Adjustment factors

Adjustment factors for 2016 and beyond

Adjustment factors include all ATAR-related adjustments (e.g. bonus points) commonly available for degrees at an institution. These will include all types of equity, subject, elite performance or other adjustment factors. The information below outlines the different schemes available at UniSA.

From 2016 entry, all previous University of South Australia equity and subject adjustment factor schemes  will be replaced by two new schemes; the Universities Equity Scheme and the Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme.  These two new schemes are administered by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) and will come in to operation for all new applicants who apply for entry to studies commencing from 2016 and beyond.

The Universities Equity Scheme

The Universities Equity Scheme will provide ATAR related adjustments in two ways; bonuses for all students in certain specified schools and bonuses for individuals in other schools. Eligible students will receive five bonus points in the calculation of their Selection Ranks. 

School based

 South Australian, Northern Territory and ‘border’ schools attracting equity bonuses will be identified using criteria, which consider:

  • schools’ remoteness as defined under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification
  • the ‘participation rate’ (the percentage of students in each school gaining an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) who receive a SATAC offer averaged over three years)
  • the mean ATAR achieved in each school (averaged over three years)
  • schools’ Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (averaged over three years).
School based bonus points will be automatically added in the calculation of students selection rank.

SATAC will contact all SA/NT schools each year regarding whether their students will be eligible for a schools-based bonus. The classification of individual schools may change from year to year.

Interstate non-border schools attracting equity bonuses will be identified using a subset of the criteria. Schools attracting bonuses will be identified on an annual basis when data for all criteria becomes available.


Students in other schools who can demonstrate their individual disadvantage will be able to submit an application for an ATAR related adjustment in the form of bonus points under this Scheme. Students will be eligible under the Scheme where, in the year they gain their ATAR:

  • they or their parents are in receipt of a Centrelink means-tested income support payment, or
  • they are the holders of a Health Care Card, or
  • they are the holder of a School Card.
Students apply for consideration when completing their SATAC application.

The Universities Equity Scheme will apply to all courses and programs offered by the University of South Australia

The Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme

The Language, Literacy and Mathematics ATAR related adjustment Scheme encourages students to strengthen their preparation for university studies by undertaking a language other than English, or specified English and Mathematics subjects.

In this scheme, students will be awarded two points, up to a total maximum of four points, for successfully completing a subject in any of these four categories:

  • 20 credits of a LOTE in the Languages Learning area (not including the subject Language and Culture – two 10 credit
  • Australian indigenous language subjects can be paired in lieu of a 20 credit LOTE)
  • 2END20 English Studies or 2ECS20 English Communications
  • 2MDS20 Mathematical Methods
  • 2MSC20 Specialist Mathematic

(Successful completion is defined as gaining an Overall Grade of C- or better)

Subject bonuses can be used for a period of three years. Thus a student receiving an ATAR in 2015 with successful completion of one or more of the subjects listed above will be able to use their bonus for entry to higher education courses in 2016, 2017 and 2018, but not thereafter.

Students undertaking the International Baccalaureate or interstate senior secondary certificates in Australia are also eligible to receive bonuses under this Scheme.

Further information and contact details

The Universities Equity Scheme awards an ATAR related adjustment of 5 bonus points for eligible students, whilst the Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme awards 2 or 4 points for eligible students. An individual student can receive a maximum of 9 bonus points under both schemes.

To find out further details about the new bonus point schemes, visit the SATAC website or call SATAC on (08) 8224 4000

Areas of study and research

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