Free tuition only for smart poor students
Poor but “academically able” college students, especially those under the student financial assistance programs (Stufaps) and whose households are included in the conditional cash transfer program, will enjoy tuition-free schooling this year, according to the free college education policy.
The Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Budget Management recently issued a joint memorandum outlining how the grant of the free tuition in 114 state universities and colleges (SUCs) will be implemented for the new academic year.
In the April 20 memo, the two agencies said the guidelines were aimed at ensuring proper enforcement of the special appropriation of P8 billion subject to the conditional implementation that President Duterte has ordered.
While the policy aims to cover all Filipino undergraduate students enrolling in SUCs for school year 2017-2018, they will be subject to Mr. Duterte’s prioritization directive and the availability of budget in the Higher Education Support Fund, according to the guidelines.
It also said that only “academically able” students or those who pass the academic and retention standards of the SUCs would be considered for the tuition-free schooling for 2017.
Nationally funded Stufaps beneficiaries should be given priority on enrollment, it noted.
Their tuition will be charged to the relevant allocation of the Stufaps provided that the total annual benefit amount of these grants is more than P15,000.
An amount equal or lower than P15,000 shall be charged to the “free tuition” allocation of the SUC and the beneficiaries will continue to receive their regular Stufap on top of the tuition subsidy, it said.
The other students who will be included in the “free tuition” slots are: graduating students with one semester and one academic year remaining, regardless of household per capita income;
Undergraduates whose households are former or current beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Listahan 2.0 program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and nongraduating students ranked according to their per capita household income.
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