Opportunities and key dates for 'mature age' applicants
Wednesday 13 January 2016
Many universities run programs for students who have not completed, or not recently completed, high school and wish to gain entry into university. Both age and university readiness are often considered by the university in deciding whether a student can gain entry as a non high school leaver. University readiness can be assessed in a number of ways - current qualifications, work experience and community involvement are some of the achievements that a university may consider in making their decision. To understand more about these types of programs, click here.
Non high school leavers and mature age applicants (and mature age definitely doesn't mean old - can be as young as 21!) will need to be aware of what prerequisites exist for entry to their selected institution. For example, some universities require that you sit a test through a tertiary admissions centre in order to be eligible for mature age entry. This test, often referred to as a STAT (Special Tertiary Admissions Test), helps the university decide whether you are ready to begin studies. If required, a STAT will need to be booked with the tertiary admissions centre in the relevant state or territory.
It is also important for students to contact their university directly for information on what support programs are available to non high school leavers. Here are a couple of examples:
The Breadwinners' Programme at Sydney University, provides an opportunity for mature-age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from low socio-economic backgrounds to study at university. It provides financial support and facilitates a work/study arrangement for you while you complete an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney over four years. The programme creates a partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers, their employers, the Australian government and the University of Sydney to support full-time employees to study their first undergraduate degree. Students need to enrol for their degree course through the University Admissions Centre and then make an application through the University of Sydney by January 27th 2016. For more information click here.
Each year, the University of Western Australia offers places to Indigenous students who may not meet the required ATAR and are seeking entry to undergraduate degree courses through the School of Indigenous Studies Provisional Entry Scheme. The Scheme does not require a student to apply through a university admissions centre or sit a STAT. Instead, applicants should apply directly though the School of Indigenous Studies by the end of January to attend Open Day in early February. Open Day involves an information session, written assessment and interview so that university readiness can be assessed. For more information on the Scheme and how to apply, click here.