrown at you, it can be difficult to navigate your way through the application process and ensure the best opportunities for yourself.
What is early entry?
Early entry schemes are what allow you to secure your spot at uni before sitting final exams!
So while the majority of placements occur at the end of the year based on your ATAR, some universities have early entry programs that allow you to apply for a position based on your year 11 results, extracurricular, portfolio or interview. This takes some stress off the ATAR as you would have already secured a place in your desired course.
There are two types of early offers – guaranteed offers and conditional offers. A guaranteed offer means that you have a secured spot no matter what your final ATAR is. Usually, these offers are only given to students with high predicted ATARs and consistent performance. A conditional offer means that you have a spot on the conditions that you meet specific requirements upon the completion of your final exams. For example, your placement within a course is guaranteed as long as you obtain an ATAR above 75.
The different types of offers and their requirements will vary depending on the university and course you are applying for. This is why it is important to research the courses and universities you are interested in to ensure you are aware of all their entry and scholarship programs and application deadlines.
Early entry programs and scholarships can be found through either university websites or the state university admission centre:
I had received an early entry offer for medical science at UWA and although that was not my top preference I was able to walk into my final exams knowing that I had a guaranteed spot waiting for me next year.
Make sure you write down application deadlines in your calendars, they generally close around August and September!!
How to make your application stand out
In a sea of thousands, you need to make sure yours is the one that catches their eye!
While marks are a good indicator of how well you do in school, early entry programs are designed to admit you on how well they think you will do in the real world. They are not just about your test scores but about your personality. And for scholarships? You can bet everyone has a smashing report card. It’s important you show them what else you bring to the table.
My top tips for making your application GLOW:
- Be specific
Applications that just state “I raised money for a fundraiser” or “I teach kids in my spare time” don’t actually tell the reader much about you or your experiences. Add quantities, what was the impact? what did you learn? If you were a house captain, what did the role entail? what achievements did you accomplish during your time?
2. Annecdotes are your best friend
Though I am sure you have a long list of amazing qualities anyone can claim their hard work and resilience on an application. Give examples and anecdotes of a time when you were resilient. Connect with them and really show off who you are as a person.
3. Research your course
Research is key if you want to stand out to university admissions departments. You need to show them your passion for the field that you want to study and that you are miles ahead of other candidates in understanding the coursework. Tailoring your application with details and specifics will also ensure it doesn't sound generic. If you can reuse the same application for different courses then it's probably too vague and won't show off your enthusiasm and dedication for the degree.
Last thing to note is that: Quantity in this case is as much as quality
Don’t just apply for one university’s early entry or scholarship. There is no limit so be sure to cover all bases, even a few backups. You never know when you will change your mind! (Many people don’t maximise their chances and make the mistake of only applying to one)
I made sure to apply for as many scholarships as possible and received a scholarship offer for $28,000 which supports me throughout my time at uni.
Now you know more about what is out there, get moving on securing your dream offer now!!
Quick links to university applications
UNSW: UNSW Scholarships
- Scientia scholarship (for students who score 99.90+)
- UNSW Co-op Program
- The Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship
- Women in Engineering Scholarship
USYD: USYD Scholarships
- Chancellor's Award (for students who score 99.90+)
- MySydney scholarship
- Adam Scott Foundation Scholarship
- Equal Access Scholarship
- UTS Humanitarian Scholarship
- Rhodes Scholarships NSW
MONASH: Monash Scholarships
- Sir John Monash Scholarship for Excellence
- Achieving Potential Access Scholarship
- Alistair Lloyd Excellence and Leadership Scholarship
UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG: UOW Early Entry Application
WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY: Western Sydney Application-Pathways
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: ANU domestic-application
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE: UniMelb Early Entry Access Schemes
UNIVERSITY OF WA: uwa early-offers
Written by KIS Academics tutor for the WACE curriculum, Michela Villani. Michela is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia. You can view Michela’s profile here and request her as a tutor.