After dealing with COVID-19 interruptions and a new university entry system, more than 1,300 new school leavers have snapped up the chance to secure early offers to USC – up 83 percent on last year.
USC will release its final round of early offers on Friday 20 November, the last day of school for Queensland’s Year 12 students.
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett said while USC’s Early Offer Guarantee program had been steadily growing in popularity each year, there had been an influx this year of students seeking security around their future before finishing school.
“It is pleasing to be able to provide certainty and help relieve pressure on the current Year 12s who have had to deal with the pandemic disrupting their learning and adapt to the new ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) university entry system,” Professor Bartlett said.
“Previously, our early offers were made on the last day of Year 12. However, this year we fast-tracked the program by releasing them months earlier than usual and, for the first time, introduced weekly offer rounds.
“This means that many of the more than 1,300 students already with offers to their chosen USC degrees have had their university plans mapped out for months, without being reliant on their Year 12 results or ATAR.”
Until recently, USC was the only Queensland university to consistently administer an early offer guaranteed program, with most others only implementing similar schemes this year.
It began as a USC pilot with Gympie schools in 2014 and was expanded across other regions in 2015 to help provide students with certainty about their future study options and remove some of the barriers.
There are 300 schools currently registered for USC’s Early Offer Guarantee across Australia, including every eligible high school in its catchment from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast.
On the Sunshine Coast, the scheme has been immensely popular at schools such as Siena Catholic College, where the number of successful applicants this year has more than tripled to around 60 students.
It is a similar trend at schools in Moreton Bay, Fraser Coast and Gympie. At St Columban’s College at Caboolture, more than 40 students will walk out the school gates tomorrow with early offers to USC – almost three times the number of students who did so last year.
Professor Bartlett encouraged current Year 11 students to consider taking up the opportunity to apply next year for early entry to more than 100 programs at USC.
“Under the scheme, they do not need to be ATAR-eligible to apply, with offers based on the recommendations of their school principal independent of Year 12 results,” she said.
“If students can show they have the right level of motivation, commitment and academic ability for success, they are on track to gain early entry to their preferred USC degree.”
Normal course prerequisites and other program specific requirements still apply, and some health and science related programs are not available via the early offers scheme.