MANILA, Philippines- The additional P8.3-billion budget given to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will cover undergraduate programs’ tuition in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) next year.
According to CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan, the additional funding, which was previously allocated for projects at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), will enable state universities and colleges to offer free undergraduate tuition. The funding is part of the P3.35 trillion Philippine budget recently approved by the House of Representatives.
Aside from the budget for tuition-free SUCs, another P5.8 billion will be allotted for the continued implementation of financial assistance programs for students. Such programs include PAMANA Study Grant Program, Tulong-Dunong Program, Iskolar ng Bayan and scholarship grants for offsprings of farmers and sugarcane workers.
For the continued implementation of the K to 12 program, the CHED received an allocation of P4.6 billion. On the other hand, the agency has a P763 million-grant for the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes Project.
Still, Licuanan disclosed that CHED is yet to set guidelines on how to implement the said policy. However, she stressed that they are hoping to come up with a formula that will prioritize the needy.
“Free tuition will help tremendously. It will free I guess resources of families and students for the other costs… because there are other costs to getting a college education,” Licuanan explained.
Although SUCs may offer free tuition, Licuanan clarified that they can still charge for other fees and graduate program tuition.
What are tuition fees?
Also known as tuition payments, tuition fees are charged by educational institutions to help with funding of faculty and staff, course offerings, computer systems, lab equipments and facility upgrades to provide a comfortable learning experience for the students. Payment methods can be personal, educational loan, government student loan, scholarship, grant or company funding.