Meg Brennan is a little more relaxed than her classmates about her ATAR results arriving next week.
The Buninyong teen has already received a university offer for her course of choice – a double degree in international relations and law at LaTrobe University.
While most of her peers will have to wait until January 16 to receive their first round university offers, Ms Brennan learned of her early offer through LaTrobe’s Aspire Early Admissions program in September before she even sat her exams.
The offer is conditional on her scoring a set ATAR, but that figure is below the clearly-in score for regular applicants, and a score she is confident of achieving.
“The pre-requisite was in the high 90s and with the Aspire program it drops in to the 80s, which certainly took some of the stress off but it still required some motivation to do well,” she said.
Ms Brennan is one of about 40 students from the Ballarat region, and around 1860 across the state, to receive an early university offer under Aspire.
“It was a nice relief when I got it, and it does look like it will be a realistic score for me,” she said.
This year she has tackled legal studies, English, further maths, business management and global studies.
In four or five years, with newly-minted qualifications hopefully under her belt, she wants to get involved in humanitarian work overseas.
“It could be a bit traumatic at times, but I think it’s a thing you have to do to understand where you fit in in the world and where other people do,” she said.
“I’m really interested in international humanitarian work and the laws behind it … and if I cover all those bases I can do something to help people and also find out how the international political stage works.”
LaTrobe University’s Aspire program is open to students who have gained skills, knowledge and experience through volunteering and making a positive contribution to their community.
During her time at Ballarat Grammar, Ms Brennan has been Blood Bank ambassador, volunteered with Pinarc, been part of a homework club, and is an active member of Round Square, an international foundation that runs school exchanges and focuses on internationalism, adventure, environmentalism, leadership and service.
LaTrobe University is one of several institutions who offer early or guaranteed entry to degrees for applicants who meet eligibility criteria and score a minimum ATAR they have set for each course.
Federation University, Victoria University, Swinburne, Deakin and ACU also have early offers programs for applicants who meet their criteria and minimum ATAR scores.
Monash and Melbourne unis offer guaranteed entry to students from secondary schools that are under-represented among their students, or who are financial disadvantaged, living in a low socio-economic area, or are indigenous, and who attain an ATAR they have set for the course.