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Most students, when they complete their HSC, will head in two major directions:
Some may be keen to combine the two with an apprenticeship, traineeship or cadetship.
The application procedures to university, TAFE and private colleges are outlined in the section Application procedures for tertiary study. This section also has links to the individual web sites for further information.
A major concern for parents and students is what to do if the student does not get into the course of choice, be it at university or TAFE.
Not accepted into the chosen university course
There are a number of alternatives to consider if your child is not accepted into the chosen university course. Information is available through the University Admissions Centre or the individual universities.
It is important to discuss with each university their policy and procedures for each of these alternatives.
The direct approach Some universities have vacancies for some courses once the main round offers have been made. Students can contact the universities directly and discuss their situation. The ATAR is still a major criterion, along with performance in individual related subjects.
mature-age entry Mature-age entry is a popular way to get into university for people who are around twenty-one years of age or older. Aspiring students must sit an aptitude test and sometimes attend an interview before they are granted entry.
Non-award entry Non-award entry involves completing a number of first year university courses as a non-award or community student. If such students successfully complete a number of courses, they may be granted entry. These courses do have fees and are often charged by the credit point. Please note that not all universities have a program such as this.
Articulation By completing a related Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma-level qualification, students can articulate that qualification into a university degree with up to one year’s credit. Each university has a different policy on this and should be contacted beforehand.
Not accepted into nominated TAFE or private college course
The days of free tertiary education are gone. All institutions have fees and administrative charges.
All universities have administrative charges. As well as this, each degree attracts HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) which is a partial payment of fees.
There are three cost tiers with HECS, and each subject in a degree is designated a cost in each tier. The web site has the latest costings and a more detailed explanation of the structure. HECS can be paid at the beginning of each semester (known as an up-front payment) and students receive a discount. If an up-front payment is not a financial option, payment can be deferred until completion of the degree and then money is automatically deducted from wages by the Australian Taxation Office. There is no official interest rate, but the debt is linked to the cost of living, so it does increase with time.
Students are also responsible for any costs associated with the course, such as textbooks, excursions and materials.
TAFE is less expensive but not free. An administration fee is charged according to the mode of study. This depends on whether the course is full-time or part-time and the level of the qualification. Diplomas and advanced diplomas are more expensive than certificate level courses. Check the TAFE website for the latest costings.
Students are also responsible for any costs, such as textbooks, excursions, materials, and tools.
Autonomous educational institutions or trainers each have their own selection criteria, fee structure and applications procedures. Each one needs to be contacted and applied to individually.
Finding a job can be one of the most difficult tasks imaginable, often because there are so many variables beyond the applicant’s control. The key is to be positive, to be organised and to be consistent.
Most people find employment by:
The careers section of Beyond the HSC includes information, advice and links to a number of relevant and helpful sites.
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