Fact check - gov't services/laws

FACT CHECK: Link for CHED-UniFast scholarship is fake

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: Link for CHED-UniFast scholarship is fake
The application link comes from a fake page. Contrary to the claim, the Tertiary Education Subsidy program is only open to higher education students.

Claim: The Commission on Higher Education (CHED)’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) posted a link for scholarship applications for elementary, high school, and college students for academic year 2024-2025. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a post on the Facebook group “4ps Nationwide updates” which has 304,700 members as of writing.

The post claims that students from the kindergarten to college levels can get full scholarships. Students enrolled in public schools can receive P15,000, while those in private schools can receive P13,000. Interested applicants are instructed to apply through the link provided in the post.

As of writing, the post has garnered 333 reactions, 500 comments, and 72 shares.

The facts: The post was made by a fake page not affiliated with UniFAST. The agency offers the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program and, contrary to the claim, does not offer educational support for elementary and high school students.

In a post on its official Facebook page on January 12, UniFAST clarified that it has not yet issued a call for TES applications for academic year 2024-2025. 

“This will only open upon the availability of funds/slots for new grantees so please exercise caution with unofficial websites and social media pages circulating links or forms for TES applications,” the post read.

The agency added it manages its own online portal which is exclusively accessible to higher education institutions (HEIs) with a Memorandum of Agreement with CHED-UniFAST. New applications for the TES are managed by the HEI where eligible students are currently enrolled, and applications submitted directly at CHED-UniFAST offices are not accepted.

TES program: UniFAST is an attached agency of the CHED meant to implement Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. It implements the TES program which helps eligible students attend higher education programs in public and private institutions.

All Filipino undergraduate students enrolled in CHED-recognized higher education institutions and who are not overstaying in their programs are eligible to apply for the TES

In a public advisory issued on January 15, UniFast made it clear that TES is not a scholarship, but a government grant-in-aid program that follows prioritization criteria subject to the availability of funds. 

Fact-checked: Rappler has previously fact-checked scholarship programs also posted by fake Facebook pages posing as government agencies:

For updates and legitimate information on the TES program, visit the official website of CHED and UniFast. – Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza/Rappler.com

Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. 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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