By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Starting next year, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will implement a new system of application for students who wish to apply and avail of its financial assistance programs.
“Simula sa susunod na taong 2020, magpapatupad na ang CHED ng panibagong sistema sa pagsusumite ng aplikasyon ng mga nais maging iskolar sa pamamagitan ng online application” (Starting next year, 2020, the CHED will implement a new system of submission of scholarship applications for those who are interested through an online application),” said CHED chairman Dr. Prospero De Vera III in a statement.
To ease up the application process for the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs), De Vera added that the commission in each regional office will also put up drop boxes where the applicants can leave their application forms and other documentary requirements for the financial assistance program they are applying for.
De Vera issued this statement following the volume of student-applicants who flocked to the CHED Main Office in Quezon City where its National Capital Region (NCR) office and Region IV-A (CALABARZON) are housed.
“Maglalagay rin ang Komisyon sa bawat tanggapan nito ng mga drop box kung saan maaaring ihulog o iwan ng aplikante ang kani-kanilang mga dokumento o requirements para sa StuFAPs” (The Commission, in all of its offices, will also place a drop box where the applicants where drop or leave their documents or requirements for StuFAPs),” he added.
Earlier, De Vera said that the long lines of students who wish to be beneficiaries of StuFAPs became a topic in social media and the news.
“Ibinalita sa isang istasyon ng telebisyon na sinisisi raw ng Komisyon ang mga estudyanteng pumipila dahil kung kailan malapit na ang deadline ay saka lamang sila nagsusumite ng aplikasyon sa CHED,” (A TV station also reported that the Commission is blaming students who wait in queue because they wait for the deadline to come close before they submit their applications to CHED),” he said.
De Vera flatly denied this.
“Hindi po ito totoo at hindi sinisisi ng CHED ang mga estudyanteng pumipila” (This is not true and the CHED does not blame the students who wait in line),” he said.
Meanwhile, De Vera noted that the high volume of applicants for StuFAPs reflects the number of students who wish to finish their tertiary education.
“Ang tumaas na bilang ng mga estudyanteng nagnanais makakuha ng scholarships at grants-in-aid ay salamin ng dami ng kabataang nais makatuntong sa mga kolehiyo o unibersidad upang makapagtapos” (The increasing number of students wishing to get scholarships and grants-in-aid mirrors the number of youths who want to go to college or university to graduate),” he said.
This, De Vera said, is also a result of the free higher education.
Signed into law by President Duterte in 2017, the Republic Act (RA) 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) provides free higher education which will cover tuition, miscellaneous, and other fees in 112 SUCs and 78 CHED-recognized LUCs); a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES); free Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for those enrolled in state-run Technical Vocational Institutions, and a Student Loan Program (SLP).