Guidance for parents and caregivers

It's been a tough year for all students and their families, but none more so than our Year 12s. In a time when uncertainty may be running high, we've gathered all the information you'll need to ensure you can prepare them (and yourself) for the journey ahead, with confidence and enthusiasm.

Why university?

A university degree is not just an academic qualification – it gives your child the opportunity to develop invaluable life skills, such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. In return, this promotes increased job opportunities with higher earning potential. Our full-time bachelor's degree graduates have a median salary of $70,000*.

At Deakin, we empower our students to learn and grow in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment, while preparing them for the jobs of the future.

Parents and caregivers guide

Our parents and caregivers guide will shed more light on what to expect when your child heads off to university. Learn more about supporting them through their final years of school, choosing a university, the application process and what life can be like as a uni student.

Download our parents and caregivers guide (PDF, 1MB)

Change of Preference guide

The Change of Preference (COP) period can be overwhelming, exciting, emotional, all of the above for students and parents alike. This handy guide covers everything you need to know, including the Deakin events and resources available to help you and your Year 12-er successfully navigate COP.

Download our Change of Preference guide (PDF, 293.4KB)

Transition to Deakin: a guide for students and parents

Student Recruitment Coordinator Luke Cann chats with two of our student ambassadors about how they transitioned from Year 12 into university life at Deakin.

Supporting their university journey

It's not always easy to know how to provide appropriate support to students starting their university journey. But encouragement and understanding can have a significant impact on their growth as a student and as a person.

There's also lots of things to consider when choosing a university – courses on offer, their ATAR, campus location, success of graduates, study costs and more. The best place to start is by comparing the course your child would like to take between different universities.

Browse all Deakin courses

How to support Year 10s

Year 10 is an exciting year, as it marks the beginning of your senior years of high school. You’ll start to explore different study areas and hone in on your own interests.

Work experience will be on your agenda, as well as exploring university courses and possible career choices. To make life easier, we've compiled a guide for Year 10 students with key information about getting ready for university.

Download the Year 10 students guide (PDF, 1.3MB)

How to support Year 11s and 12s

During their last years of high school, Year 11 and 12 students are encouraged to start thinking about the next phase of their life. It can also be a time of some uncertainty and stress, for them and for you.

We've put together some tips on how to help your child stay focused and develop the skills needed for university.

Learn more about supporting Year 11s and 12s

Students under the age of 18

Deakin welcomes applications from candidates of all ages, though there are specific guidelines for those who are under the age of 18.

Read Deakin's underage student management policy

Learn more about Deakin's guidelines for underage international students

#1 in Victoria*

for student satisfaction

Year on year, our students are the most-satisfied of all Victorian universities. We’ve been ranked number one for ten years running, with students being especially happy with our teaching, learning resources, student support, skills development and learner engagement.

Pathways into Deakin

There's more than one way to get into university. If your child's ATAR score isn't enough to gain them entry into their chosen course, it's important to know there are other avenues they can explore to begin their studies at Deakin.

Discover our entry pathways


We're here to support your child. Whether it's recognising academic merit or perseverance and commitment to study despite experiencing hardship, one of our many scholarships could transform their life and their future.

Learn more about scholarships

Understanding university fees

University fees at Deakin can vary depending on the course, student type (undergraduate, postgraduate, domestic or international), and whether any financial assistance will be required.

Find out more about fees

Special consideration for challenging circumstances

Year 12 been impacted by challenging circumstances? Your child can apply for special consideration that recognises their resilience, while increasing their aggregate score based on what they would have achieved if their circumstances were different.

Learn more about special consideration

Deakin courses focus on applied and integral skills, as well as real-life experience and knowledge, to ensure graduates are employable in their chosen field.

Jessica Forrer

Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery

Got a question but can't find the answer?

We've curated some of the most commonly asked questions our future student advisers get from parents and caregivers of Year 12s and soon-to-be uni students.

Common questions

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Will special consideration be given to all Year 12s this year?

Normally individual students are assessed for special consideration on a case-by-case basis. This year, schools will provide the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) with information on every single student. This means every Victorian student will be individually assessed, and any adverse impacts of coronavirus will be reflected in ATAR rankings.

For more information on future student services and courses:

What is Change of Preference (COP)?

Change of Preference (COP) is a stage in the VTAC application process relating to the input of course preferences. You can include up to eight course options on your preference list. During COP periods, you can change the order of your preferences, as well as add or remove courses.

For more information on future student services and courses:

When is COP?

COP closes on 4 January 2021 at 12pm, five days after ATAR release. COP reopens on 14 January 2021 after January offers are made. COP closes again on 21 January 2021 and reopens on 2 February 2021, after February offers are made. Final close is 17 February 2021.

For more information on future student services and courses:

How do Year 12 students apply?

Current Year 12 students must apply through VTAC. You can list up to eight courses, in order of preference, within the VTAC application system. Once ATARs are released on 30 December 2020, applications will be assessed and offers will be sent out in the January and February 2021 rounds.

For more information on future student services and courses:

When do Year 12 students apply?

Applications for Trimester 1, 2021 opened on 3 August 2020. Timely applications closed 5pm 30 September 2020. Late applications close 5pm 6 November 2020 and very late applications close 5pm 4 December 2020.

For more information on future student services and courses:

Do entry requirements change between offer rounds?

No – entry requirements, including folio submissions and interviews, remain the same when applying through VTAC, regardless of the offer round.

For more information on future student services and courses:

What is SEAS?

VTAC's Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) is for those who may not have been able to reach their full potential for study due to a range of challenging factors. SEAS enables institutions to consider the circumstances you've experienced and their impact on your studies when making selection decisions.

For more information on future student services and courses:

What are SEAS aggregate points?

The Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) adds points to your aggregate to reflect the level you may have achieved if your circumstances had been different. This can increase your chance of receiving an offer but does not guarantee it. Deakin will give a maximum of 15 aggregate points per applicant.

For more information on future student services and courses:

Does Deakin offer any guaranteed entry courses?

Our Associate Degree of Arts is a guaranteed pathway into our Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Criminology. You can also apply to transition, with credit, into a range of other bachelor degrees, though this is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on future student services and courses:

Are online courses the same as their on-campus equivalent?

Absolutely. Classes, exams, course material, teachers and placement opportunities are exactly the same for all students, regardless of whether you’re studying online or on campus. This applies to your degree when you graduate too – it holds the same merit, irrespective of how, where and when you earned it.

For more information on future student services and courses:

What study support is available to online students?

During your tailored, online orientation program you'll gain access to our dedicated study support site, chock-full of helpful resources, including the library. For more personalised support there's also one-on-one mentoring sessions and student success coaches available via numerous channels, plus our 24/7 online tutoring and writing feedback service.

For more information on future student services and courses:

How will practical learning work online?

Many of our courses incorporate extensive hands-on, practical learning experiences. Some of these experiences will be delayed until we're back on campus teaching in our laboratories, studios, or out in the field and in the workplace. This delay will not impact your overall learning outcomes or course progression.

For more information on future student services and courses:

Beyond university

When your child goes to university, it’s not just the start of their tertiary education but also a step towards their professional plans and career.

DeakinTALENT, our dedicated Graduate Employment Division, offers all students career preparation from day one. Through an extensive suite of programs and services, we provide advice, assistance and encouragement to enable them to discover what's important so they can explore their career interests in a supported environment. Importantly, each student is given the tools and techniques to assist with job applications and interviews, to ensure they can plan ahead with confidence and navigate the jobs and careers of the future.

Learn more about DeakinTALENT

Internships, industry-based learning (IBL) and work integrated-learning programs (WIL) are also available through most courses. These take place with an employer and provide huge benefits in securing a job post graduation.

Learn more about workplace learning opportunities

Deakin Webinar Series: Pathways to Deakin

If you missed out on your dream course, are considering transitioning from TAFE to uni or supporting someone through this process, learn about the many exciting pathways to Deakin.

Services and support

Deakin has five campuses: Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong Waterfront, Warrnambool, and the Cloud Campus for those studying primarily online. Some courses are only taught at one campus, but usually students can choose their location.

Regardless of campus or study mode, all students have access to a wide variety of services and support, both on campus and online. These include:

  • career guidance and advice
  • counselling
  • cultural and social clubs and events
  • disability resource centre
  • libraries
  • medical centres
  • spiritual centres
  • places to eat
  • peer-mentoring programs
  • sports and gym facilities (on campus for all locations except Geelong Waterfront)
  • study support
  • 24-hour security.

We're here to help

Support toolkit for parents and caregivers of Year 12s

We’ve put together everything you need to help your child in Year 12 make the exciting transition to university life.

Read more

How to support your child through Year 12 and choosing a uni

The best way you can tailor your support to your child's needs is to understand what they're going through.

Read more

Student privacy

Deakin is often contacted by parents and caregivers wanting to check that their child is attending classes or making good academic progress. We're unable to provide personal information about students unless the student has given their explicit consent.

This is regardless of whether the student in question is under 18 or if the parent or caregiver is paying their fees or expenses.

Read our privacy policy

Need more information?

Contact our Prospective Student Enquiries Centre to chat with an expert advisor about your child's study and pathways options.

Domestic students
1800 MY FUTURE (1800 693 888)
Enquire online

International students
+61 3 9034 6205

*2010-2015 Australian Graduate Survey, Graduate Outcomes Survey – Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching 2016–2018.
^Domestic students only.