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College costs... how to handle?


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Thalcoozyo
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All,

Have already put two of the nieces through college in Cebu City.  Both graduated, one a nurse, the other a Physical Therapist who just passed her exam. Now a third niece is about to graduate high school and wants to go to college. But, alas, my working days are nearly over, and my Filipina wife's work (here in the U.S.) is still suckin' wind from Covid closures/layoffs. Our ability to pay for another niece's college education is just not possible.

This third niece lives in San Antonio, Zambales, which is about one hr. north of Olongapo/Subic City. For some who may be savvy about military happenings, she lives within a stone's throw of the San Miguel Navy Base. 

Based on past experience, I figure current tuition/books/room & board/misc. is about $5,000.00 USD per year (or maybe a bit more) at an average college. Soooo... getting to the point:

1) What categories or fields of study qualify for the Philippine "free tuition"?  I know about teaching and some types of engineering... but what else?  She wants to be a nurse, or get into radiology (xray), but I'm doubtful those can be found as free tuition.

2) Sponsorships:  I'm just too dumb and too old to try to scrape up $5,000.00 USD per year (x 4 yrs) via a Go-Fund-Me campaign. And I don't have any friends who would give me that kind of money. So is there any organization that matches needy students with sponsors willing to invest in a child's future? Trust me... she qualifies. Her family is as poor as the proverbial church mouse; they literally have no money.

3) Any type of "corporate sponsorships" available?  Like maybe a company sends her to school to be a CPA in return for her 5 years employment-commitment after graduation?

Am open to your ideas and discussion. Thanks much!

(Feel free to PM me if easier for you.)

Edited by Thalcoozyo
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Jawny

I’m not an expert, but I believe the free tuition is based upon the university, not the field of study. For example, Visayas State University has free tuition.  Lots of competition to get in.  As well, they are an agriculture university, so most course are related.  They do have other topics, such as nursing. However, nursing and some other studies are limited in class size. 
 

I’m not sure if they still have an entrance exam.  Might have changed with Covid 19 restrictions. Some schools do have scholarships.  Sometimes just partial, like reduction in tuition. 

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to_dave007
55 minutes ago, Jawny said:

I’m not an expert, but I believe the free tuition is based upon the university, not the field of study. For example, Visayas State University has free tuition.  Lots of competition to get in.  As well, they are an agriculture university, so most course are related.  They do have other topics, such as nursing. However, nursing and some other studies are limited in class size. 
 

I’m not sure if they still have an entrance exam.  Might have changed with Covid 19 restrictions. Some schools do have scholarships.  Sometimes just partial, like reduction in tuition. 

The "state universities"..  like Cebu Technological University and I think Cebu Normal University..  been offering free tuition for about 2 years before the pendemic.. and still now..  it's a bit misleading since many of their OTHER costs are now higher..  but overall.. they are cheaper.  There are state universities across the country.  Teaching and nursing and ICT are several of their offerings. Electronics technicians.. auto mechanics..  hotel front desk staff.. and lots of other career paths supported there.  Many call centre agents come from this background..  IF they also put the effort in to become fluent in english.  

For sure.. the QUALITY of what they offer is less..  but they DO offer a university education to those who otherwise might not be able to afford it.  The local university here in Tuburan.. CTU.. is one of these..  and the "employment rate" of graduates is quite spotty..  many graduates remain unemployed years after graduation..  HOWEVER..  not all..  and if you look closely.. many of those who succeed do so as a result of superior motivation, effort, and integrity. In other words.. they work their ass off.  I personally know a few of these students from the days when I volunteered as a teacher there.

Maybe some of the other state universities have lots of competition to get in..  but my observation is that their entrance examination could be passed by the top grade 6 students.  Not many applicants are rejected. That's like;ly why employment record is so spotty.. Just like in the west.. some students prefer to coast in life while others foot the bill..  and some students use the opportunity to advance themselves.

Scholarships ARE available in this countyry from several sources..  I think some are sponsored by CHED (or DOST or DepEd or ???)..  and some by the schools themselves..  and some within the community.. I know Tuburan has a community group.. like an American Kinsmen or Lions club..   that offers a limited 2000/month living expenses scholarship to needy students.. at least 10 at any time.  And it's quite common for wealthy people in the community to sponsor good candidates.  But it's like a lot of other things.. nobody wants to be responsible for 100% of someones needs.. they prefer to see it shared..   plus it's necessary to reach out and search possible sources and approach them.. perhaps with a proper letter outlining the students goals, aspirations and needs..  No different than in Canada... something that says "this is a worthy candidate"..  something a LOT more than ":give me money mister". 

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BossHog
5 hours ago, Thalcoozyo said:

Am open to your ideas and discussion. Thanks much!

You've had some good input above. Tuition at the better universities here is basically free or comes at a nominal cost. Caveat emptor though: you get what you pay for.

Unlike the West, living costs for an undergrad will far surpass the actual tuition fees. 

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Paddy

It’s a long story but I am committed to educating 5 youngsters with 2 of them graduated (from USTL) already. Number 3 graduates, also from USTL, this year. Number 4 has two more years to go at USTL while number 5 is just completing Grade 11.  It hasn’t always been easy financing their education from elementary to university, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

For scholarships - the OP’s third niece should discuss these with the student advisor and school Registrar. If the Registrar is any good, they’ll know all about the available scholarships. 

I have limited experience of CHED. We got “some” value from CHED for the first two - but it is performance based. I have seen LGU scholarships but they are definitely attendance based and may also be performance based. My experience with these scholarships suggests they have laborious processes associated with them and unless everyone involved does everything they’re supposed to in a timely manner payouts will be delayed or not appear. 

Sponsorships (private ones) should be available. Here in Masbate I know two families that do this. One family has a comprehensive set of performance and behaviour rules. The other employs the sponsored students in their various businesses. I’ve also seen at least one “help wanted” sign on a business that provided some level of sponsorship. 

My partner actually did something similar before I met her and put a student through college in return for housekeeping/maid type work. Day Day, the student, remains a family friend. (I have no idea how my partner managed this on a private school teacher’s salary!)

For my 5, the “free tuition” institutions didn’t work for a variety of reasons (courses offered mostly I think). Masbate has plenty of vocational college places but limited (if any) University institutions. We chose USTL in Legazpi and went from there. We’ve had a basic apartment there, close to campus, for the past 7 years. Having the 5 go to the same institution (or at least the same town) has made overall costs and logistics much simpler. 

I commend the OP for successfully getting 2 students through college. 
 

 

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seanm
9 hours ago, Paddy said:

It’s a long story but I am committed to educating 5 youngsters with 2 of them graduated (from USTL) already. Number 3 graduates, also from USTL, this year. Number 4 has two more years to go at USTL while number 5 is just completing Grade 11.  It hasn’t always been easy financing their education from elementary to university, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

For scholarships - the OP’s third niece should discuss these with the student advisor and school Registrar. If the Registrar is any good, they’ll know all about the available scholarships. 

I have limited experience of CHED. We got “some” value from CHED for the first two - but it is performance based. I have seen LGU scholarships but they are definitely attendance based and may also be performance based. My experience with these scholarships suggests they have laborious processes associated with them and unless everyone involved does everything they’re supposed to in a timely manner payouts will be delayed or not appear. 

Sponsorships (private ones) should be available. Here in Masbate I know two families that do this. One family has a comprehensive set of performance and behaviour rules. The other employs the sponsored students in their various businesses. I’ve also seen at least one “help wanted” sign on a business that provided some level of sponsorship. 

My partner actually did something similar before I met her and put a student through college in return for housekeeping/maid type work. Day Day, the student, remains a family friend. (I have no idea how my partner managed this on a private school teacher’s salary!)

For my 5, the “free tuition” institutions didn’t work for a variety of reasons (courses offered mostly I think). Masbate has plenty of vocational college places but limited (if any) University institutions. We chose USTL in Legazpi and went from there. We’ve had a basic apartment there, close to campus, for the past 7 years. Having the 5 go to the same institution (or at least the same town) has made overall costs and logistics much simpler. 

I commend the OP for successfully getting 2 students through college. 
 

 


That is amazing you have done that. May I ask what subject the students studied/ are studying?
 

I have two relatives who I have helped a bit (not much, but a little). 

One is a senior this year and she studies Hotel and Restaurant Management (something like that... useless IMO). She is also on some type of dance team at the school and gets paid for that (not much, but it is something).

The other one is a freshman this year and is studying to be a teacher (she wants to teach Tagalog in High School).

Both students are from rough backgrounds, so I like to help, but from what I have seen both are not on the best path. 
The one who is a freshman I had hoped would go away to school at VSU in Baybay (to get away from family, and be around more successful kids.... from wealthier families), but she didn’t pass the entrance exam so she ended up at EVSU in Ormoc.

 

 

 

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BossHog
51 minutes ago, seanm said:

One is a senior this year and she studies Hotel and Restaurant Management (something like that... useless IMO).

HRM is a really popular course of study in the Philippines. I agree that it's generally useless...but not always.

Our niece got her degree in HRM from a university in Mindanao and managed to get a decent job at a dive resort in Egypt. After a few years of that she got promoted to the corporation's flagship hotel in Manhattan in a well-paid management position in her late twenties.

I recently asked her when she's coming home to the Philippines to visit. She just laughed and said "Uncle Greg, I'm never going back to that country".

At least she became a Mets and not a Yankees fan.

 

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Paddy
3 hours ago, seanm said:

May I ask what subject the students studied/ are studying?

The USTL courses have been/currently are:

Tourism Management

Fine Arts

Hotel Managememt

Business Administration

Number 5 is doing the STEM strand in Senior High. I’m not sure what degree she will take yet. At one point, she did have aspirations to be a Chef!

With the experience of these 5 plus volunteering as a college level teacher for a while, I am of the opinion that courses leading to an official licensure examination are the ones students should be going for - if they can. There is more chance of breaking out of the poverty cycle. 

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Paddy

I have been rummaging through various Masbate Colleges information. There’s precious little to find since the colleges tend to do “management by Facebook” (just like the government!). However, I did come across this link with information on a bunch of scholarship topics…

https://scholarshiphelp.tvshownewz.com/category/ched-scholarship/

There’s even an article on a commercial scholarship for students wishing to learn about production machinery maintenance (possibly wouldn’t apply to the OP’s niece):

https://scholarshiphelp.tvshownewz.com/gokongwi-scholarship-2022-open-now-for-philippines-students/

These scholarships have a variety (or all of) performance, attendance and even family income conditions. 

In terms of ease of access to information, it’s notable that when I started Google searching CHED etc, what came up first was a site called “scholarshiphelp.tvnewz.com” and not a CHED site. However, a little more rummaging comes up with this:

https://unifast.gov.ph
 

which is worthy of study. 
 

The OP’s 3rd niece, being from a poor family, ought to be able to qualify for something from CHED /Unifast. As ever, it will be her, or her advisors’ process stick handling skills that will likely result in success or not. 

Getting through these processes involves the student, her family, CHED / Unifast, her high school, the target college, her Barangay etc etc etc. Everyone has to do their part right and ontime. 

It looks like a student could get up to 60k per year covering more than just tuition fees. So - if you’re looking to take advantage of government education grants, happy reading!😀

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