Educational Access Scheme

 

What is EAS?

 

easbrochure  

 

QTAC's Educational Access Scheme (EAS) is one of the ways in which tertiary institutions help applicants who have experienced difficult circumstances that have negatively impacted on their studies.

EAS is designed to make the tertiary admissions system fairer for all applicants, so you are encouraged to seek assistance if you have experienced circumstances that have made it difficult for you to achieve to your full potential.

Download the EAS brochure (PDF 660KB)

 

Categories

There are five categories of EAS:

Category 1 - Financial Hardship

This category is applicable if you are from a low income background. Financial hardship is assessed based on your total family income, and therefore the information you need to supply will depend on your personal circumstances (refer to information below). If you are eligible under the category Financial Hardship, you may also attract additional assistance from institutions, such as scholarships or bursaries.

Are you financially independent?

If you receive a full rate of a means and asset tested Centrelink income support benefit in your own right and enter your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) in the QTAC application you will usually not be required to provide any additional documents for this category. If you participate in the Smith Family Learning For Life program, you will be eligible under this category. If you do not receive a full rate of an eligible Centrelink benefit or participate in Learning For Life, you will be assessed in this category based on your gross income.

Are you partnered?

If you have a partner, you must provide documentation for your partner's gross income, including a Centrelink Income Statement, if relevant.

Are you a dependant?

 

If you are under 22 years of age and rely on the financial support of your parents or guardians you are considered to be dependent and need to provide evidence of your parent's or guardian's gross income, including a Centrelink Income Statement, if relevant. As part of the QTAC application you are able to enter the details of a parent or guardian who receives a Centrelink benefit. You will need to enter the full name, date of birth and Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) for one parent/guardian. It is very important that you seek the permission of your parent or guardian before entering this information.

Calculating gross household income

You can demonstrate gross household income by providing a copy of the most recent Tax Return you and/or partner or your parent/guardian provided to the Australian Taxation Office. Please note, this is NOT the Notice of Assessment that is sent to you by the Taxation Office, as this does not include gross income. Your Tax Return is the document that you (or your accountant) prepare, which shows all income and deductions claimed.

If your family income includes benefits from Centrelink, you can demonstrate this income by providing a recent Centrelink Income Statement

UQ-Link and Q-Step programs

You will automatically be considered for QUT's Q-Step when you apply for Financial Hardship. The majority of Q-Step offers are made in early January, with all Q-Step offers finalised prior to 6 February 2014.


You will automatically be considered for The University of Queensland's UQ-Link when you apply through QTAC for a tertiary place at UQ and complete Financial Hardship. To be considered, apply (and provide required supporting documentation) to QTAC no later than 16 December 2013.

 

Category 2 - Home Environment and Responsibilities

You can apply for this category if your home environment has made it difficult for you to study. The circumstances recognised within this category include family conflict, abuse, divorce, illness or death of a family member, and caring responsibilities. Caring responsibilities can include being forced by circumstances beyond your control to become independent and care for yourself while you are still at school, or having extensive caring responsibilities for siblings or other family members (in excess of normal contributions to domestic arrangements).

You MUST provide a detailed personal statement which includes:

  • the circumstance you have experienced;

  • how the adverse situation affected your most recent study;

  • when you advised the education provider about your adverse situation (if you did so); and,

  • the extent and nature of assistance the education provider made available to you (extensions for assignments, counselling etc).

You MUST provide supporting documents that substantiate the information you have provided in your personal statement. Depending on the situation, this could include:

  • A letter from your General Practitioner (GP)

  • A letter from a psychologist or counsellor

  • A police report/statement

  • Court/legal documents

  • A death certificate

  • Medical reports

  • Centrelink documents

  • A letter from a community organisation with direct knowledge of your home environment

You may wish to attach academic results showing how your circumstances have affected your educational performance.

Category 3 - English Language Difficulty

You can only apply for this category if you have lived in Australian for less than 10 years and if your most recent study was negatively impacted by a profound level of difficulty communicating in English.

If you have been enrolled in education where the medium of instruction was English (in any country) for more than five years, you would not normally be able to apply on this basis, although some exceptions do apply, especially if the language spoken in your home is not English. Applicants who are hearing or speech impaired should apply under the category Personal illness and disability.

You MUST provide a detailed personal statement which includes:

  • your previous exposure to English;

  • details of English classes you have participated in (both overseas and in Australia);

  • how your English language difficulties affected your most recent study; and,

  • extent and nature of assistance your education provider made available to you (ESL support, extensions on assignments etc).

You MUST provide supporting documentation that confirms your arrival in Australia. This may include:

  • A copy of your passport showing departure and entry arrival stamps

  • A letter from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship

  • A letter from an appropriate community organisation.

If you are a current Year 12 student or on a gap year between Year 12 and tertiary study, you MUST ensure that your education provider completes an Educational Support Statement (ESS). You must also arrange for your education provider to complete an ESS if you are completing Year 12 equivalent studies such as External Senior.

Category 4 - Personal Illness and Disability

If you have experienced long term or recurrent illness or disability you can apply for consideration under this category. You should only do so if your education provider has not been able to provide sufficient compensation for your circumstances.

This category is not intended for students who experienced mild or short episodes of illness, or for students who experienced illness that is well managed with medical treatment and therefore had limited impact on educational outcomes. In the normal course of events your school or education provider should make arrangements to assist you if you experience short term illness (i.e. the flu) or if you have long term but minor medical conditions or disabilities. Your education provider may not be able to make provision if your illness or disability have been long term (more than a few weeks) or has been recurrent (reappeared on a regular basis over a long period of time).

You MUST provide a detailed personal statement which includes: 

 

  • name of your condition, including when you were diagnosed and how long you have been receiving treatment;
  • treatment you have been receiving from a health care professional and how regularly you have been receiving treatment;
  • how your condition affected your most recent study;
  • when you advised the education provider about your condition (if you did so); and,
  • the extent and nature of assistance the education provider made available to you (extensions for assignments, re-scheduling of exams etc).

You MUST provide supporting documentation that substantiates the information you have provided in your personal statement. Depending on the situation this could include:

  • A letter from your health care professional describing your condition, date of diagnosis, treatment plan, and how your condition affected your studies.
  • Hospital records
  • Psychological/psychiatric reports

If you are a current Year 12 student or on a gap year between Year 12 and tertiary study, you MUST ensure that your education provider completes an Educational Support Statement (ESS). You must also arrange for your education provider to complete an ESS if you are completing Year 12 equivalent studies such as External Senior.

Category 5 - Educational Disruption

If your education was disrupted by frequent change of school, peer conflict or a disrupted school environment, you may wish to apply under this category.

You should apply under this category if you have experienced:

  • significant disruption to your school (eg buildings destroyed)
  • rural, regional or remote schooling
  • frequent change of teachers or lack of subject choices
  • frequent change of school and/or change of school system in Years 11 and 12
  • peer conflict
  • limited school participation due to gender or family and/or cultural demands and expectations.

You MUST provide a detailed personal statement which includes: 

  • the circumstance you have experienced;

  • how the adverse situation affected your most recent study; and

  • the extent and nature of assistance the education provider made available to you (e.g. extensions for assignments, rescheduling of exams).

You MUST provide supporting documentation that substantiates the information you have provided in your personal statement. Depending on the situation this could include:

  • A letter from your school or education provider

  • A letter from a health care professional if you have experienced peer conflict

If you are a current Year 12 student or on a gap year between Year 12 and tertiary study, you MUST ensure that your education provider completes an Educational Support Statement (ESS). You must also arrange for your education provider to complete an ESS if you are completing Year 12 equivalent studies such as External Senior. 

Documentation and Cover Sheets

EAS is an evidence-based scheme. This means that you must provide documents that support your EAS application. QTAC is unable to assess EAS applications if appropriate supporting documentation, as outlined under each of the above categories, is not provided.

For each EAS category a cover sheet can be printed at the end of the QTAC application. This cover sheet will detail the specific documents that you need to provide to QTAC for the EAS category. It is your responsibility to provide the correct documents to QTAC in a timely manner to ensure that your EAS application is assessed.

If you did not nominate for EAS when applying then wish to apply after you have lodged your application, you can print the cover sheets and submit the form with the required documentation.

Please refer to Key Dates for due dates to submit documentation. However you should note the following if you are applying for EAS - Financial Hardship and wish to be considered for either UQ-Link or Q-Step;

  • The majority of Q-Step offers are made in early January, with all Q-Step offers finalised prior to 6 February 2014.
  • To be considered for UQ-Link, apply (and provide required supporting documentation) to QTAC no later than 16 December 2013.

Cover Sheets

Refer to the category descriptions above for the documentation required for each category.

Educational Support Statement

If you are a current Year 12 applicant or you are on a gap year between year 12 and tertiary study, you will also need to have your school complete an Educational Support Statement (ESS) if you apply for any of the following EAS categories:

  • English Language Difficulty
  • Personal Illness and Disability
  • Educational Disruption

This is an opportunity for your school to provide QTAC with information about assistance that has already been provided to you. You must also arrange for your education provider to complete an ESS if you are completing Year 12 equivalent studies such as External Senior.

Your school does NOT have to provide an ESS if you apply for the other categories of EAS

  • Financial Hardship
  • Home Environment and Responsibilities.

How to Apply

When you complete your QTAC application, you will be directed to select as many of the five EAS categories as are applicable to your situation.

If you wish to nominate for EAS after you have lodged your QTAC application, you will be able to access the cover sheets by clicking on the above links.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to apply for QUT's Q-Step or UQ-Link's scheme, how do I do this?

Apply for your course via QTAC. Indicate on your QTAC application that you want to be considered for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) category - Financial Hardship.

If you receive a full rate of a means and asset tested Centrelink payment in your own right, you will be required to enter your Customer Reference Number (CRN) in the QTAC application. If you are dependent on a parent or guardian who receives an eligible Centrelink benefit you may enter their name, date of birth and CRN into the QTAC application. It is very important that you have the permission of your parent or guardian before entering their information.

If you or your parent/guardian do not receive the full rate of an eligible payment, you'll need to print and complete a cover sheet, and provide supporting documents.

Do I have to be currently studying to apply for EAS?

No, however, in most cases the circumstances that you describe must relate to a period when you were studying.  This does not apply to the category Financial Hardship which is based on your current and recent financial circumstances.

Can I apply for more than one EAS category?

Yes, you can apply for all categories that are relevant but you must supply supporting documentation for each nominated category.

I want to apply for EAS but I have already lodged my application, what do I do?

If you have already lodged your QTAC application and now wish to apply for EAS, simply print the relevant cover sheets for the category that you wish to apply for and then send to QTAC any requested documentation attached to that cover sheet. This information will then be added to your QTAC application. Check Key Dates for due dates for documentation.

I have applied for more than one EAS category that requires an Educational Support Statement. Do I need an Educational Support Statement for each category?

Only if you were attending more than one education provider when you experienced the difficult circumstances. You can also supply more than one Educational Support Statement if different people at your educational institution have knowledge of different circumstances.

Will QTAC contact my education provider if my Educational Support Statement is not received at QTAC?

No. QTAC will not contact your Education provider if your Educational Support Statement is not received at QTAC. However, you can track the documentation received at QTAC via Current Applicant online services. This service will allow you to view if the documents have been received at QTAC and contact your educational institution if the documentation has not been submitted.

I can't provide the required documents, what should I do?

If you cannot provide the required documentation, you should write a statement outlining why you cannot provide them and forward this to QTAC. You should also provide any alternative documents that you have that may support your case. QTAC will evaluate your application, including your statement indicating why you cannot provide the specified documentation, and may refer your application to the institutions to which you have applied for a final decision.

 

This information last updated 5 July 2013

 

 


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