Can 2021 year 12s apply for EAS based on the impact of COVID-19?

What is EAS?

QTAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS) may be of assistance to students when applying for further study if they have experienced circumstances during 2021 that may have negatively affected their most recent studies. There are extensive resources on the QTAC website. You can also refer to our EAS FAQs and EAS Case Studies.

EAS provides rank adjustments for educational disadvantage through five main categories: Financial Hardship; Home Environment and Responsibilities; English Language Difficulty; Personal Illness or Disability, and School Environment. Note that the Educational Disruption category was renamed ‘School Environment’ in August 2021 and there is a new form  on the QTAC website.

If you are assessed as eligible for adjustment factors, any rank adjustment will be applied to your QTAC selection rank under EAS, your original ATAR does not change.

Putting in an EAS application: What students need to know

Students should refer to the information on the QTAC website, in particular:

  • Carefully consider the choice of EAS category.
  • Check the due dates for documentation submission.
  • Follow the 7 Steps on How to Apply.
  • If you change your mind about applying for EAS after you have applied, call our contact centre on 1300 467 822.

School representatives may be asked to be a support person, complete a school statement, provide supporting documents or give other input, as required. 

Can 2021 year 12 students apply for EAS based on the impact of COVID-19?

Year 12 students whose studies have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 should, in the first instance, work with their school and QCAA for any educational adjustment available within the specific circumstances.

The QTAC educational access scheme is open to all year 12s whose studies have been impacted by COVID-19. Each EAS applicant must make a case based on their individual circumstances and supply all the supporting documents normally required for the category in which they are applying.

Where possible, EAS personal and school statements should:

  • Clearly describe how COVID-19 negatively impacted the individual EAS applicant’s ability to study – be sure to include who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Address how the applicant was disadvantaged relative to school peers from the same state.
  • Explain what educational adjustment has already been made.

We are carefully monitoring the range of adjustment measures being adopted by state education authorities around Australia and updating our processes accordingly.

Some examples of COVID-19-related circumstances that are considered in different EAS categories are supplied below. This is not an exhaustive list.

EAS Category


School Environment


·         Positive COVID-19 case/s in school community leading to prolonged school closure.

·         Poor internet connectivity for rural and regional students negatively impacting online learning during protracted COVID-19 lockdowns.

Missed schooling

·         Boarding students forced to return home to remote areas and unable to recommence in-person studies at the same time as city peers due to travel restrictions and lockdowns.

·         Returned overseas travellers who missed a significant period of study due to quarantine requirements.


Home Environment


·         COVID-19 case/s in applicant’s immediate family or household disrupting study for a significant period.

·         Family members of front-line health care workers who experienced serious disruption to their home environment.


Personal Illness


·         Applicant tested positive to COVID-19 with severe and prolonged impact on study.

·         Disabled applicants and applicants with learning difficulties whose conditions affected their ability to participate in online study during prolonged lockdowns.


For further information or assistance with EAS please call the QTAC contact centre on 1300 467 822.

The Defence Industry Internship Program helps place student engineers in real-world work

QTAC is proud to be partnering with the Department of Defence in the administration of the successful Defence Industry Internship Program, otherwise known as DIIP.

Aimed at engineering students studying at Universities all around Australia that are in their last or second last years of study, DIIP is an opportunity to gain practical engineering experience at a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) that supports the Defence Industry in Australia.

DIIP helps bridge the gap between theory & practice

Past students have reported that they learned more during their internship experience than they had during their entire previous year at University, as the work experience is invaluable in putting theory into practical applications.

How specialised are the internships?

You’ll see a diverse range of internships on offer this year.  We have electrical and electronic engineers, some of whom are working on the latest high tech surveillance equipment.  We have aeronautical and aerospace internships where students get to work on advanced rocketry and space programs sometimes involving satellites and drones. There are numerous mechatronic opportunities and many mechanical, civil, chemical and software opportunities on offer, all of which involve using innovative technology and equipment that many students simply don’t have exposure to at University.

Working with supportive SMEs & ongoing employment

The hosting companies are fully committed to the process, offering mentoring and support to budding engineers, as they understand the competitive nature of graduate engineering for students. For the SMEs that partake DIIP, it’s a great way to be able to support the future of Australia’s engineering community.

Companies are always keeping an eye out for talent and if an intern proves to fit well within the team, there is very often an offer of ongoing work made at the completion of the internship program.  Many of our former DIIP interns from previous years are still working for the company that they interned with, or at least have used the knowledge gained during their internship as a stepping stone to a successful career within the Defence Industry.

How to Apply

Applications each year commence from mid-June through to July with the internships running for 12 weeks commencing around November/December and finishing in February/March the following year.

If you, or someone you know, is nearing the end of their engineering degree, please refer them to our website for more information and details on how to apply.

Qualifying for a new ATAR – New Factsheet released

Qualifying for a new ATAR, ATAR amendments and Variable Progression Rates. There are a number of situations where a student may qualify for a new ATAR after their first ATAR is released at the completion of their year 12 studies.

This factsheet provides information to guide students, teachers and parents through the options: Re-entry students doing additional subjects, accumulating results, repeating subjects, ATAR amendments and appeals. The information also covers Variable Progression Rate students.

Download a copy of the Factsheet.

ATAR & COVID-19 Factsheet

Events in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted on the schooling and studies of many of our students. QTAC has prepared a factsheet with information about tertiary admissions and your ATAR and in this COVID-19 year. The factsheet gives links to resources to answer the many questions students, parents and teachers are asking about ATAR results, QTAC applications and how to support our students’ future study plans.

Download a copy of the Factsheet.