Admission criteria

University selection rank adjustments

Many applicants receive an offer to a course even though they have an ATAR below the published lowest selection rank. Often this is because other factors have been considered in combination with their ATAR and their selection rank for that course has been adjusted (and is higher than their ATAR).

These adjustments, which we used to refer to as ‘bonus points’, are due to factors such as performance in Year 12 subjects (only applies to current Year 12 students), living or attending school in a certain area, and applying for consideration through the Educational Access Scheme.

Selection rank adjustments are applied differently from institution to institution and from course to course within the same institution. Visit each institution’s website for details.

Follow these links to find out how each institution might apply adjustments to your selection rank. Information about different adjustment factors is often in different areas of the website, so take some time to look around.

AIE Institute

Australian Catholic University

Australian College of Applied Psychology: ACAP courses do not have an ATAR requirement

Australian College of Physical Education: ACPE courses do not have an ATAR requirement

Australian National University

Avondale University

Charles Sturt University


Griffith University

International College of Management, Sydney: ICMS courses do not have an ATAR requirement

La Trobe University

Macquarie University

MIT Sydney: MIT courses do not have an ATAR requirement

National Art School: NAS courses do not have an ATAR requirement

SAE Creative Media Institute: SAE courses do not have an ATAR requirement

Southern Cross University

Torrens University Australia

University of Canberra

University of New England

University of Newcastle

University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Sydney

University of Technology Sydney

University of Wollongong


Western Sydney University

You need to know that:

  • adjustments do not change your ATAR; they change your selection rank for a particular preference
  • your selection rank = your ATAR + adjustments
  • institutions automatically adjust your selection rank if you are eligible
  • you may need to have a minimum ATAR before you are eligible for adjustments to your selection rank.

As selection rank adjustments are course-specific, your selection rank can be different for each of your course preferences.

For example: Course A has six applicants and only three places available. The six applicants have the following selection ranks:

Applicant Selection rank
1 89.00 (ATAR of 89.00)
2 88.00 (ATAR of 87.00 plus adjustment of 1 point)
3 87.00 (ATAR of 83.00 plus adjustment of 4 points)
4 86.00 (ATAR of 86.00)
5 85.00 (ATAR of 83.00 plus adjustment of 2 points)
6 84.00 (ATAR of 84.00)

Offers will be made to applicants 1, 2 and 3. Applicant 4 won’t receive an offer, even with an ATAR higher than applicant 3, and applicant 3 will receive an offer even though their ATAR is below the lowest selection rank. The lowest selection rank required to receive an offer to Course A will be 87.00.

The example also shows that an applicant with an ATAR above the published lowest ATAR for a course will not necessarily receive an offer. The lowest ATAR for this course is 83.00 (applicant 3). Even though applicants 4, 5 and 6 have ATARs of 83.00 and above, their selection ranks are below the lowest selection rank of 87.00 and therefore they will not receive an offer.

Why your selection rank might be adjusted

Some UAC institutions may increase your selection rank in recognition of your performance in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to the course for which you have applied. These used to be referred to as ‘subject bonus points’. Some do this automatically and some require you to request the adjustment.

If you're an interstate student, you can check which NSW HSC subjects are comparable to your Year 12 subjects, and how results in your subjects compare to results in NSW HSC subjects: compare your Year 12 courses and results to NSW HSC courses and results.

Note that IB students and Queensland students with an ATAR who upload PDF results to their application will need to contact institutions to have subject adjustment factors allocated to them; subject adjustment factors are not automatically applied to results provided to UAC by applicants.

Some UAC institutions increase your selection rank if you live in a designated region, others increase your selection rank if you attend school in a designated region, and some institutions do both. These are location adjustments and they are awarded automatically – you do not need to apply separately.

These institutions allocate location adjustments based on where you live (ie your permanent address):

These institutions allocate location adjustments based on your school:

To be eligible for Educational Access Scheme consideration your educational performance must have been negatively affected during Year 11 and/or 12 or equivalent, due to circumstances beyond your control and choosing.

Institutions use the Educational Access Scheme to make offers of admission in one of two ways. They:

  • increase your selection rank, or
  • set aside a certain number of places for Educational Access Scheme applicants.

Unlike subject or location adjustment factor schemes, UAC does not disclose to applicants details of how their EAS application is considered in conjunction with their university application.

An increase to your selection rank as a result of your EAS application doesn’t guarantee you entry to an institution or course; you still need to meet any published lowest selection rank and compete with all other applicants for a place.

How to apply for the Educational Access Scheme.