There are people and institutions out there that see a need and strive to meet it as best they can. One thing philanthropists do is to help train people with the potential for meeting that same need in the near future.
Not to be outdone by universities and private benefactors, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with the Science Education Institute (SEI) have come up with several ways of assisting deserving, financially challenged students. We’ll be focusing on one of them in this article: the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship (henceforth referred to as DOST-SEI MS).
1. Background: Formerly known as Project 5801, the DOST-SEI MS is the department’s regular scholarship program aimed at helping college freshmen enter into and complete specific baccalaureate degree programs of choice.
2. Qualifications: The criteria are as follows:
• Applicants must not have applied for an immigrant or resident status in any foreign country.
• They must not have previously taken any DOST-SEI Scholarship test prior to application.
• They should not have earned any units in any college course yet.
• They must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines.
• They should have good health and good moral character.
• They need to be a part of the upper 5% of their high school graduating class.
• They need to major in any of the relevant scholarship courses (Please go to this webpage for a list of DOST-SEI MS courses and the respective universities that offer them.).
3. Required Paperwork: The DOST will need the following documents:
• A birth certificate photocopy
• Form A – DOST-SEI Information Sheet
• Form C – health certificate accomplished by a licensed doctor
• Form D – Certificate of good moral character written by the applicants’ principal or guidance counselor
• Form E – written certification from the applicants’ high school principal indicating the following:
o The complete number of graduation candidates
o The applicants’ status of being in the top 5% of their graduating classes
• 2 ID pictures of 1 x 1 size, photographed no longer than a month before the application. One of the photos needs to be attached to the test permit, the other to the DOST-SEI Information Sheet.
• Form F – a statement from the applicants indicating that they’ve not taken any college courses yet
• Form G – statement from the applicants’ parent (s) indicating that the applicant has not applied as a resident or immigrant in any foreign country.
• Payment of the non-refundable 200 peso test fee
4. Application Process: The first thing to do is to obtain the application form at the Science Education Institute (Please see the address below.), any Provincial Science and Technology Center or any regional DOST office. Applicants must then fill it up completely and turn it in together with the other necessary documents to the office from whence it came.
They must also take and pass the science and technology aptitude test administered to them. Their performance on this test will serve as one of the major factors in the selection of the final list of scholars.
Winning scholars will enjoy a host of subsidies and stipends. For one thing, the DOST will pay up to 4,500 pesos of the scholars’ tuition and school fees per semester or term Students will also receive a textbook/school supply allowance of 3,000 pesos per academic year and a one-time (for the first semester of the first year only), 500-peso grant for P.E./ROTC uniform. .
Group accident and health insurance is also on the list, coupled with a monthly living allowance for one academic year. The latter will depend on the nature of the students’ scholarship (special, partial or full).
This is how it works: special, partial and full scholarships yield 1825, 2150 and 4000-peso living allowances, respectively. Please note that these amounts only apply to those majoring in Physics-related courses. Students majoring in other courses will receive 1200 (special), 1400 (partial) and 3,000-peso (full) allowances instead.
These subsidies also apply to periods involving required summer classes, though in modified amounts. Specifically, the DOST will subsidize tuition and school fees up to 1,500 pesos, plus textbook and school supplies up to 500 pesos. Scholars will get monthly living allowances for the summer school period, too.
Finally, students attending college outside of their home province will enjoy a free, economy-class round trip for one between their home and their college. This will be made available on reimbursement basis.
Obligations are pretty straightforward: in return for financial assistance, scholars must abide by the terms of the contract they enter into with the DOST-SEI. Basically, they need to maintain the minimum scholarship grade required.
The most important obligation comes after graduation: the students will be asked to serve the country (most preferably in their home region) in a manner relevant to their field of study. This is a full time vocation that will last at least as long as their time spent as DOST-SEI scholars.
If you have any questions about the subject matter, it would be best to direct them toward the DOST-SEI folks themselves. They may be reached at (632) 837-1359 or (632) 839-0241. Facsimiles go to (632) 837-1924.
If you’d rather visit the Science Education Institute in person, feel free to drop by its office at the third floor of the PTRI building, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City.