TAFE NSW has issued a timely reminder about the range of degrees it offers that don't require an ATAR, as hundreds of HSC students in the Hawkesbury are focussed on one of the most important periods of their lives.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, said the TAFE NSW Early Entry Program allows HSC students to apply for entry to study a TAFE NSW degree, without an ATAR.
"By allowing students to apply for entry to a degree before receiving an ATAR, the TAFE NSW Early Entry Program gives students and their families some much-needed peace of mind," Mr Cullen said.
"Early entry to TAFE NSW degrees allows students to get ahead of the pack and focus on answering exam questions rather than agonising over whether or not they will receive an offer for tertiary studies from other providers."
Samuel Madrajat is an 18-year-old student from Londonderry who completed the HSC last year and looked to TAFE NSW as he wasn't expecting to get the ATAR he needed for a university degree.
He said he hasn't looked back since beginning his Bachelor of Applied Commerce majoring in finance at TAFE NSW Granville, and said he benefited from the one-on-one help from teachers that TAFE offered.
"They didn't really require an ATAR as much because the subjects I studied matched the course," Samuel told the Gazette.
"I was able to relax a lot more, especially in the weeks leading up the HSC."
He said TAFE was a good option for him as he mentioned his friends had struggled with the learning environment that was offered at universities.
Samuel is now working in the finance industry at a company in Parramatta, and said he had enjoyed applying the practical skills learnt at TAFE NSW in the industry.
He said teachers put a lot of pressure on Year 12 students during the HSC.
"I wouldn't recommend not to stress at all, but the ATAR does not mean that's your only shot at education - there's always a back way, and ways to get into the course you want," he said.
He said he is loving his work at Steliou & Associates: "I've worked there since February when I started my course. I'm about to complete my first year, and I've got two more years of the three-year course."
Mr Cullen of TAFE NSW said the institute offers flexible study options, including online with TAFE Digital, which means students don't have to travel to study, can work part time and complete a degree at their own pace.