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Art student secures a spot at the University ahead of HSC

23 August 2021

Early entry scheme rewards talented visual arts students

Year 12 visual arts student Tahlia Curnow is among the first group of talented artists to join the Sydney College of the Arts in 2022 under the Creative Arts Special Admissions Scheme.

The final year of high school can be a tough balancing act of uncertainty with juggling academic classes, university applications and co-curricular activities. CASAS helps alleviate that uncertainty by rewarding talented artists and musicians an entryway into their dream course based on their artistic ability rather than academic ranking.

An opportunity for young artists

Tahlia Curnow, a talented arts student, has been offered a guaranteed entry in Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Sydney College of the Arts in 2022 under the Creative Arts Special Admission Scheme (CASAS). She can now sit through the HSC this October with a level of certainty for her future.

Tahlia has enjoyed art from a young age. “l love drawing detailed works with fine liner pens, which are time consuming but ultimately very rewarding," she says.

Student Tahlia Curnow holding a pen, drawing on a piece of paper

Pictured: Tahlia Curnow, Year 12 student.

What began as a hobby soon turned into a serious pursuit of studying arts throughout her school years, and Tahlia decided she wanted to chase her passion at a professional level.

"I wanted to find a practical course at a university where I could express my creativity, showcase my work, and meet like-minded people, and also experience other opportunities of campus life besides the ones within my course."

The certainty of knowing I have a place in a course helps me focus on the remainder of my Year 12 studies with less concern of what universities I need to aim for.
Tahlia Curnow

Alternate entry to a dream degree

Applying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts via UAC meant she was automatically assessed for CASAS by listing it as her first preference and submitting a portfolio of work. Early offers for Round 1 are made in August and October each year. Tahlia is among the first group of talented artists to have received an early offer under the scheme.

“It has helped with my stress levels surrounding the HSC," she tells us, relieved at the outcome. "Even though I still want to get a good ATAR, the knowledge that I have a place at the Sydney College of the Arts has helped me relax during this stressful time.”

With CASAS, many young talented artists like Tahlia will be able to concentrate on their artistic merit and be assured that they will be able to receive professional training at a renowned art school.

A future in arts

Tahlia is excited about joining the Sydney College of the Arts next year.

"I’m excited to see what opportunities the Sydney College of the Arts offers and the skills I’ll learn with other people who share the same interests as me," she says. "I’m also looking forward to learning more about myself as an artist and what I’m capable of in a supportive environment”.

When asked about her dreams and aspirations beyond university, Tahlia is keeping her options open. “Possibly illustrating children’s books, direct artistic productions and with any luck eventually have Year 12 visual arts students write about me in their HSC exams."

How to apply for the Creative Arts Special Admissions Scheme (CASAS)

Domestic applicants undertaking a current recognised high school (Year 12) qualification and applying via UAC, may be eligible for an early offer of admission prior to the release of ATARs or equivalent score under the University’s Creative Arts Special Admission Scheme.

Make sure you meet portfolio requirements by 24 September for UAC October Round 1.

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