This one goes out to those of you that straight up didn’t get an ATAR – don’t freak out. Whether it’s because you dropped out after Year 10 or weren’t eligible because of course requirements, life after high school doesn’t have to mean you can’t do the things you want just ‘cause you didn’t get a number assigned to you. There are apprenticeships and traineeships, gap years, VET courses, or even just heading straight into the workplace; there’s no shortage of options to keep you busy and happy during this stage of your life. And if you’ve decided that uni is where you want to be, there’s a way to get you there too.Advertisement

There’s a truckload of pathway programs out there for students that didn’t quite get the ATAR they were looking for (or in this case, didn’t get an ATAR at all). It prepares them for further study and upon completion, usually leads to a place within the related degree. They’re great in that they still feel like you’re at uni, with a focus on campus life, student support, and dedicated lecturers and tutors.

The College at Western Sydney University (Western) is one of our favourite pathway programs for our NSW readers. They offer a wide range of Higher Education pathway programs, with courses in Arts, Building Design Management, Business, Communication, Construction Management, Criminal and Community Justice, Design, Engineering, Health Science and Nursing, Information and Communications Technology, Science, and Social Science, and Policing. They’ve got teachers who are trained to make sure you’re keeping up with the work, and smaller classes to give you more attention when you need it.

Most importantly, The College has flexible entry requirements targeted to those that didn’t receive an ATAR.  They understand that any number of life things can get in the way of schooling in your teen years, and that you shouldn’t be penalised for the rest of your life because of this.

Their Extended Diploma courses are for those whose ATAR sits below 55 or who didn’t get an ATAR. It only takes 16 months, or four terms, to complete and if you pass then you’re guaranteed entry into the second year of the corresponding bachelor degree at Western. So you’re hardly losing any time at all.

For those that did receive an ATAR of at least 55, but didn’t quite get the mark you needed for the degree you were after, you can enrol in their Integrated Bachelor program and find yourself in your second year of a uni degree after just 12 months, or 3 terms.

Also available is The College’s Foundation Studies, a shorter course to get you accustomed to university life and prepare you with the skills to help you succeed. Depending on your results and course availability, completion of the Foundation Studies will grant you entry into the first year of a WSU degree, or you can continue with the Integrated Bachelor program and then enter the second year of university upon completion.

These options ensure you can still achieve your educational and career potential despite setbacks that occur early in your life. You’ll still experience world-class education like the rest of your peers, and by the end of it all you’ll have the same degree as those that took the traditional route. Better yet, courses like these prove that the statement you’ve heard loads of lately is true – your ATAR really is just a number.

You can suss more information about Western’s The College right here, and don’t forget to chuck in your deets ASAP if you’re keen for their 2018 intake.

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