What is the ATAR?
The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a ranking of students completing year 12, relative to other students in the same year. It is based on students’ performance in their final year 12 assessment.
Does it determine eligibility to attend university?
The ATAR is used by universities to help them select year 12 students wishing to study a particular course. But options for university admission don’t begin or end with the ATAR.
University admissions often take account of factors beyond ATAR like work experience, bridging courses, other qualifications, leadership and community service, equity, and special circumstances.
A student’s ATAR may be adjusted to take account of disadvantage or to reward achievements.
How do you apply for university?
Depending on the course, new students can apply for university directly through individual institutions of their choice, or via the tertiary admission centres which work for institutions in various states and territories.
As part of the application process, students will need to provide information about their studies and qualifications, as well as nominating their course preferences.
The Universities Admissions Centre in NSW/ACT has prepared a helpful guide to help students understand admission criteria.
Do international students follow a separate process?
International students apply directly through individual institutions.
Universities will help with the application process and provide information to help people decide whether an Australian university education is for them.
Who assesses university applications?
Universities and/or the tertiary admissions centres assess applications and make offers to students who meet entry criteria.
When are university offers made?
Throughout the year the tertiary admission centres will have several offer rounds where students are notified if they have been offered a spot in one of their preferred courses.
These dates will vary by state and territory, so students should familiarise themselves with the dates of the offer rounds and monitor their emails for a formal offer.
What are early offers and why are they made?
An early offer is made to a student applying to study a particular course prior to the release of their ATAR result.
Universities will assess a student’s application using the student’s predicted ATAR result or their school results so far.
Depending on a student’s circumstances, some universities may use other criteria (e.g., if the student has been disadvantaged in their school studies).
Depending on the course, students can apply for early offers directly through universities or via tertiary admissions centres.
What happens after an offer is made?
After an offer has been received, it’s up to the student to carefully review the details and accept the offer within the timeframe provided – noting that each institution has its own process.
International students will have a different process to follow, where the required fees will need to be paid upon accepting an offer to confirm their enrolment.
Domestic students have access to a HELP loan to cover their fees. You can learn more about HELP loans here.
As the student’s commencement date approaches, both domestic and international students will receive information about orientation, their new campus, online learning environments, timetabling and course requirements.