Of the tens of thousands of students who enroll every year into the University of the Philippines, many are not from the Quezon City area surrounding the campus. If you live outside the Metropolitan Manila limits, on-campus housing might be a better option for you to save both time and transport costs.
UP dormitories have a geographical advantage because they’re almost always in close proximity to campus hot spots. The Kalayaan Residence Hall in UP Diliman (the dorm for freshmen) , for one, is right beside the post office and the University Shopping Center. Staying at any one of the dorms makes it much easier to get to classes and other locations within campus quickly.
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Most of the UP dorms are also part of the major jeepney routes that pass through the campus. In the Diliman campus, at least one jeepney route passes by each of the dorms – the Kalayaan Residence Hall is serviced by all six – making going around much easier.
Each room has a capacity of two people, and comes furnished with beds, tables, chairs and a closet for the occupants. Even in co-ed dorms, only dormers of the same sex can occupy a single room. Power outlets and light fixtures are provided in each room. Each floor is equipped with communal bathrooms for each sex.
All the dorms have a common waiting area, usually at the ground floor, for the use of residents and their guests. 24-hour wireless connectivity is also available at some dorms, especially those within UP Diliman.
Only enrolled students of each UP campus may apply to that campus’ residence halls. Application forms for hopeful residents are available at each campus’ Office of Student Housing (OSH), and must be filled out and submitted to be considered for a room at any of the dorms.
Because of the limited number of rooms, not all applicants are granted rooms. The OSH looks through all the applications and uses a point system to determine how much each student needs on-campus housing. More points are given to applicants whose homes are farther away from Quezon City, as well as to those with financial need. Applicants who score the highest points are given rooms at any one of the residence halls.
Not all the slots are taken, however. Should you fail to make it to the first list of accepted residents, your name may have landed on the waiting list. You will then have to wait for an accepted resident to relinquish his or her slot, or ask for a referral from him or her.
Applications are usually accepted right after enrollment, and the list of results are often available as early as two weeks before classes start. Accepted residence hall applicants will then have up to the first week of regular classes to confirm their slot at the dorm. Any dorm slots that have not been confirmed will be given to waitlisted applicants.
Although the on-campus housing is easily the most affordable option – the rent can be as little as 10% of what external dorms offer – it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to get a room. Many of those who are unable to secure a residence hall slot simply get rooms or a bedspace at any one of the numerous locations around campus.
Every UP campus is surrounded by boarding houses and dorms that accept students for a semester or a full year. Amenities and accommodations can vary widely, and the rent can go anywhere from PhP2,000 per month for a bed space to PhP20,000 per month for a fully furnished premium room.