Common solutions for issues with SEAS and Scholarships applications, statements

This post contains information to assist if any staff or students are experiencing difficulty submitting VTAC online forms.

Step 1 – Use CTRL + F5 to make sure you have loaded the most recent version of the application

Some application problems (e.g. missing text in the form) are caused by web browsers using a saved (cached) copy of the application. Once you have reached the page of the application with text input boxes, press CTRL + F5.

Using CTRL + F5 tells the proxy server (if there is one) to delete its cached copy and re-download the page.

Using only F5 or the standard refresh button simply reloads content from the browser’s saved copy, which may not contain the latest release.

Step 2 – Avoid special characters

The most common cause of errors when submitting applications and statements is the use of special characters which come from Microsoft Word. When quotation marks and apostrophes are typed in Word, they are converted to “smart quotes” (curly quotes) which are special characters that the application cannot recognise:

test test
test test
Smart/curly quotes – special characters not accepted by applications Straight quotes – plain text accepted by application


Our IT department are working on accepting these special characters in a future release, but for now they cannot be submitted. In Firefox and Chrome, these special characters will be highlighted in pink if entered (this feature is not yet available in Internet Explorer), and an error message will appear on submit. In this situation, we suggest re-typing any quotation marks and apostrophes inside the application page.

8 replies

  1. Sorry but the problem is not fixed. Now a red line appears highlighting a mistake that is not there, cannot be taken away and stops me from submitting the statement of support.

    • Hi Phil,

      Have you tried pressing Ctrl-F5 on the text entry page? If that doesn’t fix it, please send a screenshot to Schools Liaison so that we can reproduce the problem here.


      • We have students with similar problem; they have left for the day and screen shot not possible. Looks like cursor but pink and doesn’t “blink”. Tried CTRL + F5 but doesn’t resolve problem as they still cannot submit.

  2. There is a pink vertical line before the word “and” in a SEAS submission. Although quotation marks are used here, they are not in the text. The sentence reads “I have not been able to submit assessment work and homework” (but with no quotation marks). The student has tried many different combinations of the sentence but the pink line remains in the same place and he is not able to submit the application despite using CTRL + F5.

    • Hi Judith,

      Can you please email Schools Liaison with the student’s ID and statement text so that we can try to reproduce the problem here?

      The issue at the moment in Internet Explorer is that the highlighting does not appear on the correct character – in the case above, it was apostrophes elsewhere in the text.


  3. My problem that I reported to VTAC this morning is that students have already saved their information for SEAS but when they go in to look at it again or modify the text, find that the text box is blank and the radio buttons have gone from Yes to No. I am worried that students are wiping out their information by going back in to look at it, or was it saved in the first place when they pressed submit?

    • Hi Chris,

      If students are worried about what was submitted, it’s best to check the SEAS Receipt, which is the next link down in the user account.

      As you mention below, the problem only seems to be happening in Internet Explorer. In our testing, it was fixed by using Ctrl-F5, but I will report back to IT that this is not solving the problem in your case.


  4. Problem is only with Internet Explorer – when I looked at the same SEAS application in Google chrome all the information is there.
    I still had the problem in IE even if I used Control F5. I have been warning the students at my school, but it would be good if an email was sent out to students through their VTAC account.

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