VTAC Offers - Don't Panic!
Okay, so you finally got your VTAC offer. For some of you it's good news. You got into the course you wanted and now it's time to start getting ready for the world of tertiary study.
For some of you the news isn't so great. But if you didn't get into the course you wanted, don't panic. You're not alone. Almost a third of all students who apply for a tertiary course through VTAC don't get offered their first choice of course places.
But there's comfort to be had. From second and third round offers to work experience and study alternatives, there are plenty of options still available to you, including:
> Second round and supplementary offers
> Negotiated offers
> Mid-Year Entry
> Reapplying next year
> Getting some work experience
> Checking out some other study options
> Doing an apprenticeship or traineeship
Not everybody accepts their first-round offer. This means that at a later date there may still be places available in your course of choice. Second round offers are made a little later in the year after all first round offers have either been accepted or rejected. And after that, some supplementary offers are made once all second round offers have been accepted or rejected.
So there's still a chance you could get that place you wanted. You might just need to be patient. But that doesn't mean that you should knock back the offer you got in case you get a better offer on the second round or in the supplementary round.
It's a good idea to accept the offer you got and withdraw it later if you get a better offer later. Otherwise you might find yourself not being able to enrol in any course at all.
For more information and advice about the whole offer process, including dates for first, second and supplementary round offers, check out VTAC's 'The ABC of Offers', available to download as a .pdf (new window - scroll down the list of publications until you find the link to 'The ABC of Offers').
All important dates for the 2012-2013 application round are on the VTAC website (new window)
You can still apply for a course that wan't on your list of preferences, or for a course that is lower on your list than the one you've been offered. To do this you need to put in a "negotiated offer" (note: these were formerly known as "irregular offers").
Before you do, you should contact the course administrators to discuss your chances of being offered a place in that course. You may have to visit them in person. You should also make sure that you have a high enough ATAR to get into that course, and that you meet all other prerequisites, too.
The chances of a negotiated offer succeeding depend on whether or not there are any places left after first round offers were accepted or passed on, but it's definitely worth looking into.
Information about negotiated offers can be found on the VTAC website (new window - you'll need to scroll down a bit to get to the "How to apply for a negotiated offer" part).
You may be able to apply to start the course you want midway through the year.
To find out if the course you are interested in allows mid-year applications, and how to apply if they do, you'll need to do some research, or contact the relevant course administrators directly.
For more about mid-year entry, check out our Mid-Year Entry page.
If the course you applied for is the one you really want to get into, and you don't get a second or third round offer for that course, you might decide to take a year off from study and reapply in time to start the course the next year.
If you do decide to do this, you'll need to apply as a "mature age" or "non-year 12" applicant. The application process is the same for everyone, whether or not you've just completed year 12 or you completed it a while ago. Check out VTAC's Who can apply for courses? (new window) page for more info.
You should also check out our Taking a gap year page for some suggestions about what to do with your year while you're waiting to get into the course of your dreams.
Getting yourself a job or doing some volunteer work in a field that's related to the course you want to get into is a good way to try things out and see if you really do want to work in that field.
Not only will working in the field you plan on studying in allow you to 'try before you buy', it can help you develop valuable experience that might improve your chances when you apply for your preferred course in the following year.
TAFE institutions can offer fulltime and part-time study in a range of areas. Some university courses even allow study done at TAFE to be counted toward their degree courses.
To find out if there is a TAFE course related to the field of study you're interested in, check out the Department of Education's Victorian Skills Gateway (new window). Don't forget to contact the course's organisers to see if that course offers credit towards university degrees.
Other study options outside university include adult education centres and community centres. The courses these institutions offer can help to lead you to a successful career. To find out more about these options, check out our Other Study Options page (new window).
Another option to consider is online learning through Open Universities Australia (new window). Many universities offer degrees this way, and the qualification that you end up with is the same as if you had studied on campus.
Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships are an great way to get into certain careers. Apprenticeships are available in lots of fields, from sport to agriculture.
You can find out more about apprenticeships on our Apprenticeships and traineeships section.
Like we said before, there's no need to panic. Not getting into the course you wanted to is not the end of the world. Not by a long shot.
As you can see, there are plenty of options still available to you. One of them might be able to put you on the path you wanted to be on. Or maybe you'll find a newer, even more interesting path. Good luck!