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UST Survival Guide: Culture and Campus Life

The royal and pontifical University of Santo Tomas, or UST, is a Roman Catholic private university.  St. Thomas Aquinas is the university’s patron, while the patroness is St. Catherine of Alexandria.  It was founded on 1611 by Miguel de Benavides and it is considered one of the biggest Catholic universities in the world.

UST is composed of a number of autonomous faculties, schools, colleges, and institutes.  Each confers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees, as well as basic education units.

The university is presently situated in España, Manila, Philippines and occupies an area of 220,000 square meters.  It houses a mixture of old and recent architecture that includes the various buildings for different colleges.  The College of Education and the Conservatory of Music are both in the Albertus Magnus building, the College of Science is in the UST Main Building, the College of Architecture and the College of Fine Arts and Designs are located at the Beato Angelico, the College of Commerce and Business Administration at the St. Raymund de Peñafort building,   and the College of Nursing and College of Rehabilitation Sciences are at St. Martin de Porres building.

Student Life and Culture

Thomasians are generally level headed and are known to have diverse but interesting personalities.  They are principled, resourceful, and disciplined.  Majority of the students who go to UST comes from middle-income family and others are even self-supporting.

The culture that the university promotes is the one that highlights Christian morals and values.  The different traditions are aimed at giving balance to the life of the students while upholding camaraderie and creativity.  Some of the events that are being celebrated include the Misa de Apertura, the Thomasian Welcome Walk, the USTv Students’ Choice Awards on TV, UST Paskuhan, and the UST Baccalaureate Mass, the Ceremony of the Light, and the Sending Off Rites.

Student Organizations in UST

Because the population of UST is composed of students with different personalities, interests, and orientations, the list of the organizations that they can join in is vast.  The most prominent one is the UST Central Student Council; others are Batas Tomasino, Youth for Christ or YFC, UST Community Achievers Association or COMACH, MEDIARTRIX, Musikang Sikat ng mga Tomasino or MUSIKAT, People Undertaking Reforms for Excellence or P.U.R.E., Red Cross Youth Council or RCYC, UNESCO Club of UST, UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, UST Pax Romana Central Coordinating Council, UST Medical Missions Inc., UST Mountaineering Club, UST Scarlet-Filipino-Chinese Organization, UST Alpha Kappa Rho Fraternity, UST Alpha Kappa Rho Sorority, UST Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority, UST Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, UST Unicef Volunteers, UST Tiger Dragons Towing Crew, UST Yellow Jackets, UST Yoga Club, and many more.

The UST Growling Tigers is a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines or UAAP.  Its original name is “Glowing Goldies” but was renamed Growling Tigers starting the 1992-1993 season.  The team of the women is known as “Tigresses.” while the high school teams are called the “Tiger Cubs.”

The organizations and activities that UST offers are quite helpful in developing the students to become better members of the society.  Joining worthy clubs further develops not only the skills of the Thomasians but their confidence as well.

UST Scholarships and Financial Assistance

University of Santo Tomas, the sole pontifical university in the whole of Asia caters to students who came from different families with various income potential.  The ones who run the school understand that there are those who seek for very good education but do not have enough means to pay for college tuition.  To aid those who want to be a part of the UST family, the university has come up with various scholarship and financial assistance programs.  They are aimed not only to extend assistance and support to those who are in need but also to give recognition to those who excel.

UST Scholarships and Financial Assistance Programs

There are four categories for scholarship programs that University of Santo Tomas offers: the Santo Tomas Scholarship, the Santo Domingo De Guzman Scholarship, the San Martin De Porres Scholarship, and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Scholarship.

The Santo Tomas Scholarship is awarded to students who have an excellent rating for their academic performance.  The valedictorians and salutatorians are required to submit a photocopy of their high school report card or Form 138, two pieces of 2×2 ID pictures, an original school certificate with a dry seal indicating that the student is indeed a valedictorian/salutatorian, a photocopy of enrollment confirmation, and a good moral character certificate.  Requirements should be submitted to the Office for Student Affairs or OSA and application forms should be duly filled up.  The coverage for valedictorians and salutatorians will be 100% and 50% defrayal of tuition, respectively.

The Santo Domingo De Guzman Scholarship is offered to those who do extremely well in sports and in the arts.  Both the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics Department and the Conservatory of Music screen the students’ applications.

The San Martin De Porres Scholarship is for the deserving students who need financial assistance.  The St. Rose of Lima Fund is for the regular freshmen students who have no failing grades and whose average grade does not fall below 85%.  The coverage is 50% defrayal in tuition.  Students should submit the complete requirements to the Office for Student Affairs, fill out the application form, and undergo a series of interviews.

The San Lorenzo Ruiz Scholarship is given to those who are seeking for financial assistance.  As a general requirement, students must not have any failing grades.    They should be able to render certain working hours but not exceeding 30 hours.  To qualify students must submit parents’ letter of consent, 2 recommendation letters form the parish priest and guidance counselor, parents’ latest ITR or non-filing of ITR certificate, parents’ proof of income, a photocopy of Form 138, and good moral certificate.  Requirements should be submitted to the Office of the Student Affairs.  Students must also fill out an application form, take an IQ test, go through a series of interviews, and do the designated work assignment.

UST extends scholarships and financial assistance to deserving students as a way of helping develop a more productive, progressive and humane society.  The university believes in giving opportunities especially to those who are worthy in order to keep the hopes of those who have big dreams alive.