CHED not expecting exodus of private school students due to free tuition law

Mara Cepeda

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CHED not expecting exodus of private school students due to free tuition law
CHED officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera III says requirements for transferee students tend to be strict and slots are often limited

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is not expecting a huge number of students in private colleges and universities to transfer to institutions covered by the free tuition law. 

CHED officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera III explained that this is because universities and colleges, whether private or state-run, tend to make their transferee requirements strict. (READ: 8 things you need to know about the free tuition law)

“We don’t anticipate significant transfer for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years. It doesn’t happen, okay? Number one, because the universities also have very strict transfer requirements. ‘Di naman lahat ng gustong mag-transfer, nakaka-transfer (Not everyone who wants to transfer can do so),” said De Vera on the sidelines of the launch of the free tuition law’s implementing rules and regulations on Monday, March 26.

He cited the case of the University of the Philippines’ National College of Public Administration and Governance, which only has 10 slots for transferee students yearly. 

“So even if there are 100 applicants, only 10 can come in because that’s part of the admission and retention requirements of SUCs (state universities and colleges),” said De Vera.

He added that students in their sophomore year and above are likely to have already adjusted in their respective schools. 

“Usually ‘pag 2nd, 3rd, 4th year ka na, adjusted ka na sa school. Mga kaibigan mo nandoon na (Usually when you’re on your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year, you’re already adjusted in the school. Your friends are enrolled there). It’s very difficult to convince a student to transfer from one school to another after the first year,” said De Vera. 

CHED, however, expects more incoming freshmen to apply for the 112 SUCs, 78 local universities and colleges, and technical-vocational education and training programs covered by the free tuition law. 

But De Vera said the influx of applicants will be “taken care of by the admission test,” which ensures only qualified students get admitted. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.