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Pathways to university: there are more than one

How to find the right path to the right 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.

Recognising other achievements

FLS Student Josie

Juggling year 12 and extra responsibilities as High School Captain, Josie wasn’t sure she could meet the ATAR requirement for the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degree.

“Though school leadership responsibilities like speeches, open days and assemblies are rewarding, they still take away from potential study time.”

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

“Future Leaders was one of the most amazing things that I stumbled across during my HSC. It allowed me to maintain my leadership commitments whilst granting entry into the course I’d been aiming for my entire school life.”

Turning a dream into reality

Commerce student Duncan

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 disadvantage 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.”

Experiencing uni before you start

Mia Walsh

Mia Walsh’s mother and grandmother devoted their lives to improving the early childhood education of Indigenous kids, and now she hopes to use her degree to follow in their footsteps. 

“In the same way they chose a path to help others, I aspire to do the same,” she says.

Mia is a first-year student at the University of Sydney, studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. She hopes to use her degrees to pursue human rights law and close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Mia came to the University after participating in the Summer and Winter programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. “They allowed me to experience University life, explore my study field of law and make life-long friends,” she says.

The workshops also gave her the confidence to apply to the University under its Gadigal program. This year the Gadigal program has introduced an early conditional offer scheme.

Taking the stress out of year 12

Jared in Quadrangle with book

Jared knew Speech Pathology was the right career path for him but was unsure on the best pathway in.

“I decided in Year 10 that I wanted to study Speech at Sydney. Since English and science have always been my primary subjects at school, it was a perfect marriage of my interests, but I knew I’d have to work hard in my HSC to get there.”

The Early Offer Year 12 (E12) Scheme gave Jared early admission, taking some pressure off during exam time.

“I applied because I thought getting a conditional offer during the HSC would give me a lot of confidence during the actual exams, which it really did!

“The scheme also helped ease the financial pressure of studying, awarding Jared with a $5950 first-year scholarship.

“It has truly opened many doors for me. I felt supported not just financially, but to have the assurance that the uni believes in your potential. It’s something so invaluable and encourages you to do your best, in high school and beyond!”


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

Last updated 6 November 2019
17 August 2018

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