Parents and caregivers play a significant role when it comes to decisions about tertiary education. Here are some tips on how to guide and support students in their transition from high school to university.
How can I help my child decide on a university course?
With so many courses on offer, the decision of which one to study can be overwhelming for many high school students. While the decision is ultimately up to your child, you can support them throughout the process.
Throughout the senior years of high school, discuss with your child their interests, academic and personal strengths, as well as their goals for the future. This might change over time - that’s perfectly normal! You can provide support by helping to gather research materials, such as course guides, magazine or news articles and student and alumni testimonials. You can also share your own experience in the workforce to give your child a first-hand insight into different careers. Don’t be afraid to include stories of failures or things you would have done differently - let your child learn from your mistakes!
Open Days or Info Days are also a great way for you and your child to explore courses and career options. Many universities run information sessions, as well as provide the opportunity to talk one-on-one with academics and current students. Register for our Open Day.
It’s important to encourage your child to aim for their goals but sometimes things don’t go to plan. Help them feel confident throughout Year 12 and the HSC by creating a back-up plan with them of alternative pathways and options.
What if I don't agree with my child’s choice?
You can ask your child constructive questions and attempt to nudge them in the right direction, but pressuring them to study something that they're not interested in can often backfire. It’s not uncommon for students to fail subjects or drop out of their course due to a lack of interest. This can prolong their tertiary education and result in a larger HECS-HELP debt to pay off.
As a parent or caregiver, it can be frustrating if you don’t agree with your child’s decision. Your child may be 'young and naive', but no one knows them better than themselves. Let your son or daughter follow their passions and see where it takes them, while there's still plenty of time for them to change directions.
How can I help my child succeed in Year 12 and the HSC?
It’s important to first establish with your child what success means to them. Some students may see success as a perfect ATAR and an offer to their first preference, whereas other students might just want to meet the minimum entry requirements to pursue a vocational trade.
Depending on your child's goals, there are a few ways you can help them succeed. Firstly, ensure there is an environment suitable for them to study in. This might be a quiet place at home or a nearby library. Healthy meals, adequate sleep and a balanced lifestyle are also important factors. Finally, be supportive and encouraging; the HSC is stressful (for both students and parents!) so make yourself available to listen to your child's concerns or anxieties and remind them that their ATAR doesn't define who they are.
How should my child order their UAC preferences?
To apply for university, your child will need to submit their application and supporting documents via the UAC website. Each student can then select up to five course preferences. They can add, delete or change the order of their preferences until the UAC cutoff date.
Preferences will be considered in the order that they are listed. UTS strongly encourages students to put their ‘dream’ course as their first preference, even if they don’t think it’s achievable. Students should list the remaining preferences in the order they would like them to be considered. Make sure your child also includes some ‘safer’ options that have an achievable ATAR.
Find out more about how an ATAR works when applying for uni.
How can my child get 'bonus points'?
UTS has a range of schemes that exist to help applicants increase their chances of being made an offer to study with us. We recognise there are certain circumstances that should be taken into consideration when applying. These include your academic performance in specific HSC subjects, interest in certain study areas, experiences of educational disadvantage, and/or your identity as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person.
If you're applying to UTS on the basis of your ATAR, there are several adjustment factors that can be taken into consideration in your application. These factors, which are recognised through the following admission schemes, can apply points in addition to your ATAR to become a selection rank. UTS then considers your application to study a course based on you selection rank, i.e. your ATAR plus any points you received as a result of any adjustment factors.
Year 12 subject scheme
If you're a current high school student, you're eligible for this scheme. The Year 12 subject scheme (previously known as HSC bonus points) awards points towards your selection rank, based on your performance in selected high school subjects that are relevant to the course you’ve applied for.
Educational access schemes
UTS is committed to educational equity. We have a number of schemes that are designed to allow students from a wide range of backgrounds to access our courses.
Elite athletes and performers
If you are an elite athlete or performer who represented your school or state at a national level competition/event and your study has been impacted.
Specific study area schemes
If you have an interest or aptitude in the study areas of business, design or architecture, engineering, information technology or science, there are schemes in place which take these into consideration in your application to study at UTS.
Are there any alternative admissions pathways?
Admission pathways are an alternative way to be considered for entry into a course, using criteria other than an ATAR. Exploring these pathways with your child will help alleviate the pressure of getting into their preferred course.
Will my child have to move out of home?
Unlike students in countries such as the US, most Australian students commute to university. In NSW, all full-time domestic students receive discounted public transport, which makes commuting a cost-effective option. Whilst some students may crave some post-school independence, others may be daunted by the idea of moving out.
Whether your child needs to live out of home for the duration of their degree will be determined by factors such as the commute time, their study timetable and the cost. For students who only have class a couple of days a week, it may make more sense for your child to live at home and commute as required.
UTS is conveniently located at the southern gateway to Sydney's Central Business District, with Central station, light rail and major bus terminals only a short walk away. For students who wish to live on campus, UTS Housing offers comfortable, affordable and convenient living options. There are a range of fully-furnished and self-catered accommodation styles to suit varying requirements.
How does my child pay for their course?
At UTS, most domestic students will be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place*, which means their tuition fees will be subsidised by the Australian Government. The remaining amount is referred to as the ‘student contribution amount’. Costs vary depending on the university, the area of study and the number of subjects your child enrols in. Most students will be able to access government HECS-HELP loans to help cover part, or all, of their tuition fees. This means that your child can choose to defer their fees until they are earning a certain income.
Students may also have additional expenses, such as the Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF), course materials or equipment, transport and other living expenses. Find out more about fees and financial assistance at UTS.
International students can find out more about fees and financial support via UTS International.
*To be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place, a student needs to be a citizen of Australia or New Zealand or hold an Australian permanent resident visa or Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
Need some assistance?
UTS is Australia's #1 young university (QS Top 50 Under 50, THE Top 200 under 50 2018).
The UTS Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (FASS) offers undergraduate courses in Communication, Education & International Studies.
Meet our students and graduates or explore our facilities at Life in the FASS Lane.