Insights Report – Early Entry

Over the last three years, we’ve compiled data on University Early Entry Programs for our annual Early Entry Guide, and we’ve noticed a few changes.

Recently, UAC (the Universities Admissions Centre in NSW) responded to the growing uncertainty amongst this year’s Year 12s with a recommendation to apply for Early Entry instead of waiting for the normal ATAR/UAC process to take place at the end of the year. This is a big step from the nation’s largest tertiary application centre – they are advising students to bypass their traditional processes and go straight to the universities.

Since 2019, we’ve seen the number of Early Entry programs more than double, from 17 pre-pandemic to 44 programs (and counting) for this year’s Year 12s. The number of Institutions offering programs has also doubled, and now over three-quarters of universities offer direct-application programs. Some of the remaining universities use the standard Early Entry Programs offered by the various state-based tertiary application centres (like UAC’s SRS or ‘Schools Recommendation Scheme’) – which means students can apply for entry outside of the ‘standard’ ATAR process to just about anywhere they want to study.

It’s also now easier for students to apply, with longer application periods which give students more time to get their applications together, and more flexibility in the application process. Current Year 12s are able to use their Year 11 and 12 results, portfolios, written statements, auditions, interviews, and more to apply for a conditional offer, and most of the unis have extended their original application dates in response to the continuing lockdowns in the South-East. We’ve even seen some universities re-open for applications in the wake of the ongoing disruptions.

We’ve also noticed that more programs offer added benefits alongside an early offer – in fact, the number of programs-with-benefits has risen almost 5 times in the last three years. Students can receive financial benefits, such as scholarships, as well as other benefits that include accommodation guarantees, mentoring and internships, and university preparation programs. Which means that students get even more out of the process.

Most universities don’t charge a fee to apply for Early Entry, and students can apply for as many programs as they like which puts them in the driver’s seat – indeed, students are often able to ‘reuse’ portfolios, essays, or documents from one program for others. It usually only takes a few weeks or even days for students to receive the outcome, and Year 12s can find themselves in the enviable position of having multiple offers to choose from before they even sit their final exams. Protecting the mental health of senior students as they go in and out of lockdown during this crucial period is vital, and these Early Entry programs have the power to make things less stressful as the end of 2021 rolls around.

In light of this, we’ve made our Early Entry Guide free to access for the rest of 2021. You, your students, parents, and teachers can go here to enter their details and we’ll send over a digital copy straight away.

Download the Insights Report (PDF) here



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