Fact check - gov't services/laws

FACT CHECK: Education subsidy application links not from CHED-UniFAST

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FACT CHECK: Education subsidy application links not from CHED-UniFAST
The online link to apply for tertiary education subsidy is fake and is not from the Commission on Higher Education’s financial assistance program

Claim:  The Commission on Higher Education (CHED)’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) posted a link to apply for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a November 15 post by the Facebook page “CHED Scholarship,” which has 684,000 likes and 744, 000 followers. 

As of this writing, the post has received 4,600 likes, 2,600 comments, and 2,900 shares. 

Bearing the name and logo of CHED and UniFAST, the post included a supposed link for interested applicants to learn more about the TES and to apply for the education subsidy.

The facts: The supposed registration link is fake. It directs to a blog website and not to the official website of CHED or UniFAST

In a public advisory released on November 17, CHED-UniFAST denied any affiliation with the “CHED Scholarship” Facebook page. 

“Any views, opinions, or information shared on the ‘CHED Scholarship page’ and the use of trademarks or logos are solely those of the page owner or administrator, so it does not imply endorsement or affiliation with CHED-UniFAST,” the advisory reads. 

CHED also urged the public to verify links shared by any individuals or groups promoting the application for the education subsidy.

UniFAST: UniFAST is an attached agency of the CHED meant to implement Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. Established through Republic Act No. 10687, UniFAST unifies under one body all government-funded modalities of Student Financial Assistance Programs for tertiary education, such as scholarships, grants-in-aid, and student loans. The CHED head also serves as UniFAST chair. 

Tertiary Education Subsidy program: TES is a grant-in-aid program that supports the cost of tertiary education for Filipino students. Grant-in-aid refers to a modality of financial assistance to “poor but eligible students which generally requires a minimum level of competence to complete tertiary education.” The program provides qualified students in private higher education institutions (HEIs) with a subsidy of up to P60,000 per academic year, while grantees in state universities and colleges (SUCs) or local universities and colleges (LUCs) can receive up to P40,000. 

CHED previously clarified that the TES is not a scholarship and that it follows a prioritization scheme to qualify as a grantee. Enrolled Filipino undergraduate students in SUCs, CHED-recognized LUCs, and private HEIs with an existing memorandum of agreement and who are compliant with requirements are the only ones eligible to implement TES. 

To apply for the program, eligible students need to coordinate with the TES focal person of their school or university to begin the application process. 

Official accounts: For official updates on CHED-UniFAST’s programs and services, refer to its official website, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube accounts. Official updates are also posted on CHED’s website, Facebook, and  X accounts. – Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a Rappler Intern, under the Research Unit. He is a fourth year Communication Research student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. 

This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here. Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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