In Summary

If your child receives a lower-than-expected result for their ATAR, it can be a blow for the whole family. But it's important not to let your disappointment compound your child's misery.

After all, in the scheme of things a good ATAR result is not the be all and end all. If your child has worked hard and done the best they could do, that is an achievement in itself.

Don’t dwell on it

It is often the students who have tried the hardest who are hardest on themselves when they don’t achieve their goals.

On results day if the outcome isn’t good, hugs and commiserations are in order. Point out that it isn't the end, just the beginning of a different journey. It may take a shift in perspective and acceptance that the journey to their preferred course or career may take a bit longer than they had hoped, but it is still possible.

Point out some options

Help your child to explore the options available to them.

At Swinburne, students who miss out on entry to their chosen degree can undertake a UniLink diploma. UniLink diplomas are equivalent to the first year of university and can provide entry into the second year of a related bachelor degree. UniLink diplomas are available in the areas of business, design, IT and engineering.

There is also the option of diplomas or advanced diplomas that provide entry in and/or credit towards a degree. 

Embrace industry training

One of Swinburne’s great strengths is its industry-engaged teaching. Whether through internships, work placements or team projects, students at all levels of study have the opportunity to make valuable connections with industry. Swinburne's Industry-Based Learning program has been operating for more than 50 years and gives students the opportunity to take part in a six- or 12-month paid placement.   

Academic staff at Swinburne are connected to industry and are talented in bringing their industry experience to their teaching. They are dedicated to providing positive learning outcomes and committed to preparing career-ready graduates.

So no matter what course they study, your child will have access to opportunities to prepare them for a career. 

Encourage your child

Students often mature academically at different ages, so a low ATAR is not necessarily reflective of their academic abilities.

If a student is committed to their studies, has a willingness to learn and a passion to succeed, they will flourish at Swinburne. You can help them in their journey by highlighting these qualities. 

A low ATAR is not the end of the world, and with your support your child can look forward to graduating from university one day with the skills to begin a successful career.


Find out how your child can reach their course and career goals at Swinburne's Change of Preference events.