THE expansion of early offer programs at Charles Sturt University has been praised by NSW Secondary Principals' Council president Craig Petersen.
The COVID-19 pandemic, home schooling and confusion around this year's HSC exams have led to a very tough year of study for many Year 11 and 12 students.
On Monday, CSU acting vice chancellor Professor John Germov said these factors have had a big impact on high school students, and in particular Year 12 students, who have been left wondering how it will affect their future plans about coming to university.
"At Charles Sturt University we want to make sure everyone has the best opportunity to secure a place in their preferred course and reach their future goals," he said.
Prof Germov said CSU is offering two programs to assist Year 12 students impacted by COVID-19 to enrol at university.
CSU has expanded its participation in the Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS), operated by the University Admission Centre (UAC), which helps students use their Year 11 results and recommendations from their school to enrol in university.
Year 12 students applying through Schools Recommendation Schemes could even get an unconditional offer based on their application.Charles Sturt University acting vice chancellor Professor John Germov
"[It] looks at Year 11 results and the student's school's rating of their potential and is now available for the majority of our undergraduate courses through UAC," Prof Germov said.
"Year 12 students applying through SRS could even get an unconditional offer based on their application."
Prof Germov said the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program, recognises a student's soft skills alongside their academic performance.
"[This] can secure a student an early offer before they sit their Year 12 exams, as well as a reduction in the ATAR they need to achieve for most of our undergraduate course," he said.
Mr Petersen said while early entry schemes have been available from universities for years, he praised CSU's expansion.
"There is an increasing body of results showing that Year 11 results are a good benchmark of Year 12 results," he said.
"Everyone's Year 12 has been interrupted so it makes sense to look at Year 11.
"Year 11 finishes at the end of term three so we can have a high degree of certainty that the results are going to be valid and useful in looking at their ability to study at university."
Mr Petersen cautioned, however, that students who do gain early entry should still continue to work hard during class and at exam time.
"The reason we want kids to do well in the exams is so that they've got a variety of options in the years after they leave school," he said.
"You've got to have the backup and a good HSC result is that backup."
Complete your SRS application on the UAC's website (not CSU) by checking a box on your existing UAC application.
Book a virtual one-on-one consultation with with a CSU adviser to discuss all the options.