4 months ago by Rob
Medical schools love to attract two groups of students. They pull out the red carpet for (a) rural students and (b) students who achieve a very high ATAR. Why? The real reason (not the one stated officially) is that the universities benefit directly and indirectly.
If they recruit rural students, universities get significantly more funding from the government than they would if they recruit city-based students, in order to attract more doctors to rural areas.
If they recruit students who achieve a very high ATAR, they benefit in many ways. First, their university ranking will go up: and universities will do anything to improve their ranking. There is tremendous competition between universities to attract high achieving students, top quality staff, more government funding etc. Second, such students are likely to make significant contributions to their field of endeavour and gain publicity for the university. Third, such students are also likely to go on to become successful and may make donations to the university. Universities obtain billions of dollars in endowments from past students.
Perfect ATAR (99.90) and UCAT (99th percentile) students, please note: The Universities are not doing you a favour by offering you a scholarship: you are doing a massive favour to the university by choosing to study there (to the university you are probably worth at least 10 to 100 times the value of the scholarship they give you)!
At the time of ATAR results release, there is a mad scramble among universities to attract perfect ATAR students. We have heard of some universities resorting to unethical strategies by telling students that unless they put that university as the first preference, they will not obtain a scholarship. This is blatantly false.
You can accept a Chancellors Scholarship and reject it later. For example, you can accept a Melbourne or Sydney university chancellors scholarship and reject it, if you are able to gain your higher preference offer of medicine from Monash or UNSW. Many students say that they would have saved themselves a lot of stress if they had known this.
In fact, you don't even have to reject these offers from the University of Sydney / University of Melbourne later: they will automatically assume you have rejected them if you accept your higher preferenced UNSW/Monash offers.
The message? Don’t get pressured into changing your preferences and placing the University of Melbourne or University of Sydney as your first preference if they are not (universities may coerce you to do this).
Since Melbourne and Sydney universities moved to graduate entry for medicine, they lost most high ATAR students to their competitor universities which offer school leaver entry for medicine (which is preferred by most students). Hence they often resort to strong arm tactics to make you change your preferences.
All you need to have done is list the University of Sydney/Melbourne as one of your preferences.