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October 22, 2020, 06:10:21 pm

Author Topic: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020  (Read 938 times)  Share 

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AngelWings

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VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« on: August 16, 2020, 07:56:25 pm »
+15
VTAC Information and Thread 2020

VTAC applications opened for another round of applications earlier this month. This means that many students will be confused and preparing for their leap into tertiary education from high school in perhaps one the most difficult years to date. In this thread, the ATARNotes (AN) community will aim to update the information to be as accurate as possible for 2020. If you have any resources, links and advice, feel free to reply below.
Without further ado, here's some resources to start off with:

What is VTAC?
VTAC stands for Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre. They're the people who'll take you from high school to higher education in Victoria, whether that's university, TAFE, specialist colleges or something else entirely. Please note that VTAC only does applications for Victorian institutes, so if you want to take a higher education course in another state/ territory, you'll need to contact the appropriate tertiary admission centre (see this link for other state/ territory's equivalents).

Where do I begin?
If you're in Year 12, this link from VTAC will be helpful. The process in essence usually looks something like this:
VTAC process
1. Research courses you'd like to do/ take. You can get more information by Googling areas, courses and institutes you like, by using VTAC CourseSearch and by attending Open Days and Info Sessions for your desired institutes. Here's a list of Virtual Open Days for 2020.
2. Make a VTAC account when open. (It usually opens early August each year for the next year e.g. if you apply now, you'll likely start your course in March 2021.) You should still make an account in you wish to take a gap year or defer, but intend to study the following year e.g. 2022 start.
3. Fill out the information. The account will require a bunch of personal information so they can (a) give you a course offer and (b) give you all the special consideration, scholarships and eligible programs you are eligible for. Be sure to apply for Category 1 for SEAS, and fill out scholarship and SEAS statements.
4. Make sure you pay the fee (it's about $41 now) before the due date (September 30 5pm). Dates and fees can be found here.
5. Make sure you fill in your preferences and order them the way you want. You can have up to 8 and it's generally recommended that if you intend to go to uni in Victoria to have a few preferences to ensure you have a back up in case things go pear-shaped. Aaron's thread on VTAC media highlights why having more than one preference and their order is important. At the beginning, just have some courses down rather than worry about order, as this can be changed as many times as you like later, as long as it's before the closing date for each round.
6. Not all courses are equal - there's some that you'll need to apply earlier, do additional things e.g. a test, interview, performance, portfolio, and/or closer earlier. Joseph41's got a list of early closing courses here. Make sure that you also check out when these additional things are due! The worst thing is to be caught out and miss a course you really wanted to study!   
7. Wait. You can change your preferences if you like while you do.
8. ATARs will come out on December 30.
9. On January 14, you might receive an offer for a course.

I don't know what course I want to study.
The onus on in the student to do their own research. This is your future, so you'll have to figure out what course you want and where you want to study. A good idea is if you have zero ideas, try to figure out:
Spoiler
- what's important to you e.g. must the campus be close enough to get to?
- what interests you
- what sort of career you're after
- where you'd like to study
... and so forth
In addition to this, research can be done during Open Days, Information Days, Change of Preference Days, etc., as well as searching up courses/ institutes you'd be interested in. You can also try looking up the uni you're interested in and checking out some relevant subjects or areas on the forum. There's also the university journey journals if you need some insight into some courses. Otherwise, feel free to ask on the VTAC Discussion board and hopefully someone will reply! :)
 
What's SEAS?
SEAS stands for Special Entry Admissions Scheme and a link to VTAC's info about it is here. Basically if you've experienced any disadvantages during your education, you might be eligible for some of the categories for SEAS. You'll need to fill out some information and provide evidence of such disadvantages for some categories. It's highly advised that everyone say "yes" to Category 1 (personal information); you'll never know when it'll come in handy!

What sorts of special consideration programs are there?
Each institute treats special consideration differently, but some have specific programs for this one top of applying to SEAS via VTAC although applying via VTAC will often mean that you're already considered for most of these programs. Double check what programs might apply to you. Some such programs include:
- Access Melbourne (University of Melbourne)
- Monash Guarantee (Monash University)
- ASPIRE program (La Trobe Uni)
 
Prerequisites and subject bonuses
Prerequisites are subjects you need to have done in VCE (or equivalent) in order to enter the course. They've often got a raw study score associated with them. Universities generally don't consider anyone who get below that raw study score, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. lots of SEAS). If you did not take a prerequisite or miss the required raw study score, then you will have to consider an alternate pathway e.g. transferring courses/unis, bridging courses or postgraduate courses. 

Subject bonuses (also known as middle band subjects) are only offered at some universities and some courses, in which you might receive if you do certain subjects and/or achieve certain raw study scores or higher. These are additional bonuses that get attached to your aggregate (not directly to your ATAR) on top of SEAS and other adjustments, and considered automatically by the institute, if they have them. Melbourne Uni tends to be the university that does not use subject bonuses when considering applicants, as well as Monash undergraduate Medicine (the only undergraduate medicine course in Victoria).

Some great resources
- Aaron's thread "VTAC Media"   
- Didn't get the ATAR for Access Melbourne/Monash guarantee?
- Some of the articles discuss VTAC and Open Days
- A List of Articles on AN - Check out General Articles and University Articles for relevant topics

After Year 12 FAQs
- After Year 12 FAQ 2018
- After Year 12 FAQ 2019

After ATAR
- PhoenixxFire's thread "Missed out on pre-reqs? Bridging courses are available"
- Bri's thread "Guide: I didn't get the clearly in - should I change my preferences"   
- PhoenixxFire's thread "Do not change your preferences because of your atar!"

Offers
- Gloamglozer's thread "How do Teritiary Offers Work?" - just note that some of the info is outdated, but the gist is still correct. The rounds have been renamed and there are now just 8 preferences, not 12.
- Aaron's thread "Good luck for uni offers!"
- Aaron's thread "DO NOT TURN DOWN YOUR ROUND 1 OFFER OR LET IT LAPSE"
- My thread "VTAC OFFERS 2019 FAQ"

2020 conversations
- J_Rho's thread "VTAC Applications - What does everyone want to do after 2020?"

Edit: If I've missed a major question/ thread, feel free to post it below!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 02:27:54 pm by AngelWings »
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University Virtual Events and Open Days | VTAC Info Thread 2020

AngelWings

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Re: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2020, 05:39:08 pm »
+8
How to make a VTAC account
VTAC has a video on this:

Inside the VTAC account
The VTAC account should look something like this (courtesy of my sibling):

Fee Summary: will let you know if you've paid the VTAC fee yet or not.

Making an Application:
- Course preferences - undergraduate: More on this below.
- SEAS application: Where you apply for SEAS generally for all institutes who partner up with VTAC. The advice is say "yes" to Category 1. More on this in a bit.
- View your personal statement: This is usually a good place to put other information. I can't quite remember what this is useful for, but I think it's sometimes used in the consideration of SEAS, scholarships and other programs.
- Scholarships application: Where you apply for scholarships for all institutes who partner up with VTAC.

Personal Details
These sections are relatively self-explanatory, so I'll skip here. This covers your account and personal information for contact reasons.

Results and Offers
Your ATAR and study scores will appear here when they arrive.

Coversheets
These coversheets used to be used for when you sent paperwork to VTAC by mail, so they know who you are and what it's for. I think this might still be the case, especially if you're scanning/ sending in your Centrelink information or proof of medical/ psychological/ physical disadvantage for SEAS and/or scholarships.

VTAC Resources
A wealth of helpful resources here. I would recommend people to use these if you need help or more information.

Course Preferences
The course preferences page looks like this (again, courtesy of my sibling):

You get 8 preferences in total and you should list them as Preference #1 being your most wanted course and the rest in decreasing order of wanting to study that course. You are able to change the courses and their order as much as you like as long as they are open (see times in Dates and Fees) and you can have fewer than 8 preferences, but note that the fewer opportunities you put yourself, the less backups you've have that you like. (Note: Be wary of the date if you're adding a course with an early closing date or after the deadline for courses with additional criteria i.e. not just ATAR + special consideration entry.)

It's super important that you have them in the order you want the most at the top, and NOT the order you think you'll most likely be able to get into them as you might just miss out of the course you actually wanted by doing this! You never know if a spot becomes available and if you were next in line, if it's not on your list!

More from VTAC on why this is super important:

Fee Types
There's also a few fee types for courses:
- Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP): This is the type of course where you can get a HELP debt/ HECS loan and is common amongst most domestic students (Australian/ NZ citizens/permanent residents). You can defer the cost of your course until you earn a certain amount (usually when you get a full-time job). Course code ends in "1".
- Full Fee Paying (FFP): This is where you must pay your fees each semester (the amount of fees has been changing with government regulations on university fees), from memory. There is no loan involved, but can be quite hard if you don't have thousands of dollars to pay upfront for uni a few weeks into semester/ trimester. There's two types: domestic full fee paying (DFP) and international full fee paying (IFP). Domestic is for Australian/ NZ citizens and permanent residents and international, if you're coming from overseas. Course code ends in "2" for DFP and "3" for IFP.
- Bonded Places: This is usually a medical/ allied health thing, where you often get reduced fees in return for you going to rural/ regional areas and working there for a certain length of time.
- Course fees determined by provider: These are generally VET courses and/or courses from specialist institutes. You must be an Australian/ NZ citizen or permanent resident. Course code ends in "4". 

More information on fee types can be found here.

Course Types/ Levels
Different types of courses/ levels of courses also exist:
- Bachelor (undergraduate): This is your standard uni degree that most "big unis" will advertise e.g. a Bachelor of Arts. Often 3 years (single degree) or 4 years (double degree, has Honours attached or a specialist/ research degree) full-time in duration. Some courses can be 5-6 years full time, as they're often ones that have a lot to learn e.g. medicine. Honours years are still considered as undergraduate courses.
- Diploma (undergraduate): Often 1- 2 years, depending on course. Can be done on its own, used as a bridge between Year 12 and Bachelor, but can also be often tacked on to another course e.g. Diploma of Languages.
- Graduate Entry Teaching (GET): A postgraduate teaching/ education course. Requires an undergraduate course like a Bachelor before entry.
- Postgraduate courses: Requires an undergraduate course before you can apply. This includes Masters and PhDs amongst many other courses e.g. Graduate Diploma. Length varies on course, area and personal circumstances (including undergraduate course).     
 
Some information regarding different levels of courses e.g. Bachelor vs. Diploma can be found here.

SEAS Application and Categories
From memory, the application itself says to select the categories you'd like to be considered for and give statements and/or proof of disadvantage. It gives you a bunch of boxes to provide a description of your disadvantage and you fill them out to the best of your ability. (The scholarship one is similar, from memory. It's a bunch of questions and you fill them out.)

Category 1 - Personal Information and location: As per VTAC:
Quote from: VTAC
This category includes age, living or school location, under-representation of a particular gender in a course or field of study, recognition as an Indigenous Australian, recognition for being from a non-English speaking background and recognition for being the first in your family to attend tertiary study.
The reason a lot of people say "tick yes for Category 1" is because VTAC will automatically process this and figure out if any of these personal details apply to you and if so, automatically use it for course consideration. You won't get reprimanded if you don't have any of these apply and you said "yes" to it, so why not? It's especially helpful if you're not sure what course you want to do or in a field where there's less males/ females/ non-binary doing that course and don't quite meet the selection rank e.g. if you're a guy who wants to study nursing/ teaching or a girl who wants to take engineering/ IT.

Category 2 - Disadvantaged financial background: This is where the low SES students, those on Centrelink and such prove that money has been an issue in your daily life/ education. Generally this will require some evidence, like a welfare benefit receipt.     

Category 3 - Disability or medical condition: If a disability or medical condition has affected your education, you can put it here. Generally this will require some evidence, like a note from a health professional e.g. doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist.

Category 4 - Difficult circumstances: This is the "other disadvantage" category. Here's a quick list of some of the disadvantages included:
Quote from: VTAC
- Refugee or asylum seeker status
- Death of an immediate family member or friend
- Long-term illness of a family member: illnesses considered as serious and long-term such as cancer or psychiatric illness
- Severe family disruption including dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction
- Divorce/separation of parents: difficult separation or divorce of parents including financial hardship and changed living conditions; requirement to change schools and social group
- Natural disaster such as drought, bushfire or flood
- Abusive living environment: physical, psychological and/or emotional abuse over an extended period by a person or persons close to the applicant
- Disruption of education due to constant relocation: relocating to several different schools throughout secondary schooling, or disruption of education due to living or school location
- Homelessness: you do not have a fixed address and do not live with your family or family members
- Care leaver (applicants who have spent time in residential, foster or kinship care)
- Discrimination on the basis of one's own sexuality, sexual orientations, gender-identities, sex characteristics, and/or romantic identities
- Bullying, harassment or negative treatment because of personal characteristics such as race, religion, sexual characteristics, gender identity or sexual orientation
-Excessive family responsibility: family is dependent on you for financial, emotional or physical support during your secondary education
- Education impacted by remote learning due to COVID-19: for example, you did not have a suitable laptop or tablet for remote learning
This last one might ring especially true this year due to the interruptions to physical schooling, especially when the first lockdown occurred.

In terms of how to write this out, begin by plotting points:
- What disadvantage you've experienced?
- How have you experienced it and why did it affect your schooling/ life?
- How long has this affected you (especially for Category 3)?
... then refine what you're saying to fit into the character limit and submit the application. More information and guidelines on what to write and/or need to submit as evidence can be found under each category of SEAS in the link below.
 
More information about SEAS can be found here

EDIT: Post below if you'd like some more information about a certain VTAC topic and I'll see what I can do.
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University Virtual Events and Open Days | VTAC Info Thread 2020

AngelWings

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Re: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 06:33:43 pm »
+3
Tonight the timely applications shut. If you still need to pay for your VTAC account now, youíll need to pay the more pricey late fee ($119).

October 9 2020 is when the scholarships and SEAS statements close, so you might want to hop to it, if you havenít already!
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University Virtual Events and Open Days | VTAC Info Thread 2020

AngelWings

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Re: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 05:26:45 pm »
+6
Last 24hrs until the SEAS and Scholarships Statements close for March 2021 entry!

Note that not all scholarships are done via VTAC so please do your research and make sure you don't miss out on one that you're interested in.
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University Virtual Events and Open Days | VTAC Info Thread 2020

The Cat In The Hat

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Re: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 06:33:47 pm »
0
Last 24hrs until the SEAS and Scholarships Statements close for March 2021 entry!

Note that not all scholarships are done via VTAC so please do your research and make sure you don't miss out on one that you're interested in.
Are other scholarships, non-VTAC ones, also due by that deadline??
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AngelWings

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Re: VTAC Information and Question Thread 2020
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 09:22:55 pm »
+2
Are other scholarships, non-VTAC ones, also due by that deadline??
The application via VTAC is due tomorrow, but not all scholarships. Each institute and scholarship has different deadlines, so you need to check when the one you're after is due. For example, some scholarships at Deakin are due on 11th Jan 2021, but there are others that are due on other dates (well before and after that date).

My advice would be to do your 2 mins of research and find out. Better you apply and have a chance than miss out on effectively good money. I don't know when all scholarships are due, as there are so many out there, but a quick list of links for scholarships at some of the "bigger unis" in Victoria:
- Melbourne Uni
- Monash Uni
- Deakin
- RMIT
- La Trobe
- Swinburne     

Some notes:
- If you are a current Year 12 (2020), then you will be most likely looking at undergraduate course scholarships and will be under the commencing/ starting a new course category. (Do NOT apply for graduate scholarships - that's for postgrads e.g. Masters students.)   
- Check the deadlines
- Read the T&Cs very carefully - you might need to keep a grade average to keep the scholarship or may not be able to defer the scholarship if you're successful
- Make sure you read the application carefully too - It might be a "via VTAC" application (which means you need to complete the scholarship statement in VTAC before tomorrow 5pm) or not (which would mean that you likely have to apply via a different portal and/or mail an application/ evidence).
VCE: Psychology | English Language | LOTE | Mathematical Methods (CAS) | Further Mathematics | Chemistry                 
Uni: (Hons)
University Virtual Events and Open Days | VTAC Info Thread 2020