This article is taken from ‘ABC of Applying 2018’ published by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (2017)
SEAS stands for Special Entry Access Scheme, which is the term VTAC uses for special consideration. If something out of your control has affected your studies, like a short- or long-term illness or disability, financial difficulties, or other problems, it’s a great idea to apply for SEAS to support your course application.
However, it is not just about life’s difficulties – there is a whole section in SEAS that looks at under-represented demographics in courses, and all you have to do to apply is tick a box.
What is considered?
There are four categories in SEAS. You can apply for all the categories that are relevant to your situation. Visit the VTAC website for more detailed information on each category.
Category 1: Personal Information and Location
This category covers a range of under-represented demographics so institutions can ensure that their students come from a wide range of backgrounds. All of these details can be drawn from your course application so all you need to do to apply is tick a box. The system will determine if you are eligible for any of the sub-categories. However, you should also check the VTAC website to see if individual institutions require any further evidence.
This sub-category mainly applies to mature age students who are returning to study.
This sub-category is for applicants who are applying for a course that has historically been dominated by applications form the opposite gender. For example, women applying for engineering courses, or men applying for nursing.
Living or school location
This sub-category is for applicants who live os study in a rural or isolated area.
Non-English speaking background
The sub-category is for applicants who were born outside of Australia in a non-English speaking country, who speak a language other than English at home or who arrived in Australia on, or after, 1 January 2008.
Institutions determine which schools are under-represented amongst their students. This may change from year to year.
First in family to attend university
This sub-category is for applicants whose parents did not attend university.
Category 2: Disability or medical condition
This category is for applicants who have experienced educational disadvantage as a result of any learning, physical, sensory or psychiatric medical condition, illness or disability.
Category 3: Disadvantaged financial background
This category is for applicants who have been prevented from reaching their education potential because of a disadvantaged financial background.
Category 4: Difficult circumstances
This category is for applicants who have been prevented from reaching their educational potential due to difficult circumstances other than horse deceived above. For example, problems at home, a dearth in the family or other life circumstances.
Does every institution use SEAS?
Not al instructions use SEAS and different institutions recognise different categories. Visit the VTAC website for more information.
What you need
Depending on which categories you are applying for, you may be asked to provide:
- Details of difficult circumstances.
- Details of disability or medical conditions.
- Details of financial hardship.
- Your Centrelink Reference Number.
- Your income details.
Most categories required written statements explains how you have been disadvantaged. These have strict character limits so it can be a good idea to write a draft before you start.
Providing supporting evidence
Most SEAS categories require supporting evidence hat shows how you have been disadvantaged. This may include:
Impact statements are written statements that describe in your own words, how your education has been affected by disadvantage. The impact statement is an essential and significant part of your SEAS application. Impact statements provide assessors with the information required to understand the effect of the disadvantage on your educational performance. They are submitted as part of your online SEAS application.
Statement of Support
you may be required to submit a statement of support from a responsible person, such as your doctor or a teacher. The responsible person must have specific knowledge of your circumstances,stance and be able to describe them. Statements of support may be submitted electronically or mailed to VTAC.
VTAC can access your Centrelink records electronically. However, if you DO NOT give VTAC permission to do so or you need to provide other financial documents such as payslips you will need to mail these to VTAC.
What SEAS won’t do
SEAS is designed to make sure institutions get a sense of your full potential, even if you have experience difficulty during your education. If you apply for SEAS, you still need to meet the course selection criteria. And if you are granted special consideration it does not guarantee you an offer.
Need some more help?
Please make a time to speak with Mr McMillan if you need assistance with any aspect of SEAS – Mr McMillan is happy to answer any questions you might have – even help you understand if you could be eligible for any categories.