In another article, I discussed the Department of Science and Technology’s efforts to provide financial assistance to students via the Merit Scholarship. Thing is, the aforementioned scholarship isn’t the only grant available to would-be scientists.
Enter the Science and Technology Scholarship (henceforth referred to as STS). Like its counterpart, the purpose of the STS is to provide financial support for the scientists of tomorrow—though its focus is slightly different, as we shall see shortly.
1. Background: Republic Act 7687 (aka the Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994) established the grant of the same name. Unlike its counterpart, the Merit Scholarship, the STS is skewed more toward engineering and technology-related science courses.
2. Qualifications: The STS targets financially challenged students; so applicants’ socio-economic status must be within the parameters established by the Scholarship Advisory Committee. They must also pass the Science and Technology Scholarship exam.
Furthermore, potential scholars need to be residents of their respective municipalities for the past four years. They also need to be in the top 5% of their high school’s graduating class, or a member of the graduating class of a science high school recognized by either the Department of Education or the Department of Science and Technology.
Last, but not least, applicants should be natural-born citizens of the Philippines possessing good health and good moral character.
On the flip side, candidates who have already taken college courses and earned units, or have taken the DOST-SEI Scholarship exam need not apply. Applicants who have applied for an immigrant or resident status abroad are also disqualified.
3. Necessary Documents: The required paperwork for the STS is a near mirror image of the Merit Scholarship’s list, with some minor adjustments here and there:
• A photocopy of your birth certificate
• A couple of ID pictures taken no later than a month prior to application, one of which goes to the test permit, the other to the DOST-SEI Information Sheet.
• Form A – the DOST-SEI Information Sheet
• Form B – Household Profile
• Form C – Health Certificate accomplished by a licensed doctor
• Form D – Certification of Applicants’ Good Moral Character as vouched for by the applicants’ principal or guidance counselor
• Forms E-1 or E-2 – Applicants’ high school principal’s statement with respect to the following:
o The total number of graduation candidates
o The applicants’ status as members of upper 5% of their secondary school’s graduating class OR
o The applicants’ status as members of the upper 5% of the graduating class of any science high school duly recognized by the DepEd or the DOST-SEI.
• Form F – Applicants’ written statement indicating that they’ve not previously taken any college courses or units
• Form G – Applicants’ parents’ statement indicating that applicants have not applied for resident or immigrant status in any foreign land
• Form H – Certification of Residency accomplished by applicants’ barangay captain
4. Application Process: While the STS may cater to intellectuals, the application process involved is actually a no-brainer.
Simply obtain application forms at the Science Education Institute (Kindly check the address below.), Provincial Science and Technology Centers, DOST Regional Offices or Offices of the Congressmen. Fill these up completely, and submit them along with all the other required documents to any of the above offices (with the exception of the Offices of the Congressmen).
The next step involves the DOST aptitude test. The better you do on it, the greater your chances of being included in the final list of scholars.
The STS and the Merit Scholarship offer pretty much the same set of privileges for students. Chosen applicants will receive
• Group accident insurance and group health insurance
• Monthly living allowance good for 10-11 months. Students majoring in Physics-related courses will get 4,000 pesos a month, while those majoring in other courses will receive 3,000 pesos a month.
• Free economy-class, round trip airfare for one between the applicants’ homes and colleges of choice. This is only for those who will need to travel from the provinces, and is available on a reimbursement basis.
• A one-time (read: only for the first semester of the freshman year) 500-peso grant for the applicants’ P.E. and/or ROTC uniform (s)
• A 3,000-peso allowance (per academic year) for school supplies and textbooks.
• Subsidized school and tuition fees with a ceiling of 4,000 pesos per term or semester.
Please note that the monthly living allowance and the various subsidies also apply to required summer classes, only with modified rates. For instance, the ceiling on tuition and miscellaneous fees is 1,500 pesos, while the ceiling on school supplies and textbooks is 500 pesos.
Being programs of the same department, it’s no wonder that the STS’ obligations are pretty much identical to that of the Merit Scholarship’s—namely, chosen scholars must comply with the terms of the scholarship contract. That includes enrolling in either CHED Centers of Development (or Excellence) or DOST-SEI accredited universities.
Other conditions include maintaining the STS’ grade requirements and serving the country after graduation. The latter has the graduates doing full time work relevant to their chosen field (most likely in their home region or region of origin) for a period of time at least as long as their time spent as DOST scholars.
It would be best to talk to the DOST-SEI folks to get your questions answered. Feel free to call them at (632) 837-1359 or (632) 839-0241. Facsimiles go to (632) 837-1924. Alternatively, those who prefer face-to-face inquiries may visit the Science Education Institute headquarters at the third floor of the PTRI building, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City.