By now, you’re probably aware of what you can expect from the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT). You’re armed with knowledge and very, very dangerous. Before you head out to ace the exam, however, pause to consider one very important question: why take the test in the first place?
“But that’s a no-brainer,” you may protest. “I want to get into the university, study, blah, blah, blah.” Well and good. Dig a little deeper, though, and you may just find the answer…
…Or not. If you’re still not exactly sure why you’re taking the UP plunge, here are a few good reasons for doing so.
Bagging the Bragging Rights
The first and most obvious reason is being able to tell others that you survived one of the most difficult local college admission tests known to man. It’s no secret that the UPCAT mortality rate is quite high: out of tens of thousands of students who tackle the exam, only perhaps one or two thousand actually pass it and earn the right to study at UP.
There are exceptions to this, however. As was mentioned in a previous article, it is entirely possible for students to forego taking the UPCAT and still get into the university, provided taking and passing the talent tests required of certain courses.
Premium Education at a Government-Subsidized Price
Who says that a college education need be expensive? At UP, government subsidies ensure that you pay a tuition fee that’s considerably lower (read: less than half) than that of private universities. To further ease the strain on your pocket, UP also offers financial assistance to deserving students in the form of cash subsidies, tuition fee waivers, scholarships and what not..
Just because you get a lower tuition fee doesn’t mean that the quality of instruction is anything to sneeze at. If it’s any indication of how comprehensive a UP education can be, just take a look at the sheer number of courses being offered: a whopping two hundred forty-six programs for undergraduates and three hundred sixty-two more for graduate students, all of which are distributed over twelve constituent campuses.
What’s more, nearly half of all UP professors have at least a master’s degrees in their respective disciplines, while almost a third of them have the letters “Ph.D” stamped after their names. You can be sure that you’re getting more than your money’s worth at the state university.
Friends with Benefits
Besides easing up on your budget, there are other pretty perks involved when it comes to studying at the national university. One of the things you will notice when you study there is the size of the campus itself. That, coupled with the generally liberal academic atmosphere of the institution, lends itself well to research, exploration, feats of unabashed creativity and just plain fun.
Of course, there are also more down-to-earth things such as discounted health services in the University Clinic and the Philippine General Hospital, access to the uber large eLib database and access to a variety of research centers. Representatives from both Board of Regents and the University Student Council will also keep a watchful eye on the students and look after their well-being.
For the Record
If you’re a UP graduate, chances are you’ll be respected by your colleagues regardless of your chosen discipline. The reason: no other university out there can claim to have produced the largest number of both National Scientists and National Artists. No surprise there, considering the university’s formidable batting average with regard to licensure exams in law, medicine, engineering and other fields.
And if those honors weren’t already enough, UP also bears the distinction of being the only Philippine member of such associations as the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the ASEAN-European University Network (ASEA-UNINET). The state university is also one of a couple of Philippine Universities in the ASEAN University Network (AUN).
So if you’re thinking of taking the UPCAT, then go for it, by all means. The test will definitely be a challenging one, but the privileges that you’ll get if you make the grade are well worth the time and the effort spent.