Principal's Recommendation Scheme (Pilot Program)

At CQUniversity we believe senior schooling results are important, but we also believe that other factors such as motivation, talent, and passion can lead to student success at university. So, we have introduced a pilot program, the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme, that allows Year 12 students to apply to a CQUniversity course based on the recommendation of their high school Principal rather than ATAR. The scheme is designed to assist capable students to access entry to CQUniversity, it in no way provides relaxation of the quality and academic standards that students must meet to successfully complete their degree.

If you are in Year 12 and thinking about studying at university, we have made accessing university just that little bit easier. You can receive an unconditional offer for a CQUniversity course within one week of submitting your application. You don’t need to wait for your Year 12 results to be released to submit your application, you can apply now. And better yet, this alternative entry pathway allows for entry to CQUniversity’s courses without an ATAR.

CQUniversity’s Principal’s Recommendation Scheme provides an alternate entry pathway to CQUniversity courses that is based on the recommendation of your high school Principal and not reliant on whether you have received an ATAR. This means that as a Year 12 student applying for university, you no longer need to wait for your Year 12 results. You can receive an unconditional offer for Term 1 (March) within one week of submitting your application.

To apply for a CQUniversity course via the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme, you must meet the following criteria. You must

  • Be studying Year 12 in an Australian school.
  • Have your Principal’s recommendation in writing - refer to the recommendation checklist below to see what must be included in the recommendation.

To be accepted, the Principal’s recommendation letter that you provide with your application must:

  • be on your School Letterhead
  • be signed and dated by your Principal
  • list your full name
  • list the name of the course that you are applying for.

You will need to apply for the course you are interested in directly with CQUniversity via our online application portal. You will find the link to the application portal on each of our course pages under the Direct Application Option within the How to Apply section.

As part of your application you will need to include your high school Principal’s recommendation.

Once you have submitted your application, we will review the details and your Principal’s recommendation and our admissions team will contact you within a week with your offer from CQUniversity along with all the information you need to enrol.

Applications via the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme will be accepted until 1 December of the preceding year.

Not all courses are open for application via the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme and these include:

  • CG91 - Bachelor of Medical Sonography / Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography
  • CV69 - Bachelor of Echocardiography and Cardiac Physiology / Graduate Diploma of Echocardiography
  • CG92 - Bachelor of Medical Imaging
  • CB29 - Bachelor of Oral Health
  • CB85 - Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
  • CC14 - Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
  • CC12 - Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • CC13 - Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

If you are interested in applying for these courses and think you may not meet the course entry requirements, please contact us for information about alternative entry pathways. We can provide you with information on alternate entry pathways to these courses such as Skills for Tertiary Education and Preparatory Studies (STEPS) and our Tertiary Entry Program (TEP).


CQUniversity’s Principal’s Recommendation Scheme is a pilot program that provides an alternative pathway to university, not based on ATAR results. We have introduced this scheme because we believe senior schooling results are important, but we also believe that other factors such as motivation, talent, and passion can lead to student success at university.

If you provide your high school principal’s recommendation based on these factors, we see this as a solid indicator for your potential as a CQUni student.

The Scheme allows a High School Principal to recommend their students for entry into a CQUniversity course based on other factors such as academic performance, motivation, ability, passion and likelihood to succeed at university. Your Principal should be recommending students who they believe are capable and likely to succeed at university, and the students who they recommend will receive an unconditional offer from CQUniversity.

No registration is required for schools to participate. We will accept applications from year 12 students from all schools.

The Scheme is an ideal pathway for high school students, especially those who may not have studied an ATAR or may have experienced exceptional circumstances that have impacted their senior schooling results.

So, if you are in Year 12 and thinking about studying at university, this may be the ideal application option for you.

Provided you have your Principal’s recommendation, then you will receive an unconditional offer.

There are however some courses that we cannot make offers to for this pilot – please refer to the list above under courses not included in the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme for more information.

There is no cost to apply, applications for the scheme are made directly through CQUniversity.  You do not need to also apply through QTAC (for a place at CQUniversity).

There is no obligation to accept an offer from CQUniversity, but we highly recommend you do.

If you are in Year 12 applications will close 1 December of the same year you are completing Year 12.

You can enjoy outstanding study support at CQUniversity. We offer a range of support services to help you along your journey. Services include Orientation to assist your transition to university life, assignment and exam preparation and support evenings, ongoing assistance through the Student Mentor Program, counselling services, course advice, career planning services, support for students with disability or medical conditions, Indigenous student support, financial support options and more.

In addition to the support and encouragement provided by CQUniversity staff and academics, we are also expecting to include your school and parents in your transition journey, more information will be provided on this in your offer letter.

No, you must accept the offer and enrol for Term 1 of the following year to be considered for the program, otherwise you are invited to apply for admission at a later date through the usual channels.

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