Free tuition to be offered to poor but “academically able” students

MANILA, Philippines -Tuition-free schooling for academic year AY 2017-2018 will be offered to poor but “academically able” university students particularly those under the student financial assistance programs (Stufaps) as well as those whose households are under the conditional cash transfer program.

Free tuition to be offered to poor but “academically able” students
In the April 20 memo released by the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Budget Management, details of how the grant of the free tuition offered in 114 state universities and colleges (SUCs) were outlined. The said guidelines aim to ensure proper implementation of the special appropriation of P8 billion subject to the conditional implementation that President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered.

According to the guidelines, only students who are “academically able” or those who pass the academic and retention standard of the SUCs will be granted tuition-free schooling for the new academic year.

Moreover, Stufap beneficiaries will be prioritized on enrolment. Given that the total annual benefit amount of these grants is more than P15,000, Stufap beneficiaries’ tuition will be charged to the relevant allocation of the Stufaps.

Those whose total annual benefit are equal or lower than P15,000 will be charged to the “free tuition” allocation of the SUC. They will continue to get their regular Stufap on top of the tuition subsidy.

Undergraduate students whose households are current or former beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Listahan 2.0 program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be included in the “free tuition” slots.

Regardless of household per capita income, graduating students with one semester and one academic year remaining will be granted free tuition.

In December 2016, Duterte subjected the P8-billion free tuition program under conditional implementation.

“Yet, as with all new programs, there is a need to safeguard the proper implementation of the provision of free tuition fee. It is important to underscore that we must give priority to financially disadvantaged but academically able students,” Duterte said.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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