Written by: Emma Woodward
Monday, 2 August 2021
Navigating the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) system can seem a little tricky, so we’ve put together our ultimate guide to VTAC for VCE students. You will also find a range of resources through the VTAC website, including the VTAC Year 12 Guide, with step by step instructions for researching and applying for tertiary courses.
AIT offers a range of higher education courses for creative students. If you want to turn your ideas into a creative career that you’ll love, then you could study a Bachelor of Interactive Media with a focus on 2D Animation, 3D Design, Film and Video, Game Design or a Bachelor of Information Technology specialising in Mobile App Development, or Games Programming. Your qualifications will be nationally recognised, but perhaps even more importantly, you will receive an education that gets you industry-ready. From day one you will start to work with the best industry tools, and to build a portfolio that showcases mastery of your craft. You will meet and receive feedback from industry professionals, and have the opportunity to complete an internship to help launch your career.
If you are interested in studying at AIT, and you haven’t registered and paid for a VTAC account yet, then you can apply to AIT directly. You’ll receive confirmation that you have been accepted to your chosen course sooner (before Year 12 results are released, depending on the timing of your application), and you won’t have to pay VTAC application fees. If you have already signed up for a VTAC account, then you can use this guide to help you navigate the system.
If you are planning to apply for courses at universities, TAFEs, or private institutions, then you can either apply directly to the educational institution or register for a VTAC account that will allow you to apply for up to eight separate courses. Applying directly to institutions like AIT (with no ATAR requirement) means you can lock in your place before you graduate, and start planning your life after Year 12 with more certainty and less stress.
However, once you have registered and paid for a VTAC account, then you must complete your applications within the VTAC system, and go through the offer rounds.
For courses commencing in early 2022, you will be able to create a VTAC account from Monday, 2 August 2021, and your school may prompt you to do so at that time. There are plenty of things you can do before registering for your VTAC account, including attending open days and using VTAC’s CourseSearch to narrow down your course options.
When it is time to create an account, you will need to provide your personal details (including visa and passport details for international students) and your student number.
It’s a good idea to decide whether you will apply directly for courses, or create a VTAC account as early as possible. It will take time to choose courses and order your preferences, within the VTAC system, and you will also have to pay application processing fees, which range from $42 for timely applications, through to $159 for very late applications.
Before you apply for courses, you want to know that you have explored all of your options and found the courses that will set you on the path for your dream career.
It’s not all about ATARs and prerequisites. While some professions will require you to follow a traditional path (medicine, law, accounting) if you want a creative career, then it’s all about skill development and gaining a foothold in the industry. Have a look at what different courses offer, and choose one that allows you to develop your talents, while getting you job-ready through a focus on practical skills as well as theory.
CourseSearch, is part of the VTAC website and allows you to search for different courses or areas of study.
Youth Central, offers study, training, career, and life advice.
Victorian Skills Gateway, helps students identify the TAFE and training opportunities that lead to the job they want.
VTAC Careers Hub, helps students to find courses and identify career pathways.
Different courses will have different fee types. This may determine which courses you can apply for as an international student, and you may want to determine whether you are eligible for any Government student loans as an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
You might want to spend some time thinking about whether you want to study at a university, TAFE, or an independent tertiary college. Each one could provide different advantages for your life after Year 12.
Think about the career that you want once your studies are complete. Perhaps you will need nationally recognised qualifications. This could take the form of a certificate, diploma, or degree.
Maybe you are considering the prestige of a certain tertiary institution. Some of Australia’s institutions are recognised internationally, while others offer courses that are well respected by professionals in certain industries.
Finally, you will want to think about the learning style that suits your needs. Private institutions such as AIT tend to offer smaller class sizes than universities, which means you receive guidance from educators who can help you to develop your unique creative talents. You will have access to the latest industry software in a hands-on and practical learning environment. While larger universities cannot afford to specialise in a single area of study, specialist providers such as AIT can focus solely on digital media and tech education. You will have the opportunity to build up your portfolio through project-based work, while still receiving a higher education diploma or Bachelor qualification. In addition, you will create amazing industry connections to prepare you for a world where it’s not just about what you know, but who you know.
Victorian students who have already registered and paid for a VTAC account can submit applications for tertiary courses from Monday, 2 August 2021. Log into your VTAC account and check that you have all the relevant information. You can even complete a practice course application to make sure you understand the preference system and have all the necessary documentation ready for your final application.
At this stage, you may be applying for courses based on the ATAR you hope to achieve. Or you may be working towards a certain ranking in order to enter your dream course. Some courses (such as those offered at AIT) won’t require an ATAR at all. Some courses will require you to sit an additional admissions test, while others will have additional entrance requirements such as prerequisite studies, interviews, or folios.
Once you have lodged a course application, if you need to, you can apply for the Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) through your VTAC account. This can allow tertiary institutions to consider your unique circumstances and any difficulties that you have faced.
You will have until 5.00pm on Friday, 8 October 2021 to submit any scholarship and special consideration applications through VTAC.
You might also find that the institution you are applying to offers its own special consideration program. This could apply to courses where there is traditionally under-representation of particular groups.
You may be eligible for scholarships, which could be awarded based on your location, academic achievement, or even your community involvement. A scholarship may help you with course fees, relocation costs, or purchasing books and other study materials.
While you can apply for certain scholarships through VTAC, it’s also worth checking whether the institution you are applying to offers any separate scholarship opportunities. For example, you can apply for AIT’s initiAIT scholarship if you are a domestic student studying one of our undergraduate degrees. Our scholarship offers students 50% off their first and last term’s tuition fees, so you can see it’s definitely worth devoting a bit of time to research and checking on the scholarships that are available outside the VTAC system.
Double-check to make sure you registered for the VCE Results and ATAR Service, as this is separate from your main VTAC account. Registration opens on Monday, 3 August 2021, and you will need to remember the password that you set so that you can access your results when the time comes.
From 7.00am on Monday, 13 December 2021, you can access your VCE results and ATAR online. You will also be able to access these results using the VCE Results and ATAR Service app.
VCAA estimates that the paper documentation of your results will arrive by post within ten business days of the results becoming available online.
If you have already applied directly, and been accepted into a course, then you can provide the institution with your certificate of Year 12 completion once you graduate.
If you haven’t received the ATAR that you were hoping for then you still have plenty of options. One option is to change your course preferences. Have another look at your shortlist of courses and talk to student advisers at different tertiary institutions about pathway courses. These may be courses that help you to receive similar qualifications, or even to complete units of study that will give you a better chance of transferring to your dream course at a later date, with credit given for the units you have already studied.
If you already have a VTAC account, then there are no further costs involved in changing your preferences. Just log into your VTAC account, re-order, add, or delete courses. Check VTAC’s cut-off dates, and make sure you haven’t missed an application cut-off date in the course description or selection criteria of the course that you’re applying for.
Letters of offer will arrive at different times depending on how you have applied for courses. Direct applicants may receive their offers before finishing VCE. Students who have applied through VTAC will have to wait a little longer.
Some offers will be released early on Monday, 20 December 2021, however, you should look out for the main round of offers to be released on Friday, 14 January 2022. There will be subsequent rounds following this if courses still have places available.
If you think you may have missed an emailed offer, then you can always log in to your VTAC account, any time from 2.00pm on the day offers are released to see whether there are offers listed.
Once the main rounds have concluded, institutions will be given access to the pool of students who missed out, and they can make offers to them as part of this supplementary round.
Although applying for courses can be a stressful and confusing time, it doesn’t have to be! Once you’ve moved on to higher education, no one will ever ask about your VCE results, and your ATAR will not determine your future.
If you are still struggling to make sense of the VTAC system, or want to find out whether you really need to worry about prerequisite studies, portfolios, or your ATAR, then you can always talk to a course advisor at AIT. Our helpful advisors will be happy to walk you through the differences between direct applications and VTAC applications. Most importantly, they will be able to talk to you about course options, so that you’re not just studying for the sake of studying, but setting yourself up for a creative career that you’ll love.