ANU Student Elite Athlete Program

In October 2004, the ANU became a member of the national network of Elite Athlete Friendly Universities (EAFU) by signing an agreement with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the ACT Academy of Sport (ACTAS).

The ANU aims to identify elite athletes and assist them in the development of skills which enable these students to successfully balance their sporting and academic aspirations. Where necessary and possible the ANU will accommodate the elite athlete student with flexible study options. Some ways this might be achieved are listed below:

  • Extra assistance with academic planning.
  • Support in negotiating and securing cross-institutional study.
  • Flexibility with assessment deadlines to accommodate sporting related travel commitments.
  • Allowing deferred examination adjustments where examinations directly clash with sporting commitments.
  • Waiving the minimum attendance requirements at lectures, tutorials and/or practicals where elite athletes are unavailable due to sporting commitments.
  • Tailoring study loads to integrate with sporting commitments.
  • Negotiating lecture, tutorial and/or practical timetables to accommodate sporting commitments.
  • Extending the maximum time to complete degree programs where study load has been decreased to accommodate sporting commitments.
  • Flexibility with leave of absence where required, due to sporting commitments.
  • Provide Summer/Winter study alternatives and/or the ability to swap between distance education mode and on campus mode where possible
  • Prior recognition of credit achieved at interstate universities.
  • Providing access to distance education materials and class notes for missed lectures, tutorials or practicals.

Definition of an Elite Athlete

An Elite Athlete is defined as someone who competes nationally or internationally and is a current member of a recognised sporting organisation that is approved by the ANU. The majority of elite athletes within Australia will be on a scholarship within the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) or the network of Institutes and Academies of Sport.

There are many athletes that may fall outside the aforementioned cohort who may still be considered for this program if they meet the ANU criteria. To be considered an Elite Athlete by the ANU you need to:

  1. Be a current enrolled ANU student
  2. Be identified as an elite athlete by one of the following organisations:

If the elite athlete does not fall into one of the categories above, the student may still submit an application to Accessibility for consideration providing they can provide equivalent substantiation of their elite athlete status for example; the student will need to ensure that their National Coach or Team Manager will act as a representative from the Australian Sports for their application.

Applications may be considered for post-graduate students and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


How to Apply: Enrolled ANU Student

Enrolled ANU students wishing to be considered for eligibility for the ANU Student Elite Athlete Program must complete the following steps:

Step 1

Apply on the ANU website through the office of Accessibility by completing an application for ANU Student Elite Athlete Program click here for the application

Step 2

Provide a statement from your coach or sporting organisation verifying they that you will be competing at national and/or international level in the calendar year. This statement should outline support for the student's application for Elite Athlete status at the ANU.

Step 3

Email your application form and supporting documentation to for assessment.


Prospective Students: ANU Adjustment Factors

ANU is committed to supporting our elite athletes in accessing tertiary education.

In addition to offering support during your studies, ANU offers an entry pathway to elite athletes who are seeking admission. Elite athlete students who are applying to the University for an eligible ANU undergraduate degree program may apply for an adjustment of their selection rank, in reflection of the commitments they have made as an elite athlete throughout years 11 and 12.

Refer to the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Entry Scheme for eligibility criteria and further information.


Responsibilities of an ANU Student Elite Athlete

To ensure the University can facilitate appropriate support, ANU student elite athletes are required to abide by the following responsibilities:

  • Follow the relevant ANU College procedure to request extensions for assessments prior to the due date
  • Notify relevant course convenors/lecturers/tutors prior to absences when unable to attend classes due to sporting commitments to negotiate reasonable adjustment for missed sessions provided the integrity of the course is maintained
  • Follow up confirmation of reasonable adjustment requests with academic staff
  • Accept and recognise that adjustments are implemented at the discretion of the course convenor
  • Apply for deferred examination where examinations directly clash with sporting commitments following the deferred examination procedure
  • Discuss extended leave of absence with the course convenor prior to enrolment
  • Notify Accessibility of any late enrolments or changes in course selection once the Elite Athlete Education Plan (EAEP) has been issued.


Duration of Elite Athlete Status

  • Most registrations are for a calendar year and will expire on 31 December.
  • Sporting seasons that run from June to July (for example Cricket) will expire on 30 June of the relevant year. 
  • For Elite Athletes who have two year contracts (for example rugby players) their registration will be based on the validity of player's contract.


Sport Scholarship and Elite Athlete Travel Grant

ANU Sport is able to offer support to eligible student elite athletes during their studies through the provision of Elite Athlete Travel Grants and an ANU Sport Scholarship. Click on the following hyperlink to access ANU Sport elite athlete web page.

Luke Letcher: Bronze Medallist, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

"If I had not had the help of Accessibility I would not have been able to continue to pursue my studies while training in pursuit of the Olympic Games. With my heavy training schedule, I have only had very small windows of time available to progress my studies. Accessibility gave me the flexibility to make that possible. Allowing me to enrol in tutorials and labs at times that were possible to attend and allowing me to negotiate due dates for assessments that wouldn't overlap with competition has been vital to me continuing to progress."

Seve De Campo: Cross Country Skiing, 2022 Winter Olympics Beijing

"I arrived in Canberra and the ANU in 2018 with the intention to balance a great degree, quality training and a fun time at uni as I hoped to stay motivated and hungry to achieve my dream of representing Australia in Cross Country Skiing at the Winter Olympics (a dream that is about to come true this February). Being part of the ANU Elite Athlete Program and holding an Elite Athlete Education Plan has over the years provided the flexibility I need to minimize stress levels, fit in my training and racing and just be a nice safety blanket. A big thanks to Sue Hancock and the ANU for the great support! "

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