Students in front of comuters discussing the Charles Sturt Advantage

The Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program – what is it and how can it help me?

We’ve changed the way you can apply for an early offer to study with Charles Sturt University. It’s called the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program. And it’s a game changer.  

When we chat to employers about why they love our graduates so much, they tell us that it’s not just because they are so well trained for their jobs – it’s that something extra they bring. It’s their soft skills that give them the edge.

So that’s why we’ve changed the way you can apply for an early offer to study with us. We’ve recognised that people have so much more to offer than just their academic results – and we’re giving you the chance to get where you want to go (simply by being yourself).

In this post we’re going to give you a quick lowdown on what the Charles Sturt Advantage is. Plus, we spoke to one of the coordinators of the program, for some insider knowledge.

Firstly, what’s the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program all about?

At Charles Sturt we know there’s more to life than your Year 12 results. So we wanted to give students chance to get into uni based on work they’ve already done and skills they already have.

That’s why the Charles Sturt Advantage can secure you a place to study with us – before your sit your final exams – based on your Year 11 results and your soft skills.

We knew soft skills were key. But what are soft skills?

They’re skills like emotional intelligence, collaboration and communication skills, resilience and a commitment to creating a world worth living in. We’re looking for those special soft skills – things that might not always be reflected in your academic results – but that help you excel in the working world.

There’s more to the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program than just the early offer component. Once you’re in, you’ll be part of an exclusive program that will 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.

But don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to Jordan Stewart, who manages the program. You can listen to our full chat here, or read some highlights below.

How long has the Charles Sturt Advantage program been going now? 

It’s been going for a few years. It’s changed quite a lot since its first couple of years, and with the changes, the amount of applicants and the amount of offers has skyrocketed as well. So it’s definitely our flagship early offer program here at Charles Sturt.

These days, there’s more students coming to study with us via the Charles Sturt Advantage than many other methods. We get heaps of applications. One of the reasons for that is we now offer nearly every undergraduate course via the program. And while we’re getting most of our applications from NSW and Victoria, we literally get applications from every state and territory. So yeah, it’s really, really cool. 

I think it’s popular because the applications are open early, so students can start to really think about it early in the year and apply really early in Year 12. So, I think it’s only getting better year on year.

How does someone apply?

So, we do have the Schools Recommendation Scheme as well, which a lot of other unis participate in. That’s one that’s done through UAC, and it’s a little bit later in the year. But the Charles Sturt Advantage is our our early offer program here at Charles Sturt.

To apply you need to have completed Year 11 and be finishing Year 12 in the year that you’re applying. You need to be an Australian or a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. And that’s pretty much it! That’s the eligibility. So as long as you tick all those boxes, then you can apply for the program.

It’s open every year to Year 12 students. All you do is jump on the Charles Sturt Advantage website and apply that way. There’s no need to apply through UAC, VTAC, or the equivalent in your state; it’s all done direct through Charles Sturt. We assess the application and then we make the offers. Most of our undergraduate degrees are included. And once you receive an offer from us, you’re essentially a trial student. You get your student ID and you have access to our systems. 

There’s a lot of other benefits that come with it as well?

So once you get your offer, we invite you to an exclusive Facebook group. It’s a really engaged group and it’s mainly managed by our student ambassadors, who are our current students that have come through the the program in previous years. It’s a place initially where we find a lot of people just introduce themselves. They talk about where they’re from, what they’ve applied or what they’ve received an offer for, where they’re gonna be studying.

And it’s a really great way to meet new friends and other people studying either at your campus or in your course really early on. So you start to build that community from day one. And it’s also a spot where you can post any questions you have.

Apart from the Facebook group, we send you a monthly newsletter as well. It’s got lots of important information, lots of advice on how to go well in Year 12, how to go well in university, and info on exclusive Advantage events, but also other events that we we host across the university for different courses and different students.

And how about looking the part?

When you receive your offer, you’ll get a physical offer pack in the mail as well. So you get an offer, you get a flyer with what you have to look forward to for the next six months or so, and you’ll get some exclusive Charles Sturt Advantage merch. When you start, you’ll see socks getting around the place. You’ll see badges, you’ll see hoodies. Anytime you see the dark green colour, that’s an Advantage student. You’ve gotta be kitted out in the merchandise to feel like a Charles Sturt student, right? 

Tell us about the exclusive events

So we host online events. Some of those are based around accommodation, some are based around scholarships. Sometimes they’re just an ask me anything where we have a couple of students and you can just ask any questions you have. You just have a really informal chat with them.

We also have some on-campus events as well. So our big one is our Charles Sturt Advantage retreat. We usually hold it in mid-December, just before the ATARs are released. It’s an overnight event at our Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Port Macquarie and Wagga campuses. 

You’ll come at 10am on a Tuesday morning and stay overnight and head back the next day. And it’s a really low-key, informal fun event. The whole point of it is to just give you opportunities to meet one another, opportunities to build those friendships, get to know our campuses, get to know our student ambassadors. Maybe meet some academics. We do a tour of the town as well. It’s just some really good opportunities to get as comfortable as you can with the campus and with university before you start. So you know on day one or when you start Orientation week, you’ve already got a group of friends straight away. You don’t need to worry about the the stresses and anxieties of meeting new people. You’ve already you’ve already had loads of opportunities before you start to build up those friendships. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Get the Advantage – and you’ll never look back. Go on, apply now!