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Pathways to university: there are more than one

Alternative path to your dream undergraduate degree

Between ATAR requirements, HSC exams, and comparing bachelor degrees, finishing Year 12 can be overwhelming, but gaining entry into uni may be easier than you think. Our students discuss their pathway to uni and their dream careers.

Taking the stress out of Year 12

Caitlin smiling and posing in front of a lake

Caitlin comes from a low SES area, the Early Offer Year 12 (E12) Scheme recognised her circumstances and took the pressure off during her HSC exam time.

“Coming from a rural public high school in a low SES area, the E12 Scholarship recognises certain difficulties that students can face in their education and the limited access to resources available to students in these areas as they undertake the HSC.”

Caitlin’s dream degree was studying law at the University of Sydney. The E12 gave her an entryway to pursue exactly that – she now studies a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degree.

“By reducing the required ATAR and providing a monetary scholarship, E12 was so beneficial in facilitating my move to Sydney onto student accommodation at the Darlington campus where I had the opportunity to make some fantastic friends along the way without the hassle of trying to find a job all at once.

“As a recipient of the E12 Scholarship, I can speak to the massive impact it had on enabling me to achieve my long-term goal of studying law at the University of Sydney.”

Alternative entry for Indigenous students

Thomas posing for a portrait shot in fron of Sydney University quadrangle

Thomas Harrington is a proud Indigenous man with heritage from the Bundjalung nation in Northern New South Wales.

After developing an interest in health and human sciences, Thomas knew he wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, with hopes and dreams of working across the country and overseas in humanitarian work.

Thomas entered the University through the Gadigal Program – a tailored pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. “The team was in contact with me throughout the entire process to ensure all the required forms were submitted in time,” he says.

“University can seem difficult and intimidating, at times I have felt as if I am undeserving to be in the degree I am in.

“It took me a while to feel deserving of my place and this comes from surrounding yourself with supportive friends, a lot of whom I met through the Gadigal Program.”

Recognising leadership achievements

FLS Student Daniel Kim posing in front of Benefit Cosmetics store where he interned

With dozens of pathways into the University, Daniel found the Future Leaders Scheme, which offers Dux students and school captains a guaranteed place at the University of Sydney.

Daniel is now studying a Bachler of Commerce and Bachler of Advanced Studies, with his Bachelor of Advanced Studies, Daniel is also able to pursue music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

“Future Leaders Scheme instilled confidence during my HSC and bought me the time to explore a wide range of career options that I ultimately covet. This became a lifelong asset in my time at the University of Sydney.”

Turning a dream into reality

Commerce student Duncan sitting on a chair behind a desk

A lifelong ambition to study is something that Bachelor of Commerce student Duncan had also felt.

“Since I was young, I have always been drawn to the idea of being a businessman. I knew that if I wanted to truly prepare myself for life and the workforce, that it was necessary for me to further my education at a tertiary level.”

This passion led him to admission through the Broadway Scheme which allows ATAR adjustments for students who have experienced disadvantages affecting their high school performance.

“I was fortunate enough to gain entry via the Broadway Scheme, and I have constantly benefited from the vast array of support and opportunities provided to me. I feel that I have become a much more efficient, passionate and mature student as a result.”


Your ATAR is not the only way to get into uni. Explore your options through our admission pathways.

Last updated 22 October 2021

17 August 2018

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