University selection rank adjustments

Many applicants receive an offer to a course even though they have an ATAR below the published lowest selection rank. Often this is because other factors have been taken into consideration in combination with their ATAR and their selection rank for that course has been adjusted (and is higher than their ATAR).

These adjustments, which we used to refer to as ‘bonus points’, are due to factors such as performance in Year 12 subjects (only applies to current Year 12 students), living or attending school in a certain area, and applying for consideration through Educational Access Schemes.

Selection rank adjustments are applied differently from institution to institution and from course to course within the same institution. Visit each institution’s website for details.

You need to know that:

  • adjustments do not change your ATAR; they change your selection rank for a particular preference
  • your selection rank = your ATAR + adjustments
  • institutions automatically adjust your selection rank if you are eligible
  • you may need to have a minimum ATAR before you are eligible for adjustments to your selection rank.

As selection rank adjustments are course-specific, your selection rank can be different for each of your course preferences. For example: Course A has six applicants and only three places available. The six applicants have the following selection ranks:

Applicant

Selection rank

1

89.00 (ATAR of 89.00)

2

88.00 (ATAR of 87.00 plus adjustment of 1 point)

3

87.00 (ATAR of 83.00 plus adjustment of 4 points)

4

86.00 (ATAR of 86.00)

5

85.00 (ATAR of 83.00 plus adjustment of 2 points)

6

84.00 (ATAR of 84.00)

Offers will be made to applicants 1, 2 and 3. Applicant 4 won’t receive an offer, even with an ATAR higher than applicant 3, and applicant 3 will receive an offer even though their ATAR is below the lowest selection rank. The lowest selection rank required to receive an offer to Course A will be 87.00.

Why your selection rank might be adjusted

Performance in Year 12 courses

Some UAC institutions may increase your selection rank in recognition of your performance in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to the course/s for which you have applied. These used to be referred to as ‘subject bonus points’.

If you're an interstate student, you can check which NSW HSC subjects are comparable to your Year 12 subjects, and how results in your subjects compare to results in NSW HSC subjects.

As a guide, these institutions have previously allocated subject adjustments automatically:

Note that IB students who submit hard copy results will need to contact institutions about the allocation of subject adjustments for which they may be eligible; subject bonus points are not allocated automatically from hard copy results.

All other institutions considered students individually. Contact them for more information:

Living or attending school in a regional area

Some UAC institutions increase your selection rank if you live in a designated region, others increase your selection rank if you attend school in a designated region, and some institutions do both. These are location adjustments (they used to be called 'regional bonus points') and they are awarded automatically – you do not need to apply separately.

As a guide, these institutions have previously allocated location adjustments based on where you live (ie your permanent address):

These institutions have previously allocated location adjustments based on your school:

Educational Access Schemes

To be eligible for Educational Access Scheme consideration your educational performance must have been seriously affected, normally for a period of at least six months during Year 11 and/or 12 or equivalent, due to circumstances beyond your control and choosing.

Institutions use Educational Access Scheme to make offers of admission in one of two ways. They:

  • increase your selection rank or
  • set aside a certain number of places for Educational Access Scheme applicants.

Read more about Educational Access Schemes.