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If you’ve recently received an offer for a place at university – congratulations! Meeting all the entry requirements is no mean feat. Now that you have an offer, it’s time to make some decisions and get started on the next stage of your education. We’ve put together some handy tips and answers to common questions that will help you on your way.
Please note, this article is tailored for students who have applied through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) to study at university in 2020. Applicants who have applied through a different tertiary admission centre or directly to a university should contact the appropriate admission centre/institution for relevant information.
In any given offer round you can receive a maximum of one offer. This will be made for the highest course on your preference list for which you meet all selection criteria.
So, if you meet all selection criteria for your first preference, you will receive an offer for your first preference. If you aren’t eligible for your first preference (e.g. your ATAR isn’t high enough or you haven’t completed prerequisites), you’ll receive an offer for the next highest course on your list that you do meet the eligibility criteria for. For the first time, VTAC held a December round for Victorian and Queensland Year 12 students (finishing in 2019), however the January round is still considered the main offer round and this is when the majority of offers are made. Not all universities participate in or have places available for subsequent offer rounds in February.
VTAC will email you advising of your offer. Offer information will also be available by logging into your VTAC account. The institution that you’ve received an offer from will contact you separately with instructions on how to accept your offer and enrol in the course. Your offer will also be published in newspapers if you’ve opted in and given VTAC permission to release your offer.
You can choose to either accept or decline your offer. Some universities also give you the option to defer your offer.
If you’re happy with your offer, you can accept it by enrolling in the course. Please note, each institution has its own procedures for enrolment. Within two days of receiving your offer, you should receive information from the relevant institution on how to enrol, as well as the enrolment deadline – if you don’t receive this information, contact the institution. Ensure that you complete your enrolment before the deadline, otherwise you risk losing your place in the course.
Note that receiving an offer does not confirm your enrolment. You must follow the enrolment instructions sent to you by the institution to secure your place.
To decline an offer, you don’t need to do anything; if you do not enrol in the course by the enrolment deadline, your offer will automatically lapse. But, you should only decline your offer if you are sure you wouldn’t undertake the course even if you don’t receive any other offers.
Receiving an offer in subsequent offer rounds is not guaranteed so if you don’t accept your Round 1 offer and then don’t receive another offer in a subsequent round, you may miss out on studying at university this year.
Many institutions give you the option to defer your offer, but still retain your place at university, enabling you to have a break from study before commencing your course. The length of time you can defer for varies according to the institution but Deakin University, for example, enables you to defer your studies for up to two years (depending on what sort of offer you received). Note that not all institutions allow deferment. To find out if it’s possible, what you need to do to defer, and what the deadline is, make sure you check with the relevant institution.
It’s still advisable to accept your Round 1 offer. Doing so will at least secure your place in something and you will still be eligible to receive offers in subsequent offer rounds for courses that you preferenced above the one that you accept.
Whilst offers in subsequent rounds are not guaranteed, if you do receive an offer in more than one round you can choose which one to accept as long as you do so within the deadline for each round. If you accept your offer, then receive another offer in a later round, you can either keep your first offer and not accept your new one, or withdraw from your first offer and accept your new one.
Please note if you want to withdraw from a course, you need to contact the relevant institution for instructions and you must withdraw before the census date, otherwise fees will apply. If you don’t receive a more preferred offer in subsequent rounds – don’t worry! Even if you don’t think your Round 1 offer course is ideal, you may be able to use it as a pathway into your ultimate course (subject to availability and meeting the required academic standard).
If you don’t get an offer in Round 1, you may still get one in subsequent rounds. But you may want to consider changing your preferences and adding some courses that could act as potential pathways to the course you ultimately want to get in to (subject to availability and meeting the required academic standard). Check the VTAC website for Change of Preference dates.
If you were quite sure you’d get an offer but didn’t, double check that you met all the prerequisites and completed the selection requirements for the course. If you did, you can contact the institution to find out why you didn’t receive an offer.
As previously mentioned, you may want to change your preferences by adding courses to your list if you didn’t receive any offers in Round 1. You may also want to consider changing your preferences if you’ve changed your mind about what your first course preference is.
If you receive an offer for your first preference in Round 1, you won’t receive any more offers for courses lower on your preference list in subsequent rounds unless you change your preferences. So, if you’ve decided your first preference is not your most preferred course and want to be considered for other courses in subsequent offer rounds, you need to remove this course as your first preference and replace it with your new preferred course.
If you are going to change your preferences, keep in mind the Change of Preference deadlines. Note that you can change your preferences even if you’ve already received an offer and enrolled in a course.
If your ATAR isn’t high enough, you don’t have a prerequisite or you’ve missed the deadline to complete an additional selection requirement such as submitting a folio, consider pathway options. Course advisers at the relevant institution will be able to suggest suitable pathway options based on your situation.
It may be an option, for example, to accept the best (and most similar) course offer that you receive, commence the course and apply to transfer to your chosen course at a later time (subject to availability and meeting the required academic standard). In most cases, students who transfer from pathway courses are eligible to receive credit from the study they’ve already completed.
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