An important part of the College’s planning for any year is the selection of our Fresher cohort. Here we share with you details about how we choose our students.
In order to be offered a place at St Andrew’s all applicants undertake a comprehensive selection process including providing a written application, two references and undertaking an interview with a member of our Selection Committee and a current student.
The College’s Selection Committee comprises of the Principal, Wayne Erickson, Vice Principal, Dr Hester Wilson, and Taylor Scholar Will Cesta. The Selection Committee is assisted by the College’s Registrar Tessa Bruin.
We accept applications from students who intend to undertake a degree course at any university in Sydney. While most of our students study at the University of Sydney, we also have students who attend UNSW, UTS, ACU and Western Sydney University.
The key to creating a new Fresher cohort is balance. We are in the fortunate position of receiving over 600 applicants each year for approximately 100 places in College. While maintaining a 50/50 balance of men and women, we are keen to ensure there is a mix of students, taking into consideration:
- Geographic background – with a focus on rural and regional students, we also have students from metro Sydney, interstate and overseas
- Schools – including independent schools, smaller non-government and government schools
- Academic ability – with ATARs ranging from 75 to 99.95
- University Faculty – seeking a balance that is comparable to the University’s mix of faculties
We also look for students who have other skills to ensure that we have a cohort of well-rounded residents, seeking talent, potential and skill in academic pursuits, performing arts, sport and community work: many of our students are able to contribute to College Life in more than one area. The rich inter-generational heritage of alumni connection is also a factor in our selection process, specifically when choosing between two applicants who otherwise represent equal merit.
We understand that many students do not have access to the resources that help them fulfil their full potential whilst at high school. We always take this into account when we are assessing the potential and merit of an application; and, that is why we don’t select students on ATAR alone.
Our current students also provide valuable advice and input into the selection of our new Freshers. They share their perspectives and experiences of living at St Andrew’s to candidates during interviews, as well as providing feedback to the Selection Team about each candidate’s potential to contribute to the student community.
We are also conscious of the financial burden that some families face in supporting their children to come to College, which is why we have a means-tested program to provide financial support in which we ask families – both parents and students – to provide comprehensive information about their financial circumstances. This helps us to ensure that we are able to give students the most appropriate level of support.
The size of the Fresher cohort each year is predicated on the number of current residents leaving College. Therefore, the number of Fresher places varies from year-to-year and we cannot guarantee the number of places until mid-December. We take applications all year and commence interviews in July. The Selection Committee starts to make early offers from about August each year and final offers are made in late December. All offers are made on condition of the applicants receiving a place at a university in Sydney.
Below you will find some quick facts about our student community in 2016. We are still finalising our 2017 Fresher Cohort and look forward to sharing news about them early in 2017.