Jobs these days don't just look at the ATAR much as opposed to what you've done in the communitySophie Nagle
Students from Albury's Xavier High School and Catholic College Wodonga have valued holistic development as they face university offers and plan for life beyond school.
First round university offers have been released for Victorian students and NSW students are still processing Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranks, as they reflect on their year and cast their minds to the future.
Xavier student Sophie Nagle said extra curricular activities were equally or more important than ATARs.
"Jobs these days don't just look at the ATAR much as opposed to what you've done in the community," Ms Nagle said.
"I volunteer at Lutheran Aged Care once a week and I go and visit a lady and we play UNO together."
Ms Nagle was "very happy" with her ATAR of 94.05 but said she did not need it.
"I've already got an unconditional offer for CSU to do podiatry, so I'll start that next year," she said.
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Xavier school captain Daveida Azzi said balance was important in year 12.
"If you're all just focusing on school it's just going to get too much and you're probably not going to do as well as you'd hoped," Ms Azzi said. Xavier principal Gavin Dykes said though marks are helpful, universities are moving away from ATARs alone.
"We want our kids to enjoy their sport and their music and their art, that's really important," Mr Dykes said.
"In year 12 its difficult because of the pressure that comes around particularly with that academic focus."
Mr Dykes pointed out the dux of the school, Joseph Burton, had attained an ATAR of 96.5 while balancing commitments.
"At the time of his year 12 English exam, he was in China representing the country in kayaking and so had to navigate not only a world championship kayaking course, but also his HSC exam."
Catholic College Wodonga student Darcy Millett, on an ATAR of 95.25, received a scholarship offer for her first preference of a bachelor of biomedical engineering at RMIT University. "I put a lot of work in and I'm happy with what I got," she said.
However, Ms Millett said ATARs can be given too much weight.
"It doesn't really matter that much, you get into your course then no one really cares," she said.
Catholic College dux Izak Lindsay had been offered four scholarships to study mathematics at the University of Wollongong, but was tossing up different options with his 97 ATAR.
"I was thinking about Monash or ANU as my other two options," Mr Lindsay said.
"Monash offers a research degree in maths which is interesting and ANU offers mathematical sciences," he said.