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The pain of getting admitted in a university you cannot afford

“Passing a university’s entrance exam is one thing. Having the money to actually enroll there is another story,” The Filipino Scribe wrote on Twitter last weekend.

The post quickly became viral in the days that followed, getting over 2,000 retweets and 13,500 likes. It also prompted former and current students to share their painful experience about not getting the chance to enroll in their dream school even if they qualified simply because they couldn’t afford it.

In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published its assessment of the Philippines’ “Education for All” program. It showed that of the 100 Filipino students who enters Grade 1, only 75 will finish elementary. Of that number, only 44 will eventually complete high school four years later. It is easy to extrapolate that this number will dwindle even further when tertiary education comes into the picture.

college affordability philippines

The high cost of tertiary education in the Philippines is forcing a lot of students to forgo their dream schools even if they qualified for it.
(Photo by Jomar Magracia)

While parents are understandably happy and proud that their sons and daughters have already finished high school, there is most certainly another thing that will surely give them sleepless nights – how to finance their child’s college education. Of course, the two main factors here would be their child’s chosen program and the school where they get admitted.

Manila Bulletin‘s Alfredo Mendoza listed in an article published last June 2017 an overview of the current tuition rates in the country’s top universities. Parents of students that are aiming to enroll in the likes of Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and the University of Santo Tomas will have to prepare as much as P70,000 per term. Needless to say, even middle-class families will have a tough time coming up with that money.

It must be noted though that effective school year 2018-2019, all students who pass the entrance exams of state and local universities and colleges nationwide will no longer have to pay any tuition as mandated by Republic Act 10931. However, it can be expected that the admission process in these institutions will now be a lot more rigorous.

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