Home PEx Campus The Academe

Half of UPD Freshies Under ‘Millionaire Bracket’

* BAKIT KAYA? *

(This report was first published in print in issue 1 of the Philippine Collegian on 14 June 2011.)
by Marjohara Tucay and Keith Richard Mariano

Over half of the incoming freshmen in UP Diliman, or 900 out of an estimated 1,750 first year students were classified under Bracket A of the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP), and will be paying P1,500 per unit for the current academic year, according to data from the Office of the UP President (OP).

The number of Bracket A freshmen in Diliman recorded this year is over 3,000 percent higher than the total 29 undergraduate students classified in the said bracket last year. The data from OP only covers freshmen already enrolled by June 3.

Students who are classified under Bracket A are assumed to have a gross annual family income of over P1 million. Most of the first year students classified in the highest bracket this semester have “self-declared” their family income, said UP President Alfredo Pascual in a dialogue with student leaders on June 3.

Meanwhile, only 40 freshmen were classified under brackets E1 and E2 and will be granted free tuition, constituting around 7 percent of the total number of freshmen who applied for the STFAP, based on data posted by the Office of Scholarships and Student Services.

Also, for 2011, only 9 percent or 212 of the 2,265 undergraduate students who applied for STFAP were assigned to the lowest brackets of the Alphabetic Bracketing Scheme (ABS) of the STFAP.

Of the 212 recipients of free tuition, 179 were bracketed under bracket E1, of which 35 students are freshmen. Meanwhile, 33 students were qualified under bracket E2, five of which are freshmen, and are to receive a stipend of P12,000 every semester.

“The data we now have shown how two decades of the implementation of STFAP have increased those who pay more and decrease those who pay less,” Student Regent Ma. Kristina Conti said.

Bracket certification

The sudden surge in the number of Bracket A students may be largely due to the implementation of the new Bracket B certification scheme, added Conti.

A memorandum issued by Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Gisela Concepcion last April 8 required all incoming freshmen and transferees who wish to be classified under Bracket B, which is for students with gross annual income of P500,001 to P1 million, to submit documentary evidence including copies of income tax returns or employment contracts of their parents and a vicinity map of their family residence.

“The change is being made to strengthen a weak rule and ensure the integrity of STFAP implementation…The required submission of supporting documents under the new rule is expected to make students honest about their socio-economic standings,” Pascual said in a statement.

However, Conti explained that the underlying reason for the new rules on bracket certification is to raise revenues being collected from students. “What appears to be happening now is instead of providing assistance to students, STFAP has become a mechanism to charge students with higher tuition rates,” Conti added.

Change in base tuition?

Before the implementation of the Bracket B certification, students who do not apply for socialized tuition pay the base rate of P1,000 per unit, according to the STFAP website. Students only needed to submit a signed document signifying that their family’s income does not exceed P1 million.

However, with the new requirements in place, the administration has seemingly changed the base tuition from P1,000 to P1,500, Conti said.

“The memorandum’s focus on the fulfilment of the new Bracket B certification and additional requirements for classification under Bracket B cannot but be interpreted as a change in the default bracket of the STFAP given the students’ experience with STFAP,” according to the UP Kilos Na Alliance in a statement.

The UP administration denied that the new rules for Bracket B certification have changed the base tuition. In a memorandum released by VPAA Concepcion on June 6, she clarified that “there is no change in the STFAP bracket schedule and there is no tuition fee increase.”

“In fact, there is no such thing as base tuition,” Pascual told student leaders in the dialogue.

“The idea of a base tuition is that’s what you’ll pay if you don’t submit anything to STFAP. With new requirements needed for Bracket B certification, those who don’t bother to submit documents are obliged to pay a higher rate,” Conti explained.

“Sa ganitong sistema, tila inaasahan ng administrasyon ng UP na lahat ng papasok ng bagong estudyante ng UP ay kayang magbayad ng P1,500 kada yunit unless proven otherwise,” said National Union of Students of the Philippines Chair Vanessa Faye Bolibol.

‘Flawed program’

Since the first implementation of the STFAP in 1989, the program aimed to “democratize access” to the university by providing financial assistance and tuition discounts to students.

STFAP utilizes economic indicators such as gross annual income to gauge the income bracket of each applicant. The original bracketing scheme has been twice revised in the past years to adjust the income brackets.

However, based on Collegian data, after over two decades of implementation of the STFAP, the number of UP Diliman students benefiting from free tuition dropped by almost 90 percent.

In 1991, one in every five undergraduate students in Diliman benefited from free tuition under the program. By 2010, only one in every one hundred students is granted free tuition.

“Ang mga ginagamit na indicators ng STFAP ngayon ay hindi na lapat sa konkretong sitwasyon,” Bolibol said.

Abigail Jamias, an incoming freshman, told the Collegian her first experience with the STFAP application process, where she applied for Bracket C and was instead classified as Bracket A. “I am absolutely not fine with my being assessed to Bracket A. I did apply for Bracket C because it is where my family’s income belongs. I applied for an appeal and the whole application process is indeed, laborious,” Jamias said.

During the June 3 dialogue with Pascual, he told the student leaders that the administration will soon be reviewing the STFAP system and revise the flaws on the bracketing procedure.

“Pero anumang pagbabago sa STFAP, hindi nito maitatago ang katotohanang nagamit at patuloy itong ginagamit upang maging justification sa pagtataas ng matrikula. Sa halip na maglaan ng panahon upang lalo pang pahirapin ang proseso ng STFAP, nararapat na mas paigtingin ng pamahalaan ang panawagan nito para sa mas mataas na subsidy,” Bolibol said.
«134

Comments

  • facepalm-simpsons-300x300.jpg
    mfw I read that article in Kule last week.
  • DokTots wrote: »
    * BAKIT KAYA? *

    Over half of the incoming freshmen in UP Diliman, or 900 out of an estimated 1,750 first year students were classified under Bracket A of the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP), and will be paying P1,500 per unit for the current academic year, according to data from the Office of the UP President (OP).

    The number of Bracket A freshmen in Diliman recorded this year is over 3,000 percent higher than the total 29 undergraduate students classified in the said bracket last year. The data from OP only covers freshmen already enrolled by June 3.

    The data presented by the two writers is partial since the enrollment period lasted until June 13. They should have come up with a follow-up report.
  • pedropindukopedropinduko PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung bakit pinoproblema ng mga student organizations at iba pang rally groups yung pagbabayad ng 1500 ng mga mayayamang estudyante. Di ba dapat matuwa sila at nakakalikom ang UP ng malaking revenues, at matapat ang mga estudyanteng ito sa pagdedeklara ng kanilang family income? Ang isyu lang naman nila rito ay ang pagdami ng mga mayayaman sa UP. Sa tingin ko, hindi wasto na gamiting forum ang STFAP para sa ganitong diskusyon dahil mas malaki ang sakop nito (e.g. capitalist economy, simple lang yan, the rich gets better services, incl. education).

    Ang dapat pagtuunan nila ng pansin e yung proposisyon na itaas ang lebel ng annual salaries ng mga mga pwedeng isama sa bracket E hanggang C dahil napakaliit nito. ~80-100K annual family income para maisama sa E/D (correct me if I'm wrong). Napakaliit kaya nito. E paano pa kung maraming anak ang pinapaaral ng mga magulang, na hindi malayong mangyari lalo na sa mga mahihirap na mga pamilya?

    Change in base tuition? In substance, marahil nga. Pero bakit nila ito tinututulan kung may kapasidad naman silang magbayad? Kabilang siguro ang mga students leaders na to sa mga napilitang magbayad ng 1500 per unit. Ano ba kasi gusto nilang mangyari, free tuition as in no cash outflow from all students, from all family class? Paalala lang, third world country po ang Pilipinas.

    At isa pa, ano naman ang koneksyon ng STFAP (as in subsidized tuition) sa isyu na kalahati ng mga estudyante ay nasa millionaire's bracket? Mali yung analysis. E sa marami ngang mayamang estudyante ang nakakapasok sa UP, halos lahat jan indifferent na sa cost of tuition fees.

    Pero sang-ayon ako na dapat pabilisin ang application process sa STFAP. Susme, lahat ng government organizations dapat ayusin lahat ng klase ng applications. Hello, information age!!!
  • michymichymoomichymichymoo PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Hahaha. It's an old story already. During college, I used to belong to a org where all universities have a branch. The overall president was from UPD then. Yemen nya men! :lol: Kami pa yung sinakay sa kotse niya, dahil on the way naman sa condo nya. :lol:
  • Ka_Diliman wrote: »
    Finally. Problem of UP acknowledged inside UP. UP Dilim an! Wake up bebe. Wake up! This problem is as obvious as UST's annual homage to Venice.

    BAITED!

    Can't believe it worked! Got myself one!
  • Karamihan pa siguro sa mga mayayaman na yan ay mga chekwa.
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    siguro its time for UP to accomodate more poor but deserving students since may mga paying students na sila.

    Unless I'm very much mistaken, admission to UP is need-blind. Documentary evidence showing the income of one's family is not required upon submission of the UPCAT application forms. So the university really can't find out which students are poor and which are not. Maybe they can look at the high schools of these students, but that would just be presuming.

    The university has a limit to the number of students that it can accept. Wouldn't it be unfair if poor students are admitted in place of richer but more deserving students just because they are, well, poor?
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    ^ Even if the university increases the quota of admitted freshmen, there's no guarantee that those who will be accepted are the poorer ones.

    What the university can do, however, is to increase the income limit for the lower brackets (100K annual income? Really?) or introduce more scholarships so that those poor students that have been accepted will still push through with their enrollment.
  • jakeyrjakeyr PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    DokTots wrote: »
    BAITED!

    Can't believe it worked! Got myself one!

    Congrats. Must be one of those who "chose" to study where he/she did even if he/she "passed" the UPCAT.
  • quwertii wrote: »
    Karamihan pa siguro sa mga mayayaman na yan ay mga chekwa.


    Well mataas kasi mga score nila sa UPCAT, duh!
  • I highly doubt there has been a significant increase of UP-D students who have an annual income of more than 1,000,000. It's more or less the same as in the past years.

    It just so happens that the recent STFAP process "discovered" that there are indeed a lot of well-off UP-D students, since by default you are assigned under Bracket A, and without proper documents duly submitted you stay in Bracket A.

    I have no complains regarding the STFAP. I would have implemented the same thing if I were the UP admin.

    First of all regardless of whether you are rich or poor, whether or not you pass the UPCAT relies on your own merit. Just because you are poor doesn't mean that you're given more advantage than rich applicants. That would simply be unfair.

    If you passed the UPCAT and you're "truly" poor, applying for STFAP will lower your tuition to only 300/unit. Now if you don't have the patience to submit the required documents, it's already your fault. Nagaapply ka na nga for scholarship tinatamad ka pa.

    The strict requirements in applying for STFAP is understandable. It's to prevent well off students from getting subsidy, while making it possible for "patient and TRULY poor applicants" to get subsidy.
  • There will always be a lot of poor UPCAT passers who will not enroll in UP, simply because they don't have the money for daily expenses such as transportation.

    During the mid 2000s when UP's tuition was still pegged at 300/unit, I had the chance to talk to a few bright students from a public school who passed UP.

    Many of them ended up choosing other universities because of its proximity to their home (less transportation costs) and most importantly, the monthly allowance the university is offering them.

    If UP truly wants to get poor and deserving students to enroll in UP, they would need to offer monthly allowances/work while studying programs as well. At times free tuition, sadly, is not enough. Kailangan pa ng monthly allowance.
  • I think the quality of Elementary and High School education has something to do with this.

    Tingin ko, ang mga magagaling na estudyante na madaling nakakapasok sa UP ay yung mga educated sa pinakamagagaling na High Schools. AT sila ay mga private schools, kung saan mayayaman ang estudyante.

    Marami din namang public schools na magagaling- pero karamihan ay Science High Schools, na bago ka makapasok ay kailangang magaling ka rin talaga, karamihan e grads ng private elem. school. Even mga kakilala kong Pisay grads, mayayaman sila, at private nag-elementary.

    So kung ganito ang trend, di malayong mayayaman na nga ang makakapag-aral sa UP. At ang 20K/sem na tuition sa UP ay sobrang mahal na sa standards ng 1 state university.
  • galing upgaling up PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    i'm glad tapos na ako at naabutan ko pa yung murang tuition fee.. otherwise, malamang sa ibang iskul na ako nag aral..

    kawawa talaga mga poor at deserving students.. yung stfap naman na yan..bulok bulok naman yan eh..wala ka rin maaasahan dyan..
  • jakeyrjakeyr PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Ka_Diliman wrote: »
    The UPCAT was like eons ago. Have you been earning more than me? If yes, go invest in some hedge fund in Singapore. That should prove you understood UPCAT's purpose. Or we could debate about how lame the UPCAT is as a subject after taking it. Call?

    Huh? What's there to debate about? Instead of debating about such a lame topic, maybe you could just take your own advice and continue monitoring your investments in some foreign hedge funds while i continue managing my own hedge fund. Deal?
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    read my post. i didnt say just poor students. i said deserving poor students. those rich students doesnt need the subsidy of the government. i just wish that UP can accomodate more students. sayang kasi yung excellent education that they can provide to the people. but then again may point ka din.

    What I'm saying is that admission to UP is (should be) need-blind. It doesn't/shouldn't discriminate. It does/should not care whether you are rich or you are poor. It does/should not make it its mission to make room for more poor but deserving students. It should make room for more deserving students, period.

    In a scenario where a rich and a poor student compete for the last freshman slot, their UPGs should matter, not their wealth.

    Rich students don't need government subsidy, sure, but they have just have as much right as others to study in the university. That's why we have the STFAP or the system for socialized tuition. The amount you pay depends on your capacity to pay. There's definitely a lot of room for improvement and it's far from perfect, but I am of the opinion that is the right way to tackle the problem.
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    their UPGs should matter, not their wealth or the lack of it*
  • marami pa nga sa mayayaman na yan ang afford ang review class para sa mga college entrance exam kaya mas malaki pa ang advantage nila kaysa sa mga mahihirap na umaasa lang sa sariling talino.
  • methinks na lalaki ang percentage nang makapapasok sa up by reconsideration since maraming slot ang magiging available kung di magko-confirm yung mga nakapasa talaga. most likely, these slots will be filled by those who can pay and have backers who may not necessarily be of the same 'caliber' of those who really passed the upcat. this is true only if you really put a lot of value to the upcat result.
  • razzer_risingrazzer_rising PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    the problem here is UP is not biased against those that can afford. everyone can apply and take the UPCAT, may you be rich or poor. gosh I think everyone knows naman those that can pay have access to better high school as compared to those that are poor. better high school gives more chance of passing UPCAT. whereas sometimes those who graduated from mataas na paaralan ng liblib at bulubundukin will most likely not pass UP no matter how bright they are.
Sign In or Register to comment.