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by Jonah Bongcayao on www.facebook.com/academic.clinic

Philippine College Scholarships: The Angara Scholarship Program

Most scholarships we’re familiar with usually involve contributions made by entities such as the government, private institutions and private benefactors. Sometimes, however, a scholarship program is named after a single person—in this case, a senator by the name of Edgardo J. Angara..

As with other scholarships, the Angara Scholarship Program offers an opportunity for to pursue a proper college education. That’s not all there is to it, though. The program has a specific principle behind its main objective, as we shall soon find out.

To Educate and to Serve

1. Background: The scholarship’s main objectives involve training financially challenged—yet deserving—students to serve their respective communities (and ultimately, the country as well).

The students aren’t limited to one particular university, either. Some of the participating learning institutions include the University of the Philippines, AMA Computer College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Centro Escolar University and many others.

2. Number of Slots: So far, the program offers slots for 150 scholars. These fortunate students will be chosen from the twenty poorest urban barangays and provinces (including the fifth and sixth class municipalities outside of these twenty provinces) and the poorest areas of capital cities (E.g. Metro Manila, Davao City, etc.)

3. Documents: To apply for this scholarship program, you will need to turn in the following:

• A photocopy of the most recent income tax return for all the working members of your family, or at least any documents that will attest to the level of their income
• Written certification of good moral character from your high school
• Written recommendations accomplished by a couple of prominent members of your hometown (not including your relatives up to the third degree).
• Your transcript and diploma, or your high school report card (certified true copy)
• Your Barangay Certificate
• The Return to Service Contract (please see below for more details) and the application form, both fully accomplished

4. Qualifications: Scholars are eligible for the Angara Scholarship if they meet the following general criteria:

• They’re Filipino citizens living in the country.
• They’re no older than 25 at the time they apply for the scholarship.
• They possess good moral character.
• Their family’s combined income mustn’t exceed 120,000 per year.
• Their senior year high school weighted average must be at least 85%, with no subject having a grade lower than 82%.
o Graduating as either salutatorian or valedictorian also works.
• They also need to enroll in any course related to the following:
o Science
o Math
o Engineering
o Education
o Agriculture
o Tourism
o Hotel and Restaurant Management

5. Application Process: This one is also fairly simple: Just submit all the documents to the school by the Scholarship Committee’s deadline. The committee will then inform you of the date and time of your interview. Pass that and you’re good to go.

Scholar Privileges and Obligations

Scholars can enjoy having their tuition fee from their first academic year’s first semester paid in full under the Angara Scholarship Program. That benefit may be renewed over and over for as long as they continue to meet all their obligations.

They’ll also get to enjoy a five thousand peso allowance (or not) per semester, depending on how well they do academically. There are no specific transportation or book allowances in this case–all other expenses are shouldered by the scholars.

On the flip side, the list of commitments the scholars need to attend to is quite long. For instance, they need to earn a general weighted average of 2.0 to 2.5 (or its numerical equivalent) for every semester after the first one for the first year. This will net them a fully paid tuition fee and the allowance. Getting an even better grade of 1.0 to 1.75 will get their tuition fee waived and net them the allowance as well.

Besides those, scholars also need to do the following:

• Maintain the regular academic workload of their chosen course.
• Pass all subjects.
• Finish the chosen course within the time allotted.
• Avoid transferring to any other course or school.
• Avoid doing anything that would tarnish the good name of Senator Angara, the READ Foundation, their families or themselves.
• Attend meetings scheduled by the Scholarship Committee.
• Keep the committee informed with respect to the following:
o Grants give by any other benefactor (The scholar needs to provide accompanying proof of these.)
o Needed summer classes or any classes outside of the regular semester (again, scholars need to provide tangible proof of these.)
o Changes in contact information (phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.)

• Submit the following documents on time for qualification and liquidation purposes:
o Copies of grade transcripts, class cards or any valid grade-related documents from the previous semester
o Tuition fee receipts
o Registration forms
o Assessment forms
o Payment schedules
o Graduation certificates or diplomas upon course completion

Last not least, scholars must also pay their community and country back through service. This is known as the Return to Service Obligation. The length of service time that the scholars must render will depend on the number of years they spent as scholars in the program:

Generally, the terms call for six months of service for every academic year spent as a scholar. For example, students who were scholars for one academic year must serve for six months; those who were scholars for two years must serve for twelve months and so on. The only exception lies with those who were scholars for only a single semester—they are required to serve for only three months.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the details of the Angara Scholarship, the best thing to do is to get in touch with the people at the office of the senator. Kindly call (02) 552-6601, locals 5571-5572 and look for Mr. Wilford. Alternatively, you can also e-mail the senator’s staff members at angara_scholars@yahoo.com.