Picture of Maddie Hickey in a Charles Sturt Library

How to get an early offer into university

Trials, more study and then THE HSC. You know the next few months are going to be hectic. Even after your last exam you’ll still be worrying about your ATAR. But what if we told you there was a way – or two – to get an early offer to university?

Do you want to shore up your very own spot at Charles Sturt University nice and early? Are you keen to get ahead of the rest? Are you looking forward to spending your summer: a) partying, b) not studying, c) chillin’, d) not worrying about an ATAR or e) all of the above?

Well, at Charles Sturt, we can help. In fact, we can give you two options for an early offer program. Two ways to get an early offer to university, and make a real difference to your life.

Getting in early changed Maddie Hickey’s life

Maddie applied for an early offer with us – and boy, did that one simple action make a big difference to her.

Maddie was a Sydney girl who gave high school her all. She was involved in all sorts of co-curricular activities. She was respected for her top-notch work ethic and give-it-a-go attitude. And she always wanted to go to uni.

She was keen as. There was just one tiny hiccup.

“In Year 12, I was told I had no chance of getting an ATAR and would be lucky to get into any uni course. They said an early offer to university through the Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) was my only hope. It closed that night, so I went home and did it straight away.”

Just so you know, the SRS is one early offer option (as promised above).

The Schools Recommendation Schemes is a program, run by UAC, that lets universities (like us) make early offers of undergraduate admission to Year 12 students (like you), using criteria other than (or along with) the ATAR.

Maddie applied for admission into the Bachelor of Criminal Justice1 – so she could become a police officer.

“And thanks to the SRS, I received an offer from Charles Sturt. It gave me a sense of security. And when you are looking to move away from home you need time to plan and organise. To know around November that I had a place helped me prepare for the move in February.”

That meant Maddie could organise accommodation and even line up part-time work – long before classes actually started. The pressure was dialled down, meaning she could relax just a little and really concentrate on doing her best in the exams.

[SPOILER ALERT] Maddie’s ATAR was above the entry requirement (and the crowd goes wild!)

A smiling Maddie Hickey in the uni library discussing how to get early entry into university

An early offer to university – a real confidence booster

But, you know, Maddie’s early offer meant more than just being able enjoy her post-HSC break.

“The early offer to university was a vote of confidence in me. It was Charles Sturt saying ‘we believe in you’ and that made the offer even more appealing.

“Moving out, and away from home, was a huge step and a really big decision to make. I didn’t really want to at first. I was happy to stay in my comfort zone and be with my friends, but I would’ve had to do a course that wasn’t appealing to me.”

But wait, there’s more.

The early offer helped Maddie dream big – and then even bigger. Signing up to her bachelor’s degree, Maddie was all set to be a general duties police office in the NSW Police Force. By the time graduation rocked around she already had her eye on the master’s degree and had set her career sights higher.

“I graduated with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. I lot of people defer or drop out of the Bachelor of Criminal Justice when they are offered a place with the New South Wales Police Force, but I didn’t want to have a half-finished degree. While doing my degree I started working at Charles Sturt and began to research the Master of Terrorism and Security Studies. Then I decided to just go for it. On my graduation day [for the Bachelor of Criminal Justice] I got an offer for the master’s.”

The new dream?

“Counter terrorism (intelligence based) with the Australian Federal Police. I always wanted to get into counter terrorism. So, to have a specialisation to do in a master’s, that was everything I was looking for.”

As promised, here’s another early offer to university option

At Charles Sturt we hear a lot of stories like Maddie’s and we decided to help – so we developed the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program.

Not having a whole heap of ‘book smarts’ shouldn’t stop you from heading to uni. Like many people, Maddie is an ace when it comes to some other very important skills – yep, those soft skills that Charles Sturt (and employers) are now looking for. They’re skills like emotional intelligence, collaboration and communication skills, resilience and a commitment to creating a world worth living in.

“I have more social skills and common sense – as opposed to just book smarts. Writing essays doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll make a good cop. During school I branched out a lot. I completed my Duke of Edinburgh award, was in school musicals, was Sports House Captain and represented my school overseas for soccer. I was also a lifesaver and had a part-time job at a pharmacy. [She even learned the flute for a bit!] And while doing my bachelor’s I did a lot with Charles Sturt. I was the soccer vice-president and coached the first ever mixed team.”

Those experiences, and the skills needed to succeed in them, shone through. And people noticed.

“A lot of people started to say ‘I can see why you’ll make a really great cop’.”

How to get an early offer into university – and realise your dream sooner

Maddie knows exactly how good it feels when you know how to get an early offer into university, and that’s why she’s also a big fan of the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program – because it will give more people the chance to realise their dreams with an early offer to university.

“I wouldn’t be the only one out there who others considered ‘not book smart’. But we have skills that are important and we have the ability to complete the course. We just need the opportunity. That’s why the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program is so great.”

Once you’re part of the early offer program, we’ll support you to develop your soft skills, prepare you for university and connect you with a community of like-minded students. We’ll nurture you through your Charles Sturt University experience.

It’s clear Maddie has what it takes. And we know you do, too. Apply now and you could soon get your own early offer to university.

1Cricos: 022895G