Poor, graduating students prioritized in free state U tuition scheme

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2017 11:50 PM

MANILA – While not all enrollees might be able to avail of free tuition, students on existing state scholarships and the poor will be prioritized in the government's plan to give higher education at no charge in state universities and colleges (SUCs) starting this year.

In a memorandum issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on April 20, enrollees in state colleges and universities will be able to avail of free tuition this year. 

However, qualification will depend on prioritization guidelines set by government, as well as the availability of funds.

The country's SUCs will share the P8-billion Higher Education Support Fund. Each school's allocation will be based on its estimated income from tuition fees for the year.

As such, SUCs will rank students according to several qualifications, first of which is their classification as "academically-able", wherein students must pass the academic and retention standards of the SUCs.

First to be enrolled with free tuition will be the poorest students--the beneficiaries of nationally-funded Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs).

After all beneficiaries are enrolled, the remaining enrollees will be grouped into two categories: continuing students, and new enrollees and returning students.

Continuing students rank above new enrollees and returning students in order of prioritization. If there is anything left in the Higher Education Support Fund after the enrollment of continuing students, only then can others avail of free tuition.

Continuing students will be ordered based on the following:

1. Graduating students with one semester remaining, regardless of household per capita income;

2. Graduating students with one academic year remaining, regardless of household per capita income;

3. Non-graduating students who belong to a household that is or was a beneficiary of 4Ps;

4. Non-graduating students who were never part of a household that is or was a beneficiary of 4Ps, but still included in the Listahan 2.0, ranked according to their estimated per capita household income; and

5. Non-graduating students ranked according to their per capita household income, based on submitted documentation(s) for proof of income.

New enrollees and returning students will be ranked as follows:

1. Graduating students with one semester remaining, regardless of household per capita income;

2. Graduating students with one academic year remaining, regardless of household per capita income;

3. Non-graduating students who belong to a household that is or was a beneificiary of 4Ps;

4. Non-graduating students who were never part of a household that is or was a beneficiary of 4Ps but still included in the Listahan 2.0, ranked according to their estimated per capita household income; and

5. Non-graduating students ranked according to their per capita household income, based on submitted documentation for proof of income.

Each school is required to assess students' eligibility for free tuition at least four weeks prior to the usual enrollment period of the SUCs.

Among the SUCs with the highest budget allocations in the country, based on their estimated tuition incomes, are Cebu Technological University with P379,192; the University of the Philippines with P367,872; and Bukidnon State University with P285,260.