GOAL College Logo | Senior School Sydney

Non-ATAR Pathways

At GOAL College, we do things differently – and we do it without the pressure of the ATAR. 

Continuing into tertiary studies isn’t for everyone, but if you do want to continue your studies after high school it’s important to know that there are plenty of ways to gain entry to University without an ATAR.

We know you have questions, so click through our FAQ below.

Questions about the ATAR

Yes, all of our students are studying a full Higher School Certificate program and will graduate with their HSC, as long as they complete the requirements of the course. 

No, we do not participate in the ATAR program.

We believe that alongside academic learning, students need to gain real-life skills that equip them to succeed in work, study and life after Year 12. We deliberately do not offer an ATAR program as we want to move away from the high stress and narrow focus of traditional schooling. We strive to ensure our students are balanced, active, healthy, mentally and physically resilient, and ready for life after graduation – whatever path that may be.

The ATAR is a rank given to students who participate in the ATAR stream for their HSC. It is not a percentage or an average of exam marks or grades. It is a way of ranking students who sit a certain number of eligible exams from the highest to the lowest and it is designed to make it easy for universities to rank students so that they can pick who to offer places to.

No, you do not need an ATAR to go to Uni.

Most years, GOAL College has about 20% of its students proceed directly into University courses straight from Year 12 – and none of them have an ATAR.

As an example, 59% of our 2020 graduates were enrolled in post-school study (at March 2021); and 35% of those are at Universities, studying undergraduate degree courses. Many of our students who have proceeded to University are studying Sports Management, Business, or Accounting degrees, as well as Education, Social Work, Nursing, and Communications.

For courses that are traditionally associated with high ATAR results such as pure mathematics or science, law, architecture, medicine, and some other disciplines, a bridging course or other first-year University level course would need to be completed to gain entry to these degrees.

There are a number of pathways open to students to apply to University:

  • Register with UAC, then use the Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS)
  • Register with UAC, then use the Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
  • Apply directly (see the relevant university’s website or UAC for details)
  • Use Sporting Skill scholarships and access pathways for elite athletes
  • Enter via a University Diploma pathway which gives credit towards the first year of the degree
  • Complete a TAFE Diploma in the year after Year 12 and then applying directly to the University
  • Complete first year university courses while at GOAL in order to show proficiency in an area of study
  • Apply for early entry and complete an interview, drawing on volunteering and industry experience and qualifications gained at GOAL
  • Sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) test

Download a copy of the GOAL College Prospectus to learn more