Not being accepted to the college or university you had your heart set on can be devastating. Often, people have feelings of shame surrounding this rejection, as a many people consider academic achievement to be a reflection of a person’s ability or worth. However, not getting into the institution of your choice is not the be-all and end-all! Regardless of your feelings, know one thing – you will be okay! There are plenty of options avenues to pursue if this happens.
1) Repeat some subjects
There are plenty of institutions through which you can redo some matric subjects. This will give you an opportunity to learn where you went wrong and do the necessary revision. You can then rewrite the final NSC exams in those subjects, allowing you to improve your marks. Once you’ve done this, you can reapply to the programme and university of your dreams. Redoing subjects is particularly helpful for students wanting to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees or diplomas who didn’t do well in Maths or Science in matric.
2) Do a bridging course
Some colleges and universities offer bridging courses can help make up for poor marks. These are designed for students who have marginally missed the qualifying criteria, meaning such students are not too far off from having the knowledge and skills they need to pursue certain qualifications. If the university or college has a bridging course, completing it will allow you to start the degree you applied for without going through the application process again. Again, this is most often for STEM degrees, and the bridging course will close the gap between the skills the subject gave you in high school, and the skills needed to pursue the subject at a university level.
3) Accept another offer if you have one
While attending a university or college that was your second or third option may not seem ideal, it can be an in-road to attending the institution of your dreams! This is because as you build up credits in the degree or diploma you’re studying as you complete courses, meaning you can always apply for a transfer to your ‘ideal’ institution. It is advised that you do the necessary research to see if such a transfer is possible in your particular chosen degree before you accept the offer. Call your university of choice and ask whether they will accept transfers from other universities in the same/similar degree, and for which courses credits you’ll need credits (you’ll need to see if both programmes have the same courses, or if the university to which you want to transfer will accept credits for similar courses).
4) Consider alternative qualifications to a degree
Formal university degrees aren’t always the first step in pursuing your dream career. Often, you can do higher education certificates or diplomas through Further Education and Training (FET) or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as an alternative. These qualifications often have less intense or strict entry requirements, meaning they are typically somewhat easier to get into. These colleges offer either academically-inclined qualifications such as computer sciences or accounting certificates or diplomas, or qualifications for more “hand- on” work such as beauty therapy or plumbing, depending on the college. Sometimes, colleges offer qualifications in both kinds of subjects!
Once you have completed such a qualification, you can sometimes use that to get into a university degree, depending on the qualification’s accreditation. Failing that, such qualifications will often allow you to get an entry-level job, apprenticeship, or internship, all of which will give you the necessary skills and experience needed to progress in your chosen career path. Depending on the position you take, you are often also paid for your work, meaning you can get hands-on practice and earn an income at the same time!
5) Improve your skillset
FETs and TVETs typically offer accredited courses that lead to academic qualifications like certificates or diplomas, but many also offer unaccredited courses that are designed to develop your skills, whether those be general workplace skills, office management skills, or even computer literacy skills. These courses are valuable because although some jobs require academic qualifications, having those doesn’t necessarily mean you will be competent in the workplace. So, by doing a skills course, regardless of your academic qualifications, you are setting yourself up for recognition and success in the workplace!
How College SA can help
College SA offers a wide range of accredited qualifications and short skills courses alike, spanning many fields and industries. These accounting and bookkeeping programmes, business and management, human resources, beauty therapy, and many more. Accredited professional qualifications are registered with and endorsed by governing bodies in that respective field. Our non-accredited short courses are designed to widen your skill set and improve your technical know-how. Completing either an accredited programme or a skills short course will demonstrate your competence and make you invaluable to employers!
For more information about our range of programmes, speak to an Educational Planner today!