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More Than Your ATAR: Where To Start

By July 29, 2020September 7th, 2020No Comments

The great Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

For many young adults, the decision about what to do after school may seem extremely daunting. The choices seem endless but at CEF, we believe that even thinking about a university or VET sector education in your future is a great place to start.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore all the different options there are in our ‘More Than Your ATAR’ editorial series. It’s time to consider that your education journey is more than exam results.


Keep in mind that so much has changed in Australia and the world throughout the last year. Drought. Bushfires. COVID-19. This triple blow to country economies is going to be felt for decades.

It’s changed your local community.

There is a big loss for HSC students, with up to 13 weeks face-to-face classroom time missed during COVID-19 lockdown.


Committing to study is a long-term decision so it should be something you are passionate about! Try to work out what you’re interested in. We suggest eliminating the school subjects that don’t excite you.

Ask yourself:
• What are you good at?
• What school subjects do you like?
• What are your interests outside of school?

Make sure you’re making choices for you:
• Talk to your teachers, tutors, career advisor and family.
• Think about what area you’d like a career in and what jobs are available.
• Attend university open days (there are lots of virtual options this year) and local careers expos.
• Chat with a Facebook bot via Messenger! 
• Check in with yourself to assess your influences. Do you, don’t try to please anyone else. 
• And remember, these decisions don’t need to be rushed.

Once you get to university or TAFE you may not like the course you’ve chosen. You don’t have to feel stuck. There are ways to move into subjects that excite you more once you’re in the door.

Talk to your lecturers, teachers or tutors for guidance. If you come back to these essential questions, hopefully you’ll feel happier in yourself too.


CEF Snowy Monaro-supported student Chris Mercer is CEF’s Alumni Ambassador and speaks for all CEF-supported students on his reflection of choosing to follow a tertiary study path.

There are 44 CEF Foundations throughout Australia. Support stretches into NSW, QLD, VIC, SA and the NT. 


Study doesn’t have to be something you sign up for straight away. Perhaps you’ll consider a gap year or bringing more life experience to your education journey.

The Gap Year Guide is a project CEF works on with three other universities to ensure rural and regional students have enough info to make considered choices about their education.

Check out the video below and subscribe for more as you make these all important decisions.

The More Than Your ATAR educational series will be covering off topics such as: early entry, including new UAC deadlines, scholarships, the benefits of a TAFE education, university open days, studying via distance and regional study hubs as well as tips and tricks for applying for a scholarship. We’ll be talking to all the experts – students, CEF volunteers, high school and university advisers to help you on this long, windy road.
Buckle up for the adventure!

This ‘More Than Your ATAR’ education series covers off such vital further education consideration topics such as: where to start, UAC help, early entry, studying via distance and regional study hubs as well as tips and tricks for applying for a scholarship. We talk with ‘field’ experts: students, CEF Foundations, industry insiders and university advisers to help you on this long, windy road.


Author Ashlea

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