Applying as a non-Year 12 FAQ

Questions and answers about whether you are classified as a non-Year 12 applicant, qualifications you may need and support on further study.


Am I a non-Year 12 applicant?

You are a non-Year 12 applicant if you:

  • are not attempting an Australian Year 12 qualification in 2014 or an International Baccalaureate (IB) in Australia in 2014 or 2015,
  • are attempting a Queensland Year 12 in 2014 as an external student,
  • are attempting a New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3 in 2014,
  • received an offer through UAC last year and deferred or
  • are a non-standard Year 12 student.

What is a non-standard Year 12 student?

Non-standard Australian Year 12 students include those completing Year 12 programs of study through Australian Christian Education, Rudolph Steiner Education and home schooling: these students apply as non-Year 12 applicants through UAC.

To be assessable by UAC, applicants must provide proof of completion of an accredited Year 12 program of study and must have sat the American Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), results from which will be assessed by UAC.

Applicants to some institutions may also sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT), results from which will be assessed by UAC.

Applicants are advised to contact the admissions offices of the institutions they are applying to for possible consideration of their non-standard Year 12 studies in their application.

Note that International Baccalaureate (IB) students apply as Year 12 students through UAC.

I finished high school last year, does that make me a non-Year 12 applicant?

Yes, this means you are a non-Year 12 applicant. Anyone not finishing a standard Year 12 in 2014 is a non-Year 12 applicant when applying through UAC.

Is it easier to get into uni as a 'mature-age' student?

It's a common myth that when you are over 21 you are ‘mature-aged' and you can get into uni based on your age. Your age alone is not enough to get you into uni.

Generally you will need some kind of qualification before an institution will make you an offer. For example, institutions may look at your Year 12 studies, results in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT), or your achievement in various alternative entry pathways.

Is the application process different for non-Year 12 applicants?

When you begin your application, select ‘No' when you are asked if you are undertaking an Australian Year 12 in 2014. Otherwise, you'll complete your application in exactly the same way as a Year 12 applicant. Apply online and fill in all the details that relate to you.

Why does it cost more to apply as a non-Year 12 applicant?

Generally, a non-Year 12 application will take more time to assess than a Year 12 application. You'll have more studies and qualifications that need to be checked and verified and this takes more time than a simple Year 12 application.

Do I need to tell UAC about all the studies I've done since Year 12?

You will need to tell us about all your completed secondary studies and any tertiary study (Certificate III and above) you have undertaken, whether or not you completed the course.

However, there are some studies and qualifications that the institutions don't take into account when looking at your application and which you don't need to include. These are:

  1. AQF Certificates I and II
  2. Statements of Attainment
  3. TAFE Statements
  4. courses delivered by Australian private providers that are not accredited. Only those courses accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), or by the relevant state/territory accreditation authority, will be taken into account. Qualifications undertaken with private providers won't be assessed without proof of accreditation for the particular course.

I've been working for a number of years since I finished studying. Will this count as part of my application?

For some courses at some institutions, your work experience will be taken into account with your application. Read employment experience for more information.

I'm still working. Can I do my course part-time or by distance education?

There are a number of courses available to study by distance education and many courses are also available on a part-time basis. Use the course search to find courses you are interested in, then check the course description to find out whether they are available as part-time or distance courses.

I finished Year 12 a long time ago and haven't studied since then. Will my application still be considered?

Your application may still be considered but you'll need to check individual institution requirements. Read 'Australian Secondary Studies' in the institution entries.

I don't have any qualifications. Are there any entry pathways into university?

Most institutions will consider a number of alternative entry pathways. Read alternative entry for more information.

I've done a few different things since leaving school – some study and some work. How am I assessed?

The way your experience is assessed depends on the individual institution's entry criteria. Some institutions will look at everything you've done (including school, even if it was a long time ago) and give each of your qualifications, studies and experience a different weight.

Some institutions will focus on just your highest qualification (eg TAFE Certificate IV). For more information check with the institutions.

When I completed Year 12 I received a UAI (Universities Admissions Index), not an ATAR. What's the difference?

The ATAR replaced the UAI in NSW and the ACT in 2009. The highest rank became an ATAR of 99.95, as opposed to a UAI of 100. The ATAR indicates a student's position in relation to the Year 7 students they began high school with, rather than the Year 10 group. These changes brought NSW and ACT students into line with their interstate peers. The scaling process for students remained the same, the rank order of students remained the same, and the same applicants continued to be selected for the same tertiary courses.

Refer to the converting UAIs to ATARs table.

All states and territories (except Queensland) have adopted the universal name 'ATAR'.

It's been a long time since I studied. I'm worried about studying again. Will there be any support services available?

There is a wide range of services available at all our participating institutions. The services could include orientation programs, mentoring, student learning units, help with developing study skills, IT support and counselling.

You should also visit the Make Your Mark website for stories and advice about studying at university.

Will I get credit for previous studies?

Most institutions will offer you credit for previous study. For example, if you've completed a TAFE Diploma, an institution may grant you credit of a certain number of units towards a Bachelor degree. Read credit transfer for more information.

What will my course cost?

Most courses are Commonwealth-supported place (CSP) courses – formerly called HECS courses – for which you only pay part of the cost of your course (a student contribution). The size of your student contribution depends on your institution and your area of study. Read course costs for more information about CSP courses.

Will there be any financial help available to me?

Read course costs for more information about scholarships and government payments that may be available to you.

Do you have a guide to all the jargon that's used about going to university?

Read common terms and abbreviations for definitions of some of the more commonly-used terms.