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

Cost of Philippine College Education


As students, we have our attention riveted on studies and exams and possibly even the opposite sex.  Have we ever stopped to wonder, however, what it cost someone to send us to school?

That someone may not be a parent; it may be the Philippine government.  The fact remains that someone, somewhere paid for your right (or privilege, depending on how you look at it) to make the most of your education.

A General Overview of The Situation

The good news is that we tend to pay less per unit compared to the tuition fees of our Asian neighbours.  The trade-off is that some Filipinos who don’t earn income in currencies other than the Philippine peso may effectively be earning less than their Asian neighbors, so things pretty much balance themselves out.

All things considered, Filipino families still manage to send at least one child to college, thanks to the option of having a government-subsidized education.  Private learning institutions tend to charge and arm and a leg for their services, more so if they are exclusive schools located in the National Capital Region.

Facts, Conditions and Complications

In essence, the amount of tuition you pay will depend on the kind of school you decide to attend, the location of this school, your status as a student and your educational level at the time of application.  That means a foreign student studying at an exclusive school in Metro Manila will have to fork over more cash than a local student studying in a co-ed school in the province.

To give you a better idea of what the situation is like, here is a partial list of figures taken from actual schools in a 2008-2009 school year survey:

University Peso Cost Per Unit Estimated Tuition

Per Annum

University of the Philippines 1,l000 36,000
University of Santo Tomas 1072.90 45,061.80
De La Salle University 2;045.33 110,447.82
Ateneo de Manila University

2;517.03

90,613.20

Far Eastern University 1,100 55,000
University of Asia

and the Pacific

2,400

124,800

University of the East

The figures have increased since the time they were taken.  Schools (especially private universities) have a tendency to raise tuition rates per school year, much to the dismay of parents and students alike.  This is supposedly to cover overhead costs such as maintenance, facility improvements and teachers’ salaries.

So far, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) has been clamoring for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to flex its muscles and impose a moratorium on tuition fee hikes.  Time will tell how it will eventually fare.

Valuing Education

If there’s any lesson to all this, it’s the fact that every student’s education has a price that involves more than just money.  It also involves the blood, sweat and tears of whoever has to pay a bill that increases on an almost yearly basis.

The best thing we can do as students, therefore, is to pay our tuition forward—that is, to cherish the education we have and use it for the common good.  After all, just because we didn’t pay for something doesn’t mean it’s free.