CHED extends deadline for tertiary education subsidy applications
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has extended to October 30 the deadline for universities and colleges to submit applications of students who wished to avail themselves of the tertiary education subsidy (TES) under the free higher education law.
In a statement Wednesday, October 3, the CHED said it had so far received a total of 174,488 applications for TES benefits in 524 public and private higher education institutions (HEIs).
CHED earlier said the P16 billion budget for TES would cover about some 300,000 students for school year (SY) 2018-2019.
It had set the original deadline for schools to submit applications last Sunday, September 30. However, it decided to give an extension so that all slots available under the TES program would be filled up for the academic year.
What is the tertiary education subsidy? The tertiary education subsidy differs from the free tuition scheme. It is a program under the same law, which supports the cost of tertiary education by providing allowances for books, transportation, boarding, and supplies, among others.
Students from both public and private institutions can avail themselves of the TES.
CHED also said it would prioritize students "who need the assistance most,” considering the limited number of slots.
Students will be prioritized according to the following:
- They are continuing beneficiaries of the Expanded Students' Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA)
- They are enrolled in private HEIs in cities or municipalities with no state or local university and colleges
- They are included in the Listahanan 2.0 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
CHED Officer-in-Charge Proposer De Vera III also said student beneficiaries of the ESGP-PA will be automatically qualified for the TES. These are students who are listed in the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and are currently enrolled in selected SUCs and taking up government priority programs.
For ESGP-PA scholars, schools will also have until October 30 to submit their lists to the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (Unifast), which is the office in CHED responsible for implementing the free higher education law.
The TES, among other student financial aid programs, has been the subject of debate at budget deliberations in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
CHED said it expected the TES may not be able to cover students who benefited from other student financial aid programs (StuFAP) as proposed budget for these decreased from P1.7 billion in 2017 to P4.73 billion in 2018. (READ: DBM clarifies lower budget for student aid)
In response, senators sought to place a provision in the 2019 budget that would ensure scholars of existing StuFAPs.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno also said an additional P11 billion had been allocated for the TES program for the next school year. With the increase, De Vera said, about 400,000 to 500,00 students may be accomodated by the program in the coming year. – Rappler.com
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