The Universities Admission Centre (UAC) is a great first call when you’re considering what to study and when or where your university journey is going to start.

Significant support is available to assist in early entry and further university applications, especially for students stretching their time between study and helping on the family farm during this devastating drought.

The two most notable forms of UAC support come in the Schools Recommendation Scheme and the Education Access Schemes.

“If a student has experienced disruption to their schooling due to financial hardship, being in a remote location, moving schools or excessive family responsibilities, these are all specifically covered and could well apply to many students in drought-affected areas,” said UAC marketing and engagement manager Kim Paino.

The UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS) can bolster a Year 12 students early admission application for an undergraduate degree. It’s kind of like a job reference in the way that it considers your abilities, school’s commentary in those areas of study, your Year 11 studies, awards and achievements as well as any EAS application in the works.

>> Be sure to keep in mind that SRS applications close on Monday 30 September 2019.


We know that students in country Australia face disadvantage in many ways. UAC recognises this too and evaluates high schools by its ‘educational disadvantage’ Education Access Scheme (EAS).

Schools in rural and regional Australia are assessed by the UAC on the ‘educational disadvantage’. The two defining factors are:

  • “a rural school is in a town with a population of less than 10,000 and a distance of at least 100km from the nearest centre with a population of 10,000 or
  • A rural school with a town with a population of less than 5000 people and a distance between 50km and 99km from the nearest centre with a population of 10,000.”

Here’s a list of Australian schools which meet criteria under the EAS considered schools scheme.

When applying, you will need to demonstrate how your Year 11 and Year 12 (or equivalent) performance has been impact for at least six months.

>> Early bird EAS applications close on Friday 29 November 2019.

>> 2020 EAS applications close on Friday February 7 2020. 

Both applications are considered by institutions in assessing early admissions applications along with your ATAR and other equity scholarships (such as a CEF education grant!).


Equity scholarships and Federal government assistance

Equity scholarships are offered to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, particularly those who receive Centrelink income support. Tertiary institutions offer equity scholarships via the Indigenous Student Success Program Australian government initiative.

“Some universities (such as Charles Sturt University) specifically target students in drought-affected areas but the important thing to understand about equity scholarships is that even in cases where there are no specific scholarships for drought-affected students the main criteria for receiving an equity scholarship is financial hardship, which would apply to many of these students,” Ms Paino said.


Look our for school visits too!

UAC try to spend as much time as they can visiting schools in country NSW to help students on their journey to university study, Ms Paino saying they are always incredibly warmly welcomed.

“In large part that’s simply a reflection of their gratitude that we make the effort to go to more than just metro areas, but it’s also because we also have specific schemes that can offer tangible support for students in these communities who want to do their best in Year 12 and go on to succeed at university,” she said.


This ‘More Than Your ATAR’ education series will be covering off such subjects as: where to start, early entry, studying via distance & regional study hubs as well as tips and tricks for applying for a scholarship. We’ll be talking to all the experts – students, CEF committees, high school and university advisers to help you on this long, long windy road.