Alternative Admissions Program

Alternative Admissions Program (AAP)

The Alternative Admissions Program (AAP), administered by Woolyungah offers an alternative pathway for Indigenous Australians seeking entry into the University of Wollongong’s undergraduate programs.

Who can apply?

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 17 are encouraged to apply.

The Alternative Admissions Program welcomes applicants who:

  1. Haven’t completed secondary school
  2. Are not receiving an ATAR
  3. Have not obtained the required ATAR score for their preferred course.
  4. Are mature aged students

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit the following supporting documentation with their application form:

  1. The application form attached to this booklet
  2. Confirmation of Aboriginality

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent may be proven by a letter with “Common Seal” signed by the Chairperson of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander incorporated organisation in which the applicant lives or has previously lived. E.g. Lands Council or Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

An offer of a place under the AAP, in either an Undergraduate program at the University or at University College, is conditional on receipt of the applicant's Confirmation of Aboriginality.

  1. A personal statement of no more than one page, outlining why you would like to study your nominated course and your educational aspirations.
  2. A current Resume
  3. Other supporting documentation
    • Supporting documentation may include; copies of recent school reports, TAFE transcripts or certificates of previous qualifications, and references from previous employers.
    • If you are a current HSC student it is essential to bring any HSC school reports or certificates where possible.
  4. Creative Arts and Performing Arts Applicants must submit the required additional application form and prepare a portfolio of material relevant to their proposed major, for review in the interview.

Apply Now

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is there funding available to help me while I’m studying at Uni?

Yes. There are numerous scholarships available through the University for Indigenous students of all ages, including scholarships and cadetships specifically targeted to different degrees.

Q: It is a good idea to apply for scholarships as early as possible to increase your chance of receiving one!

Financial assistance may be available through ABSTUDY for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. ABSTUDY is managed by Centrelink. Prospective students are advised to lodge initial applications at least six weeks before the start of the semester.

Q: What if I have to move closer to the University?

If you would like to move closer to the University there are many places and accommodation options for you to consider and relocate to.

For information on accommodation types and availability, visit the Accommodation Services website.

You can also keep an eye on the Uniclassifieds where students and members of the Wollongong community post information on rooms or granny flats they may have for rent. Students or community members looking for a housemate in share housing also post information here.

On campus accommodation is competitive. If you are interested in on campus accommodation, the earlier you can apply the greater chance you will have of securing a room.

You must complete an online application and pay a $60 fee. Your application will not be recognised until you pay the fee and the applications are assessed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. 

You need to notify Woolyungah as early as possible about your intention to live in UOW Accommodation. This allows us to notify Accommodation Services to flag your application in order to receive 1st preference where possible.   We may also be able to assist with additional financial support.

Accommodation Services - Building 17, Ground Floor. 

Staff members are available to assist between 9am-5pm weekdays. 

Telephone: (02) 4221 5467 or (02) 4221 5468 / Fax: (02) 4221 3797 / / Email: 

If you have already lodged an application and would like an update, please check out the Offer Timeline Information section on the accommodation services website. 

Q: Is university study flexible?

Yes. With the exception of some degrees, you are generally able to choose whether you would like to study full-time or part-time. Full-time study consists of 3 or 4 subjects each session. Part-time study consists of 1 or 2 subjects each session. In some degrees, you can reduce or increase your study load between part-time and full-time to suit your circumstances. Degree programs such as Education and Nursing require you to study full time. 

A typical University year is broken up into 3 sessions:

  1.  Autumn   (February/March to June)
  2. Spring   (August to November)
  3. Summer   (December to January). 

The two main sessions are Autumn and Spring. Some students opt to take a break during Summer session, while some students choose not to have a break and to continue study during this time if their subjects are available. 

Q: Can I still work while I study?

Continuing to work while you study can be a challenge. However, most people are able to find a balance between work and study by enrolling in part-time studies (1 or 2 subjects per session) rather than full-time studies (3 or 4 subjects per session). Depending on how many subjects you enrol in and when the classes are held, it is sometimes possible to arrange your studies so that you are at Uni only on particular days or times. 

Q: How many hours can I expect to attend university each week?

Every degree is different. However, generally for one subject students are required to attend one lecture and one tutorial per week. This is approximately 3-4 hours face-to-face time per subject, per week. In addition to face-to-face time, you will also need to set aside additional hours to complete readings and assessments which are assigned to each subject. Some degrees have additional components such as work experience or laboratory classes that students also need to attend every week. Again, every degree is different so you will need to contact the University or the team at Woolyungah Indigenous Centre to find out more. 

Q: What if I change my mind and don’t want to continue with my degree?

There are many different options available to students, for example:

  1. If you begin your studies and part way through you decide that studying at university is not for you, you have until the Census date to withdraw from your subjects without incurring any financial debt or academic penalties. The census date is usually 4-5 weeks after the beginning of each session. These dates are available on the University website all year round.
  2. Alternatively you can choose to defer your degree. Deferring allows you to put your studies ‘on hold’ for usually 6-12 months. At the end of this time you can either choose to begin studying again or to decline your offer. 

Q: Do I need an ATAR?

No. Your aptitude is measured through assessment tasks and an interview. 

Q: Will it interfere with my UAC application?

No. The AAP does not interfere with any UAC applications that you may have already lodged. 

Q: Is this the same as Early Entry?

No. Applying for Alternative Admissions is different to applying for Early Entry. The Alternative Admissions Program is for potential Indigenous students only, compared to Early Entry which is for Non-Indigenous and Indigenous potential students. You are welcome to apply for both programs, since applying for one program doesn’t impact your ability to apply for the other. Also the more options you utilise the greater amount of chances you’ll have to gain an offer to UOW.  

Q: What are the Enabling Programs?

Enabling Programs are university preparation courses for students who need to develop their academic skills before commencing university study. UOW College runs two enabling programs the University Access Program for mature aged students and the Special Tertiary Entrance Program for recent school leavers.

  • University Access Program:
    • Develops study skills including time management, essay writing, referencing and learning skills
    • Become familiar with academic standards and expectations at university
    • At successful completion, UOW College guarantees you entry into first year of your nominated UOW degree if you achieve the required Weighted Average Mark (WAM).
    • Duration: Full Time - 14 Weeks, Part Time - Up to 3 x 14 Weeks
  • Special Tertiary Entrance Program:
    • Is for students who have experienced a disadvantage during their secondary school education.
    • Aims to encourage students to further develop their academic skills in preparation for university.
    • It successful completion, UOW College guarantees you entry into first year of your nominated UOW degree if you achieve the required WAM.
    • Duration: Full Time – 2 x14 Weeks, Part Time - Up to 6 x 14 Weeks

For further information visit the UOW College website

Download AAP FAQPDF 55.2 KB 

Last reviewed: 3 July, 2018

Quick links

Indigenous Studies Unit 

Alternative Admissions Program 

Indigenous Tailored Academic Program (ITAP) 

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)  


Building 30, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522.


Ph: (02) 4221 3776 | Fax: (02) 4221 4244 | Email: