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Didn’t get your first uni choice? Here are your options

So you didn’t get your first preference. Don’t panic! Below, we walk you through what you should do next…

We get it. It can be super disappointing when you don’t score a place at your dream uni in the first round of offers. But this isn’t the end of the road – far from it in, fact! You have lots of options still to explore so don’t count yourself out. If you didn’t get into your first choice uni, it’s time to hatch an excellent Plan B that’ll still lead you to your ideal future career. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

Don’t give up hope

First of all, keep in mind this is just the first round of offers. Additional places could be offered later on, depending on the choices others make (e.g. someone might reject an offer to your first choice uni, opening up a spot for you!). The best thing to do is to check with your state or territory’s Tertiary Admission Centre about offer rounds and what your options are before second round offers are released. Here’s a handy list of these centres. Get clicking!

Change your preferences

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This is something else you can do at this stage. Go back and have a look at your other preferences and have a think about how these unis and degrees could help you reach your end goal. Are any of these unis on our top STEM universities list? Or are they on the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings list?

Other things to consider are location (perhaps you’ve changed your mind about heading to the city or regions and would prefer to stick closer to home OR maybe you’re now keen to spread your wings and move further afield), facilities (state of the art labs and tech are great for skilling up for your future STEM career), the uni’s connections to industry, or electives on offer.

Still can’t decide? Take our ‘Should you change your uni preferences?’ quiz for clarity!

Consider alternate pathways

Lots of unis offer pathways into their courses and degrees. Head to your first choice uni’s website and select your dream degree to find out what’s available to you. An alternate pathway here could be completing a certificate, diploma, foundation studies or a preparatory course that then allows you entry into the degree. You could also choose to complete a different degree and then add a post-grad qualification (like a graduate certificate/diploma or a master’s degree) in your area of interest and/or specialisation on top.

Another option: you could look into studying at a different uni then transferring to your top choice later on.

Do plenty of research on the above to find out what’s the best way forward for you. If you’re stuck, don’t be shy – you can reach out to your first choice uni directly to discuss alternate pathways.

There’s plenty of brilliant and relevant VET pathways to explore too. Having a VET qualification can help meet uni entry requirements and, in some cases, can get you credit towards the degree at your first choice uni.

Take a look at these VET pathway stories for inspo:

Head to our Going to Uni section for more tips and tricks on changing preferences and getting settled into uni life. Want these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up to the Careers with STEM e-newsletter.

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