Incoming college freshman Cherry Hulgado has long dreamed of studying at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City. She graduated at the top of her class in high school and qualified to enter the state university’s Sociology program, but she has a problem.
Hulgado’s first semester matriculation expenses, already net of the benefits from UP’s Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program, amount to P7,000 — way beyond her unemployed parents’ means.
In a report on GMA News TV’s “State of the Nation” on Tuesday, Hulgado shared with reporter Joseph Morong her problem.
“Pinag -hirapan ko ito. Nandito na, bakit pakakawalan ko pa? Kaya lang may bagay na pumipigil sa amin. Wala na sanang problema kung may pambayad,” she said.
Hulgado is one of many UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) passers who want to study at the university but cannot afford even the heavily-subsidized fees because of financial constraints.
“Paano kung umaasa yung bata kasi iskolar ng bayan siya? Akala niya may libreng edukasyon sa UP tapos wala palang option kundi magtrabaho na lamang. Sayang naman ‘di ba?”
According to the party-list representative, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) allocates P5,000 per semester to its scholars while the House of Representatives gives P10,000 per student annually. The amount, the report noted, would scarcely be enough to cover Hulgado’s expenses.
The CHED, according to its website, has various types of scholarship grants ranging from P2,500 to P15,000 per semester.
The UP University Registrar revealed that 1,011 of the 3,826 UPCAT 2010 passers did not confirm their slots. Of those that confirmed, 303 did not enroll. Some students did not push through with UP because they were offered scholarships in private universities.
“Kung magpatuloy ang trend na ito, ang UP hindi nalang siya magiging pamantasan ng mahihirap na matalino, pamantasan nalang ito ng mayayaman na matatalino,” Palatino said. — Bea Cupin/ELR/VS, GMA News
- [In the news] 300 colleges, universities hiking tuition this year | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- UPCAT review (amaeguerrero.wordpress.com)