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Two teens navigating the QTAC process together on laptops

QTAC help: does your teen understand the application process?

Study tips
Published 21 Oct, 2021  ·  4-minute read

One of the biggest decisions a Year 12 high schooler has to make is which university they want to attend and what course they would like to study. In Queensland, the application process is run through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

The prospect of leaving high school is scary but exciting for any teenager. The world is full of possibilities, and they’re assigned the daunting task of deciding where they want their adult life to lead.

Teenagers who want a higher education and the power to do what they love typically choose university as the next step. For teens in Queensland, this means going through the QTAC application process.

There’s a lot of information to take in regarding QTAC, and to make it easy for your teen to understand, we’ve broken down everything you need to know to help them.

What is QTAC?

QTAC is a not-for-profit organisation that is responsible for processing applications for the majority of undergraduate and nominated postgraduate programs offered by universities in Queensland. They provide information about tertiary study and courses, and they help match applicants with opportunities that are right for them.

QTAC is financed by student application fees and the Queensland Government.

The QTAC application process

If your teen is hoping to attend university in Queensland after finishing high school, they’ll need to apply through QTAC. Current high school students need to apply via the QTAC website.

Browse UQ’s course programs.

Helping your teenager understand the QTAC application process

How QTAC preferences work

In the application, your teen will be asked to add their QTAC preferences under the course preference section. They can add up to 6 course preferences on their QTAC application, stating their favoured course as their first preference. They can do this by:

  1. manually searching for the desired course or inserting the QTAC course code
  2. selecting ‘add’ once the course has been found
  3. adding, editing, reordering or deleting the course preference list
  4. continuing to the next section once the course preference list is complete and finalised.

How the preferences are ordered depends on whether your teen is doing this before or after receiving an offer. If it’s done before an offer, make sure your teen orders their preferences carefully so they don’t miss out on their desired study pathway.

Preferences can be changed both before and after you’ve received an offer.

Things to consider when selecting and ordering QTAC preferences:

  • Check if any preferences have fixed closing dates.
  • Note some courses starting in the same semester might have different offer round dates. Check the offer round dates in the course search on the QTAC website.
  • If applying for courses being offered in different rounds, make sure to order them chronologically, according to the round date.

Once your teen submits their QTAC application, they can change their preferences up to 3 times free of charge. After this, each change of preference will incur a fee.

QTAC offer rounds

Offers will be notified via email and SMS. With each QTAC offer round date, applicants receive only one offer. This will be for their highest eligible preference, meaning the one for which they’ve met the admission criteria and selection rank requirement.

Offers need to be responded to by the date and time specified in the offer letter to ensure they don’t expire. To respond to an offer, there are 3 options:

  • outright
  • conditional with no change of preference
  • conditional with change of preference.

For all 3 of these options, your teen can choose to accept, reject or defer their offer. If your teen didn’t receive an offer because they didn’t meet the entry requirements, they can either change their preferences for upcoming QTAC offer rounds or take an upgrading pathway to improve chances of entry in the future. It’s also possible the institution will contact them regarding pathway offers.

Teenager receiving QTAC results via SMS

QTAC key dates for 2022

There are several key QTAC application dates that should be marked in your teen’s calendar. The most important and pressing QTAC key dates for The University of Queensland, Semester 1, 2022 are as follows:

  • QTAC applications open on 3 August 2021.
  • Offers will be released between 7 October 2021 and 17 February 2022.
  • The first major QTAC offer round occurs on 13 January 2022.
  • Classes commence at UQ on 21 February 2022.

When do QTAC applications close?

On-time applications close on 30 September 2021, and QTAC applications for the major round offer close 9 December 2021.

QTAC fees

For Year 12 students from 1 March 2021, the QTAC application fee is $79.

It’s free to change preferences up to 3 times – after this, it will cost $46 with each subsequent change.  

Payments can be made by MasterCard or Visa at the time of the application. BPAY, credit card, EFTPOS or a money order can be completed at their office. Applications will not be processed until QTAC fees have been paid.

Need further guidance? Check out UQ’s application guide for a step-by-step breakdown.

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