In Summary

Receiving your ATAR is one of the most stressful experiences any teenager will go through. Everyone is wondering: ‘will I be good enough? Have I done enough?’ But it’s important to remember that you are so much more than a number and that even if your score is not quite what you hoped, there are plenty of options available to you. Some students will end up with an ATAR above what they were expecting, but this shouldn’t mean a change of plans. You made your VTAC preferences for a reason, so stick with your instincts.

Follow your dreams

According to the Department of Education up to 13,000 university students change courses or universities in their first year of study, while 27,000 abandon university study altogether.

Some students choose to drop out because they simply can’t afford it. To help out students struggling with the cost of a course, Swinburne offers a range of scholarships, as well as financial advice and assistance.

An even more common explanation for students not completing a university degree is that they didn’t follow their passion. It can be tempting to change your course preferences based on an unexpectedly high ATAR, but this can be a huge mistake. Someone who selects a course based on their personal strengths, interests and goals is far more likely to enjoy their studies and have a successful career. Follow your heart and your head – you’ll be glad you did.

Know your options

While some students will be thrilled with their ATAR, others will not be so lucky. The worst thing you can do if you find yourself in the ‘not so lucky’ basket is to give up. A lower-than-expected result is definitely not the end of the world. While you may not gain automatic entry to the course of your dreams, there are plenty of other ways to make your study goals a reality. Completing a diploma to gain entry to a bachelor degree is just one of the many pathway opportunities at Swinburne.

Feeling confident

Starting a degree is a big deal for anyone, so it’s important to know exactly what you are in for. There are many questions you need answered: where will I live? What will the campus be like? What sort of resources and activities are available to me? Life at Swinburne answers all of these questions and helps you to get a feel for university life.

The world is your oyster

At the end of 13 years of school the idea of more study can seem overwhelming, so many students opt for a gap year. The downside of this is that you can get behind in your education and your career. A great way to combine getting a degree and enjoying all the benefits of travel is to study abroad. What better way to experience a different way of life and learn about another culture than to live and breathe it every day? 

Happy graduates

One of the best measures of a great university is how its students fare once they graduate. The QS World University Rankings awarded Swinburne five stars for graduate employability and The Good Universities Guide 2015 gave five stars for graduate satisfaction. These accolades demonstrate Swinburne’s commitment to providing a quality education and successfully preparing students for employment.


Talk to course advisers at Swinburne's Change of Preference events to find out more about the options available to you.