Yes! You can get early entry to university

Trials, more study and then THE HSC. You know the next few months are going to be hectic. Even after your last exam you’ll still be worrying about your ATAR. But what if we told you there was a way – or two – to get early entry to university?

Do you want to shore up your very own spot at Charles Sturt University nice and early? Are you keen to get ahead of the rest? Are you looking forward to spending your summer: a) partying, b) not studying, c) chillin’, d) not worrying about an ATAR or e) all of the above?

Well, at Charles Sturt, we can help. In fact, we can give you two options. Two ways to make a real difference to your life.

Getting in early changed Maddie Hickey’s life

Maddie tackled her HSC a few years ago and applied for early entry with us – and boy, did that one simple action make a big difference to her.

Maddie was a Sydney girl who gave high school her all. She was involved in all sorts of co-curricular activities. She was respected for her top-notch work ethic and give-it-a-go attitude. And she always wanted to go to uni.

She was keen as. There was just one tiny hiccup.

“In Year 12, I was told I had no chance of getting an ATAR and would be lucky to get into any uni course. They said early entry to university through the Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) was my only hope. It closed that night, so I went home and did it straight away.”

Just so you know, the SRS is one early entry option (as promised above).

The Schools Recommendation Schemes is a program, run by UAC, that lets universities (like us) make early offers of undergraduate admission to Year 12 students (like you), using criteria other than (or along with) the ATAR.

We look at what you’ve achieved at high school and listen to how your school rates your abilities. If you get the green light from us through the SRS you’ll be able to get a head start on planning for your time at Charles Sturt.
Maddie applied for admission into the Bachelor of Criminal Justice – so she could become a police officer.

“And thanks to the SRS, I received an offer from Charles Sturt. Gaining early entry gave me a sense of security. And when you are looking to move away from home you need time to plan and organise. To know around November that I had a place helped me prepare for the move in February.”

That meant Maddie could organise accommodationand even line up part-time work – long before classes actually started. The pressure was dialled down, meaning she could relax just a little and really concentrate on doing her best in the exams.

[SPOILER ALERT] Maddie’s ATAR was above the entry requirement (and the crowd goes wild!)

A smiling Maddie Hickey

Early entry to university – a real confidence booster

But, you know, Maddie’s early entry offer meant more than just being able enjoy her post-HSC break.

“Early entry to university was a vote of confidence in me. It was Charles Sturt saying ‘we believe in you’ and that made the offer even more appealing.

“Moving out, and away from home, was a huge step and a really big decision to make. I didn’t really want to at first. I was happy to stay in my comfort zone and be with my friends, but I would’ve had to do a course that wasn’t appealing to me.”

But wait, there’s more.

Early entry helped Maddie dream big – and then even bigger. Signing up to her bachelor’s degree, Maddie was all set to be a general duties police office in the NSW Police Force. By the time graduation rocked around she already had her eye on the master’s degree and had set her career sights higher.

“I graduated with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in 2019. I lot of people defer or drop out of the Bachelor of Criminal Justice when they are offered a place with the New South Wales Police Force, but I didn’t want to have a half-finished degree. While doing my degree I started working at Charles Sturt and began to research the Master of Terrorism and Security Studies. Then I decided to just go for it. On my graduation day [for the Bachelor of Criminal Justice] I got an offer for the master’s.”

The new dream?

“Counter terrorism (intelligence based) with the Australian Federal Police. I always wanted to get into counter terrorism. So, to have a specialisation to do in a master’s, that was everything I was looking for.”

As promised, here’s another early entry option

At Charles Sturt we hear a lot of stories like Maddie’s and we decided to help – so we developed the Charles Sturt Advantage.

We recognise that people (like you and Maddie) have so much more to offer than just their academic results – and we’re giving you the chance to get where you want to go (simply by being yourself).

But, we’ve also been chatting to employers about why they love our graduates so much. They told us it’s that something extra they bring. It’s the soft skills that give them the edge and they’re very different to your academic ability.

Here’s Maddie’s message – so listen up.

Not having a whole heap of ‘book smarts’ shouldn’t stop you from heading to uni. Like many people, Maddie is an ace when it comes to some other very important skills – yep, those soft skills that Charles Sturt (and clever employers) are now looking for. They’re skills like emotional intelligence, collaboration and communication skills, resilience and a commitment to creating a world worth living in.

“I have more social skills and common sense – as opposed to just book smarts. Writing essays doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll make a good cop. During school I branched out a lot. I completed my Duke of Edinburgh award, was in school musicals, was Sports House Captain and represented my school overseas for soccer. I was also a lifesaver and had a part-time job at a pharmacy. [She even learned the flute for a bit!] And while doing my bachelor’s I did a lot with Charles Sturt. I was the soccer vice-president and coached the first ever mixed team.”

Those experiences, and the skills needed to succeed in them, shone thorough. And people noticed.

“A lot of people started to say ‘I can see why you’ll make a really great cop’.”

Want to realise your dream sooner?

Maddie knows exactly how good it feels to get a head start through early entry to university and that’s why she’s also a big fan of theCharles Sturt Advantage – because it will give more people the chance to realise their dreams.

“I wouldn’t be the only one out there who others considered ‘not book smart’. But we have skills that are important and we have the ability to complete the course. We just need the opportunity. That’s why the Charles Sturt Advantage is a great program.”

Once you’re part of the program, we’ll support you to develop your soft skills, prepare you for university and connect you with a community of like-minded students. We’ll nurture you through your Charles Sturt University experience.

It’s clear Maddie has what it takes. And we know you do, too – so register now and we’ll keep you bang up to date with all things Charles Sturt Advantage.