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VCE Explained: SEAS Application

What is SEAS (Special Entry Access Scheme)?

SEAS is the special consideration program used by most institutions in Australia, which is designed to take into consideration educational disadvantages some applicants have experienced. It is not just for people going through an extremely tough time but is there to help selection officers at institutions consider the individual circumstances of all students. SEAS adjusts your ATAR in recognition of circumstances that may have affected your education. This gives you a better chance of getting an offer for the course you want.

This year, the “difficult circumstances” category will take into consideration the impacts of the COVId-19 crisis and the summer bushfires. Scroll down to Category 4 for further details.

SEAS does not exempt you from completing essential requirements and compulsory admission criteria:

  • You must study course prerequisites, attend all interviews, sit any required tests, and submit all required folios and forms.

SEAS is not a guaranteed entry scheme or reserved quota but may allow you to gain entry to a course with a lower ATAR than otherwise.

For a list of institutions that recognise SEAS, check out the link here.


You are eligible if you are:

  • An Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.

  • A New Zealand citizen, or

  • An eligible Temporary, Bridging or Safe Haven Enterprise visa and are an Australian Year 12 applicant.

Most international Australian Year 12 applicants are not eligible for SEAS and are encouraged to contact institutions directly to see if other entry and access programs are available. However, asylum seekers on certain visa subclasses can apply for SEAS.

How to apply

  1. Log in to your VTAC account.

To access the SEAS application, you must log in to your VTAC account using your VTAC ID and


  1. Make sure you've lodged a course application.

If you are eligible, SEAS becomes available once you lodge a course application.

  1. Open the SEAS application.

To open the application, select 'Special consideration (SEAS) application' in your VTAC

account and then click on the SEAS application link at the top of the page.

  1. Fill in the SEAS application with supporting evidence.

There are four categories that make up SEAS. You only need to fill out the sections that are relevant to your circumstances. You must fill out at least one category for your SEAS application to be valid.

Note that each section has strict character limits (letters, spaces and punctuation marks), not a word limit. Keep your responses brief and to the point to avoid going over the character limit.

  1. Submit your SEAS application

Click on Submit to complete your SEAS application. You will receive an email acknowledging that you have submitted an application including a receipt showing the contents of your application. You can also access your receipt through your VTAC account.

SEAS categories

Category 1: Personal information and location

Category 1 is designed for applicants who wish to be considered for circumstances related to:

  • Age

  • Recognition as an Indigenous Australian

  • Living or school code

  • Under-represented school

  • Gender

  • Non-English speaking background

  • First in family to attend university

Category 2: Disadvantaged financial background

Category 2 applies to applicants whose daily life is affected by financial disadvantage.

May include but not limited to:

  • You are in receipt of Centrelink benefits

  • You are a dependent of a parent or guardian who is in receipt of Centrelink benefits

  • Excessive financial obligations

  • Individual or family economic hardship

  • Individual of family poverty

To apply, you’ll need to provide financial evidence:

  • Centrelink Statement of Benefit

  • Family Tax Benefit statement

If you are experiencing financial disadvantage but don’t receive any Centrelink benefits, you’ll need to provide:

  • a description of circumstances describing the nature of your financial disadvantage

  • an impact statement explaining the impact financial disadvantage has on your daily life, and

  • a statement of support from a relevant and responsible person who has knowledge of your situation and can comment on the impact of these circumstances on your daily life.

Category 3: Disability or medical condition

Category 3 applies to applicants who have experienced educational disadvantage due to disability or medical conditions

To apply, you’ll need to prepare and submit:

  • A description of circumstances up to 150 characters describing the disability or medical condition

  • An impact statement up to 2000 characters explaining how this condition has affected your education

  • A statement of support from a health practitioner familiar with your situation or condition/

Category 4: Difficult circumstances

Category 4 applies to applicants prevented from reaching their educational potential because of family or other life circumstances.

May include but not limited to:

  • Education impacted by remote learning due to COVID-19: for example, you did not have a suitable laptop or tablet for remote learning.

  • Refugee or asylum seeker status

  • Death of an immediate family member or friend

  • Long-term illness of a family member: illnesses considered as serious and long-term such as cancer or psychiatric illness

  • Severe family disruption including dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction

  • Divorce/separation of parents: difficult separation or divorce of parents including financial hardship and changed living conditions; requirement to change schools and social group

  • Natural disasters such as drought, bushfire or flood

  • Abusive living environment: physical, psychological and/or emotional abuse over an extended period by a person or persons close to the applicant

  • Disruption of education due to constant relocation: relocating to several different schools throughout secondary schooling, or disruption of education due to living or school location

  • Homelessness: you do not have a fixed address and do not live with your family or family members

  • Care leaver (applicants who have spent time in residential, foster or kinship care)

  • Discrimination on the basis of one's own sexuality, sexual orientations, gender identities, sex characteristics, and/or romantic identities

  • Bullying, harassment or negative treatment because of personal characteristics such as race, religion, sexual characteristics, gender identity or sexual orientation

  • Excessive family responsibility: family is dependent on you for financial, emotional or physical support during your secondary education

To apply, you’ll need to prepare and submit:

  • A description of circumstances up to 500 characters describing your difficult circumstances and providing a timeline for each circumstance

  • An impact statement up to 1500 characters explaining how the circumstances have affected your education

  • A statement of support from a responsible person - see VTAC’s definition of a responsible person

Additional guidance on SEAS application can be found on VTAC website. You can also reach out to careers counsellors at your school for help with your SEAS application.

Don’t forget to submit your SEAS application by 9 October (5 pm) for courses commencing in 2021!

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