The first intake of university students to be affected by the federal government's new funding scheme are preparing to enter the classrooms in a few short weeks.
A record number of high school graduates last year received an early-round offer to university.
As a result, the number of first-round offers fell by 5 per cent on the previous year, according to the University Admissions Centre (UAC).
Wagga HSC graduate Nicholas Unwin was among the thousands who accepted early offers last year.
Before he had completed his HSC, he was given a provisional offer to study mathematics at Wollongong University.
"All through school, my favourite subject was maths, it's all I've wanted to do," said the 18-year-old.
In order to accept the offer, Mr Unwin had to receive an ATAR over 75 - which he did.
Under the government's new Job Ready Graduates plan, Commonwealth funding strategies and ATAR cut-offs for domestic students' degrees in some engineering and science courses have been altered in the hopes of attracting more students.
Mr Unwin's degree was saved from any changes, but he questions whether the new funding program will be equitable in the long-term.
"I think there's got to be consistency with the changes," Mr Unwin said.
"ATARs will be changed based on the demand [for a subject] but the price changes, that's got to be consistent. If it's raised for one, it's raised for all [so that] it's a fairer chance for everyone to get a crack at uni."
UAC data continued to show high demand for university placements, with an increase of 5.7 per cent in those looking to take a seat in the classroom for 2021, compared to last year.
During times of economic uncertainty, universities typically see a boost in enrollments, but this year will also represent the first intake of the 'Costello baby boom'.
Despite the changes to pay structures in the arts, business, law and humanities fields that could see students paying thousands more per course, those disciplines still remain in high demand according to UAC.
Mr Unwin believes it is "unfair" to see other members of his cohort saddled with larger debts when they finish their degrees.
Fellow Wagga HSC graduate James Pitstock is "definitely appreciative" that his degree saw a slight decrease in price and ATAR cut-off.
The 18-year-old accepted a first-round offer from the University of Wollongong to study mechatronic engineering. Studying in that field has been a goal Mr Pitstock has been working towards since he was in year 10.
"Two years ago, I went to a summer school at Honeywell Engineering and went around to some of the universities in Sydney and Wollongong," Mr Pitstock said.
"I went in wanting to do structural engineering, I came out wanting to do mechatronics. Everything was just so cool."
In recognition of the changing world, Mr Pitstock said he believes some of the federal government's changes accurately reflect the need for growth in certain fields - including mechatronics - and will hopefully encourage more domestic students into fields.
"It's where the world is moving, it's what's needed," Mr Pitstock said.
"Mechatronic engineering is one of the most needed jobs in Australia. It's [university courses] still not as full as it could be without as many international students."