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May 16, 2022, 09:11:44 pm

Author Topic: How Do Tertiary Offers Work? (Thread Update)  (Read 2932 times)  Share 

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How Do Tertiary Offers Work? (Thread Update)
« on: August 07, 2021, 03:08:09 pm »
How Do Tertiary Offers Work? (Updated to 2020)

Since 2010, there have been some significant changes to the VTAC offer process. In this thread, I'll be updating Gloamglozer's 2010 "How Do Tertiary Offers Work?" thread so that it is now accurate to 2019 and 2020 (the latest cohort to get into higher education), since COVID changed everything in 2020. All credit of this thread should go to Gloamglozer for their original thread.

Note: In this thread, I assume that the majority of people reading this thread are/ will be domestic Year 12 applicants and will be typing this thread specifically for domestic Year 12 applicants. This means that you are:
(a) an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and
(b) in Year 12 currently and will be applying for higher education in Victoria e.g. uni/ TAFE for next year or the year after (due to wanting to take a gap year next year).

If you say "no" to the above, it's likely you're either an international Year 12 applicant (said "no" to (a)) or a non year 12 applicant/ want to apply interstate (said "no" to (b)).

VTAC now provides you with 8 preferences. It's highly recommended that you put them in the order you want them in, with your most desired course as Preference #1 no matter your ATAR or raw SSs (more explanation later in Round 1 offers). Usually most people will put at least a few back up courses and it's usually advised that you fill out all 8 preferences, just in case all doesn't go to plan.

Please note that the lowest selection rank is not representative of the quality of that course, but supply and demand of that course.

Tip: Put at least one preference that you have the ATAR for and don't mind studying so that you have one relatively safe preference and don't wind up without any offers at all.

Offer Rounds
If you're a domestic Year 12 applicant, there's now about 5 offer rounds. They are usually as follows:
Round 1 (main round): occurs in mid-January
Rounds 2 - 5: typically occurs each Monday of February
Pre-COVID (2019), there was a new round introduced in December, but only select courses participated in that round (undergrad med didn't, but many others did). This didn't happen last year (2020) due to all the disruptions, but it might occur again in future cohorts.

Round 1
Once you have paid your VTAC fees, listed at least 1 preference and successfully completed all entry requirements e.g. interviews, tests, auditions, subject prerequisites, then you will be considered for the preferences you have listed.

In Round 1, selection officers will consider all applicants who have put a preference for that course at their institute and rank them according to their selection rank. A selection rank consists of: your ATAR, your subject bonuses (where applicable) and SEAS (special consideration e.g. low income family, where applicable and successfully obtained from your application). After ranking all applicants, they will look for a point in which they can feasibly accept. People above that point who have met their entry requirements, including prerequisites and selection rank requirements will get an offer to that course. Selection officers will keep in mind those who narrowly missed the Round 1 selection rank, but met all other entry requirements, but not give an offer yet.

VTAC gets all of the offers made to each applicant, check which offer was their highest preference and report only the highest offered preference. This means you will receive only one offer per round. It's also the reason why you absolutely must place your preferences in order of how much you'd want to study them, and not by how easily you think you'll get into the course or how high the ATAR is.
After Round 1 ends, applicants will either accept or reject the offer. It's usually advised that you accept your offer, unless it's something you absolutely cannot stand studying at all or no longer plan to study higher education.

If you have changed your mind about your preferences and wish to re-order or add/ remove preferences, you can still change your preferences in the short Change of Preferences periods between offer rounds. These times can be found at VTAC Dates and Fees

If you receive an offer for your Round 1 Preference #1 and no longer want to study that, you must change the order of your preferences so your new most desired course is Preference #1 within the Change of Preference period. Otherwise, you will not be considered for future rounds, if they are still giving offers.

Round 2 onwards
From Round 2 until Round 5, the same process as Round 1 occurs again, but this time, the selection officers lower the selection rank to allow more people to be accepted. Those people they previously kept in mind could now potentially get an offer. Usually, this is to fill the remaining spots left over from the rejected Round 1 offers or to fill in spots they didn't fill in beforehand.

Important notes:
1. Not all courses will give offers after Round 1.
2. Courses that require more than just ATAR (e.g. undergrad medicine, which requires UCAT + interview) will not consider you in further rounds unless you fulfilled all their selection criteria e.g. completed the UCAT and interview successfully.   
3. It is significantly harder to get an offer with each subsequent round, so don't rely on later rounds for another offer.             
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