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How Do Tertiary Offers Work?

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Gloamglozer:
Let's clarify things because a lot has changed in the last couple of years and especially last year with the new Supplementary Round.  For local students, there are still technically 3 rounds but the third one works differently.  But just for completeness I'll list all the rounds:

1.  Early Offer (for non year 12s)
2.  International Offer (For international year 12 students)
3.  Round 1
4.  Round 2
5.  Supplementary Round

When you apply for your courses, you need to have at least 1 course listed down in your preferences.  VTAC will give you 12 preferences and I would strongly recommend you fill out all 12.  Putting down an extra preference doesn't cost anything extra and gives you an extra safety net. 

Ordering Your PreferencesYou are strongly recommended by VTAC not to list your preferences from highest ATAR to lowest ATAR (unless if that is what you want).  Instead, you should list your preferences in the order that you want.  That is, number 1 should be your dream course and the one you really, really want to do next year, regardless of what the Clearly-In ATAR was last year.  Why is this so?  I'll explain later when I get to round 1 offers.   Remember, the Clearly-In does not represent the quality of the course, but rather is respective supply and demand of that course.  For more info, please go here. 

Round 1 & Round 2Basically, if you've listed at least 1 preference and paid all the VTAC fees and met all the pre-requisites including extra requirements such as interviews and tests, then you are eligible for the "competition".  In Round 1, selection officers for every course at every institution will rank every applicant.  After the initial ranking, they will separate applicants into three main categories: Clearly-In, Middle Band, Clearly-Out.  The Clearly-In people are people who have met all the pre-requisites and the ATAR and are literally "clearly-in".  Middle band are people who have met all the pre-requisites but have not met the ATAR requirement.  Although their place in the course is not guaranteed, they may still receive an offer depending on how high they rank in the middle band and the number of vacancies still left in the course.  Clearly-Out are those people whose academic achievements did not match what the selection officers were looking for and can not gain a place or people who did not meet the pre-requisites.

After round 1, round 2 begins and it operates similar to the previous round.  This time, any spots still left in the course are offered and hence some courses might have lower ATAR requirements.  A vital point to make here is that if you have been offered a place in round 1, the only possibility to get a round 2 offer is if your round 1 offer was not your first preference.  That means that in order to receive a round 2 offer, that offer needs to be higher on your list of preferences than the offer that you have received.

Important notes:
[*]You can only receive one offer per round unlike previous years.
[*]Round 2 is only applicable to you if your round 1 offer was either not your first preference or if you didn't receive an offer in round 1. 

Why is this so?  Because VTAC presumes that once you've received your first preference that you are absolutely thrilled and hence will not consider for subsequent rounds.  Therefore, as I mentioned before, it is absolutely imperative to list your preferences in the order that you would like to receive them, not in terms of how high the ATAR is.

Supplementary RoundThis is relatively new and was only introduced this year, ie. for 2009 VTAC applicants.  This round operates entirely differently to previous rounds.  It is also important that this is the last round and pretty much your last resort.  To be eligible for this round you need to have:

[*]Not received an offer in previous rounds (early offer round, round 1, round 2).
[*]Have not received a Negotiated Offer.
[*]Given VTAC permission to give your details to courses that still have places available.

Please note point number 3.  During your VTAC application process, it is important do give VTAC that permission.  I remember ticking a box somewhere during the middle of my application and I'm sure it will be similar this year.

How it works is that given your academic achievements and the subjects that you have done, selection officers will determine whether or not to offer you a place since you have not received an offer.  Unlike round 1 and round 2, this round is processed weekly until a certain date.

Negotiated OffersJust say you have already received an offer in either round 1 or round 2.  But it was your highest preference so that means you won't be considered for any other subsequent rounds and you suddenly wanted to get into a course that is lower on your list of preferences.  Can you change your preferences now?  No, but there is a way.  Apply for a negotiated offer.

International students can apply for a negotiated offer this year.  But they will have to apply after Round 1 because that is the time when all offers will be released and because you get your offers earlier than domestic students.

To apply, you firstly need to make sure that you meet all the requirements for the course you want.  Next, you need to contact the selection officer for the course you want and ask them these three vital questions:

1.  Are there still vacancies in the course?  (I've heard some are reluctant to answer this but the next few questions they will definitely answer)
2.  Are you accepting negotiated offers?
3.  If so, what documentation are required?

Then you need to log into MyInfo and complete the form.

Important Note: When the Negotiated Offer is approved, you are forfeiting your list of preferences in subsequent rounds.  This means that your list of preferences won't mean anything and won't get any offers on your list.  This means that you are either stuck with the offer and you cannot apply for another Negotiated Offer.  So make sure that this is the final offer you really want.

Lastly, accept every offer you get even if it is not your favourite cup of tea.  This is because there is no guarantee that you will receive an offer in later rounds.  The only reason why you would not want to accept any offer is if you don't plan on going on to tertiary studies.

EDIT:  Post edited on 04/01/2012 19:01 to update the "Important Note" two paragraphs ago.

EDIT:  The Negotiated Offer has replaced Irregular Offers and updated accordingly.

TyErd:
Thanks heaps for that Gloamglozer, that really helped and cleared alot of things up.

Gloamglozer:
Your welcome.  It's always best to walk into the application process knowing exactly what will happen.  :)

Fruity:
Questions on the Supplementary offer "Given VTAC permission to give your details to courses that still have places available." So basically if theirs a seat available in a course throughout the university they will inform you or do they specifically use the supplementary on the preferences you listed ??

Gloamglozer:

--- Quote from: Fruity on August 18, 2010, 07:11:14 pm ---Questions on the Supplementary offer "Given VTAC permission to give your details to courses that still have places available." So basically if theirs a seat available in a course throughout the university they will inform you or do they specifically use the supplementary on the preferences you listed ??

--- End quote ---

Yes, from my understanding it's any course for which you have met all the pre-requisites and the selection officers are willing to make you an offer.

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