Special consideration for difficult life or family challenges

Also known as VTAC SEAS Category 4: Difficult circumstances

In what’s been a challenging time, it’s important to consider your eligibility for VTAC SEAS Category 4. If your studies have been disrupted by the 2019–2020 bushfires or COVID-19, you can have your full potential recognised while boosting your ATAR.


At Deakin, Category 4 includes special consideration for the following subcategories. If you’d like clarification on the eligibility of your individual circumstances, get in touch with one of our future student advisers.

Subcategory Consideration givenEligibility
COVID-19 remote learning impacts Up to 10 aggregate points For applicants whose ability to study was adversely affected by remote learning measures put in place due to COVID-19.
2019/2020 bushfiresUp to 10 aggregate points For applicants whose education was affected by the 2019–20 bushfires.
Difficult circumstances, including but not limited to: refugee status, death of an immediate family member or friend, severe family disruption, natural disaster, long-term illness of a family member, abusive living environment, disrupted education due to relocation, divorce/separation, care leaver, discrimination, bullying, harassment or negative treatment, excessive family responsibility, homelessness.Up to 10 aggregate pointsFor applicants who experienced circumstances that impacted their education.

How to apply

To apply for VTAC SEAS Category 4, submit a SEAS application form via VTAC after lodging your course application. As part of your special consideration application, you’ll be asked to provide evidence of your difficult life or family challenges. This will include:

  • a short description of your circumstances
  • an impact statement detailing how your circumstances have impacted your studies
  • a supporting statement from a responsible person who understands your circumstances and can comment on the impact they’ve had on your life and studies.

Learn more about writing a strong impact statement

Find out how special consideration is applied

Alternative forms of evidence

If you’re applying for special consideration relating to the following circumstances, you may be able to provide alternative forms of evidence.

COVID-19 remote learning

If you're a Victorian Year 12 student, you will automatically be assessed for special consideration based on information provided by your school. No application or action is required (unless you'd like an additional set of circumstances considered, in which case you can still submit a SEAS application under the relevant category).

For all other applicants, VTAC’s streamlined process allows you to indicate the level of disruption COVID-19 has had on your studies as part of your application. You won’t need to provide further written evidence, and any supporting evidence required will be sent directly from your school to VTAC.

Being a refugee or asylum seeker

Depending on your visa type, VTAC’s application form will prompt you to simply upload a copy of your visa information – no written statements are required.

If you don’t see this message while completing the application form, an impact statement and supporting statement will still be required as part of your application. You’ll also be asked to submit a copy of the relevant page of your passport or visa grant notice if available.

Sexual assault, homelessness, family violence or formal out-of-home care

If you indicate that your circumstances relate to sexual assault, homelessness, family violence or formal out-of-home care on your application, you’ll be given the option to provide a letter from a government or community organisation. Choosing this option means you won’t need to provide an impact statement or supporting statement.

If you’re not currently working with a support worker from a government or community organisation, an impact statement and supporting statement will still be required as part of your application.

COVIDSafe: Ensuring Deakin's campuses are a safe environment for everyone

Deakin is committed to maintaining the ongoing safety of our University community. A dedicated Campus Reactivation Group is working to progressively manage on-campus activities while maintaining the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.

Learn more about reactivating our COVIDSafe campuses


While applying for special consideration, you should also check for scholarships you might be eligible for.

Browse all scholarships



If you don’t quite meet the entry requirements for your preferred course, the good news is there’s more than one pathway to university. Learn more about entry pathways and use our pathways finder to plan a study path to your dream course.

Financial support

You don’t have to manage financial hardship alone. Deakin provides a range of support services for students experiencing hardship, including health and wellbeing services. For more information, visit our student life page.

We can also offer interest-free student loans to assist you with the costs associated with studying (conditions apply). You can learn more about our financial assistance options on our student website.

What you can look forward to at Deakin

When you study at Deakin, you’ll be joining the most satisfied university students in Victoria.* You’ll feel supported every step of the way, inside and outside the classroom, and our practical approach to learning prepares you to make a confident transition into your future career.

A world of support

At Deakin, you’ll be part of an incredibly supportive community, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you feel comfortable, energised and ready to achieve your best. Access a huge range of support services including:

  • study mentors
  • Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
  • Language and Learning Advisers
  • mental and physical health services
  • financial support
  • disability support
  • legal advice
  • after hours IT support.

Plus, there are so many different ways to get in touch, from face-to-face appointments and phone calls, to Skype, email, online chat and more.

Vibrant student life

Studying at university is about more than just exploring your passion. It’s an exciting time in your life when you can make life-long connections, try new things and experience everything campus life has to offer. Visit our student life hub to get a taste for what’s ahead, including the best places to eat and drink, the campus services available to you, and our huge range of clubs and societies.

You might even like to live on campus, which is a great way to immerse yourself in the Deakin experience and make new friends. Plus, students who live on campus are more likely to achieve higher grades than their peers.

Deakin's award-winning career service

DeakinTALENT are experts at connecting you to your future career, whether that be working for a company that inspires you, or forging your own path through self employment.

Best of all, Deakin graduates have access to DeakinTALENT for life. As jobs evolve and your passions change, you’ll always have the support of DeakinTALENT behind you.

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question about special consideration, courses or studying at Deakin, we might have already answered it. Visit Help hub for expert answers to trending questions, and get the info you need fast.

Contact us

If you’d like some guidance through your application, our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre can provide you with step-by-step guidance on the application process. Get in touch on 1800 693 888 to chat with one of our friendly advisers and have all your questions answered.