Using data analytics to support EAS applicants most in need

Using data analytics to support EAS applicants most in need

Posted on Oct 10, 2022 | In Blog, Institution Staff, School Staff

It is often the most disadvantaged applicants who struggle to fully document their Educational Access Scheme (EAS) claims and face missing out on a place in their preferred course. QTAC is making innovative use of data analytics to enable our EAS team to provide targeted, individual support to those EAS applicants most in need.  

EAS is an evidence-based scheme and to be considered for a selection rank adjustment based on educational disadvantage, applicants must provide all the required supporting documents. The rate of undocumented EAS applications has been around 40% for some years (41.6% in 2022) and insufficiently documented claims often account for 15 to 20% of EAS applications.  

Data analytics allows QTAC to identify and to offer targeted help to those EAS applicants who will likely need an adjustment to be competitive. This has led to measurable improvement in EAS documentation and is helping applicants get across the line for an offer. 

About EAS 

QTAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS) helps tertiary applicants by providing a selection rank adjustment for eligible applicants whose recent study was impacted by financial or personal challenges.  

Before you apply:  

  • Read the EAS guidelines, FAQs and Case Studies. 
  • Check your eligibility for nominated categories. 
  • EAS is an evidence-based scheme so you must provide all the required supporting documents. 
  • If you cannot provide the documentation please submit a statement explaining why.  

More details about the EAS scheme, including helpful FAQs, can be found on the QTAC website, or you can contact us at QTAC for assistance on PH: 1300 467 822. 

If you are interested in a QTAC Presentation to support Year 12 students or QTAC Applicants and you are representing a school – please email with EAS Presentation in the subject line and a team member can provide you with more information. 

Is education returning to ‘normal’ for Queensland students? EAS tells the story

After a few somewhat disrupted years in education there are welcome signs that school and home learning environments are returning to some sort of ‘normal’ for our year 12 students and non-year 12 QTAC applicants.   

Data tells the story and QTAC’s analysis of the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) data provides useful insights into the effect the pandemic has had on student learning over the past few years. The EAS scheme assists tertiary study applicants whose recent study was impacted by financial or personal challenges.  

From 2021 to the 2022 admissions years there was a decrease in applications in all categories with a significant decrease in applications for educational disruption and financial hardship. 

There were 16,777 EAS applicants for the 2022 admissions year which is a decrease of 29% from 2021, but similar to the 16,208 applications for 2020. Key factors influencing the reduction in EAS applicants for 2022 were: lower unemployment1 with a corresponding decrease in non-year twelve EAS applicants, plus fewer COVID-19 related EAS applications from 2021 Queensland Year 12 students than the 2020 cohort, who faced larger-scale and longer-term school shutdowns. This may help to explain the 40% decrease in EAS applications in Home Environment and Responsibilities and School Environment categories, as these were where most COVID-related applications were made. 

In 2022 60% of EAS applicants were Year 12s with non-year 12 applicants making up 40% of EAS applications. EAS applications from the non-year 12 cohort in the Home Environment and Responsibilities and School Environment categories have seen decreases of over 55%. This indicates that that group of potential students faced less pressure on the home and study front in 2021 than in 2020. It also reflects the decline in QTAC applications from the non-year 12 market, from the pandemic-inspired high in 2020 for 2021 admissions. 

1  Reference  Davidson, P., (2022) A tale of two pandemics: COVID, inequality and poverty in 2020 and 2021 ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership, Build Back Fairer Series, Report No. 3, Sydney 

Early Insights into 2021 Tertiary Admissions

QTAC opened for 2021 Admissions applications on 4 August and saw the biggest ever opening fortnight.  Despite uncertainty with the impact of COVID-19 and proposed higher education reforms [see Job-Ready Graduates package] the tertiary market is strong.

At the close of the Early Bird application date, 30 September 2020, QTAC had received 38,922 applications for study, commencing Semester 3 2020 through to Semester 2 2021. This represents an increase of 20.3% compared to 2019, a 6.5% increase when adjusted for the reduced Queensland Year 12 cohort in 2019.

Some Early Bird Insights Highlights (at 30 September)

  • Interstate applicants for Queensland institutions are up 26.6%.
  • Regional Qld year 12 applications have increased from 35.4% to 38.3% of the total.
  • Early conditional offers: The introduction of QTAC’s Early Conditional Offer scheme saw over 1000 early conditional offers made to year 12’s. Students have accepted offers at higher than normal rates at 91%.
  • Semester 1 2021 is tracking strongly with a 19.8% increase over 2019 (5.9% adjusted). Semester 3 first preferences have doubled (+64%) from 2019.
  • The Educational Access Scheme (EAS) has seen an extra 3,352 current Year 12s lodge an EAS claim in their application, an increase of 55.5% over 2019. ‘Educational Disruption’ is the most common category being claimed by students.
  • Interest in Health continues to dominate choices with 38% of all preferences.
  • There is decreased interest in Creative Arts (-2.6% adjusted) and Management and Commerce ( -13.5% adjusted) – consistent with the downward trend from previous years.