If you’re applying to go back to study and you’re unsure whether you’re considered a ‘mature age’ applicant, you’re not alone.
It can be a little confusing at first, but understanding which type of applicant you are and what it means for your course application will ensure you’re ticking all of the boxes with your VTAC application – giving you the best chance of being accepted into the course of your choice.
There are two types of VTAC applicants: Year 12 and Non-Year 12. When you are reading the selection criteria for the courses you’re interested in on Course Search, it’s important to know which category you fall into.
● If you completed Year 12 any number of years ago, and have not attempted or completed further study at or above Certificate IV level since then, you are considered a Year 12 applicant.
● If you didn’t complete Year 12, or if you completed Year 12 and have since attempted or completed any study at or above Certificate IV, you are considered a Non-Year 12 applicant.
If you’re still unsure which type of applicant you are, check out our video below which goes through some examples:
Institutions sometimes have different selection criteria for each type of applicant, so once you know which category applies to you it’s important that you take note of the requirements for each course you’re applying for. This way you’ll know exactly what you need to do to be considered for the course, and you’ll have the best chance of getting an offer.
Some requirements, such as portfolios and interviews, may need to be organised through the institution separately. Make sure you read the selection criteria carefully, as instructions for organising or completing these requirements are always provided in this section.
Your Course Application
Every applicant creates a VTAC account in the same way, there are no special forms or alternate application methods for ‘mature age’ or Non-Year 12 applicants. Everyone can apply through the same system.
During the process we will ask you a series of questions about your situation which help us to determine which type of applicant you are. There is no box you need to tick to indicate that you’re a ‘mature age’ applicant. As long as you answer the questions accurately, VTAC will know which category you fall into.
We will also ask you about your previous study, and in some cases you may need to provide evidence of your qualifications or results. If this is the case, you will be notified at the end of your application, with instructions on how to send this evidence to VTAC. For mature-age applicants, some courses will accept previous work experience as part of your application – this may need to be expressed in the Personal Statement. Look out for this in the selection criteria when you’re researching courses.
Applying for Special Consideration
Every institution treats the term ‘mature-age’ a little bit differently. For some courses you may be eligible for special consideration as this type of applicant, which can boost your application and therefore your chances of being accepted into the courses you’re applying for.
Mature age consideration is usually part of the main special consideration program, SEAS (Special Entry Access Scheme), and you can apply for it from the SEAS page in your VTAC Account once you’ve submitted your course application.
There are four SEAS categories. While we recommend that all applicants apply for Category 1 of SEAS, Category 1 it is especially important for mature age applicants. Ticking this box indicates that you would like to be considered on the basis of demographic information you’ve already given us, including your age.
Without applying for Category 1 of SEAS, institutions have no way of knowing that you are mature age, and won’t be able to grant you any special consideration on that basis.
Each institution and course is different, so we recommend always checking the criteria for SEAS Category 1 with the institution you’re applying for – for example, some institutions require those applying under Category 1 to sit a special admissions test. Some institutions also offer other special consideration programs, so make sure you read all of the details for your preferences to see if there are other options.
When completing your registration and course application with VTAC, you don’t need to say you’re a mature age applicant. To be considered by your course preferences (and give yourself the best chance of success), it is important to understand if you are a Year 12 or Non-Year 12 applicant, and ensure you’re meeting all of the relevant selection requirements.
If you’re still not sure which category you fit into, you will be allocated a category, based on your responses to the application questions. An indicator is displayed in your VTAC account, on the Course Application page.
Finally, don’t forget to apply for SEAS or other special consideration – it may give you the edge you need to get that dream offer!