Filipino American Gerald Sandoval has just graduated high school. He’s now wondering if a college degree from a Philippine school could bring him the success he wants in America.
Sandoval is just one of several high school graduates who attended a briefing of the Philippine’s top engineering school Mapua Institute of Technology.
"I’m really interested. They seem to offer a lot of very good programs and I really want to visit the Philippines again," said Sandoval.
"Our programs, which have the same standards in the U.S., are very much affordable compared to the rate of education in America," said Mapua’s recruiter Mary Jane Casumbal.
With tuition fees in U.S. colleges on the rise, Mapua officials said sending students to the Philippines may be a cost-effective solution for families with college-age children.
With most of its programs costing an average of $3,000 a year, Mapua’s tuition is a bargain compared to public and private colleges in the States.
The cost of studying at Mapua for four years is roughly equivalent to one year's tuition at a private or non-profit university in the U.S.
What sets Mapua apart from other Philippine universities - and what allows them to recruit Fil-Ams is now the school is accredited by the non-governmental organization Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).
ABET is recognized as the worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education.
“With Mapua programs accredited with the U.S. ABET, then that means those ten programs are at par and equivalent in standards with programs offered in the US particularly in engineering and computing,” Casumbal said.
“We want our students and graduates to be more competitive not just locally in the Philippines or the US but all over the world and this is the standard and legacy we continue to give to our past and recent graduates,” she added.
This is the first time Mapua officials have actively tried to recruit Filipinos in the States.
Though the school is in the Philippines, it doesn't mean admission is easy.
International students will be held to the same strict requirements as others applying to the school.
That means students should have at least a 3.2 GPA and 1,600 in the new SAT, or pass Mapua’s entrance exam.