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Admission for Incoming UP Freshmen (Part 2: Application for the STFAP and Other Scholarships)

By:  Janina Denise H. Torralba

Confirming your slot in UP means you are truly ready for the responsibilities that being a student in the premier State University entails. There are, however, some things that you might not be equipped to deal with, such as tuition fees. Yes, you enrolled in a public university, but that does not mean you will have to pay nothing for college. It is a very expensive investment.

Fear not, because there are a lot of scholarships and financial aid programs you can avail of at UP. The most popular one is perhaps the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program, or the STFAP. It is known for its unique bracketing system, the fact that it gives no importance to your academic prowess, and the complicated process a student must undergo to avail of STFAP benefits.

STFAP Background

The STFAP is available to all UP students who wish to avail of it. It assesses a student’s financial capabilities based on the income of each working family member, his or her possessions and properties, and some legal documents. After an extensive screening process, which may also include a visit to the applicant’s house courtesy of the screening process, the STFAP screening committee will assign the applicant to a bracket which determines the fees he or she will be required to pay. You may enjoy the STFAP’s benefits for one year (two semesters plus summer, should you take classes then). Refer to the following tables for a more detailed explanation:

Bracket

Gross Annual Household Income

Benefits

A

Above PhP1,000,000

Full tuition fee, miscellaneous and laboratory fees

B

PhP500,001 to PhP1,000,000

Base tuition fee, full miscellaneous and laboratory fees

C

PhP250,001 to PhP500,000

40% discount on tuition fee, full miscellaneous and laboratory fees

D

PhP135,001 to PhP250,000

70% discount on tuition fee, full miscellaneous and laboratory fees

E1

PhP80,000 to PhP135,001

100% discount on all fees

E2

Below PhP80,000

100% discount on all fees, P12,000 stipend per semester

Fig. 1 STFAP brackets and benefits

 

Bracket

Constituent University/Campus (Format: Tuition ; Misc.)

Diliman

Los Baños

Manila

Mindanao

Baguio

Pampanga

Visayas

A

1,500 ; 2,000

1,500 ; 1,950

1,000 ; 1,640

1,000 ; 1,405

B

1,000 ; 2,000

1,000 ;

1,950

600 ; 1,640

600 ; 1,405

C

600 ; 2,000

600 ;

1,950

400 ; 1,640

400 ; 1,405

D

300 ; 2,000

300 ; 1,950

200 ; 1,640

200 ; 1,405

E1 & E2

Fig. 2 Fees in each bracket and each campus

STFAP Application

Application may be done online (http://stfap.up.edu.ph), by mail, or at your campus. However, I would personally recommend applying for the STFAP in person due to the extensiveness of the screening process. There will be very specific questions about the details in your application form and the accompanying documents. Besides, you will still be asked to submit the required materials in person within a month of applying online, so opting to apply in person will save you a lot of time.

The application form may be downloaded at http://stfap.up.edu.ph/stfaponline/www/public/images/STFAP2009.pdf. A list of the required documents and materials may be found on the second page. Should one or both of your parents or guardians be credit card holders, submit the latest credit card bill/s as well. Your admission slip is also important, of course.

There are three application periods before the incoming AY, each one lasting for a month. The first application period starts about a month or so after the release of UPCAT results, and then the next two batches come in the two succeeding months. The results for each batch are typically released approximately a month after the deadline of submitting applications. Results may be viewed on the bulletin board of the office in charge at your campus or at the STFAP website. Just log in with your student number and PIN.

If you are unsatisfied with the bracket you get assigned to, don’t worry! You may write to the screening committee to appeal for a lower bracket (or higher, if that’s what floats your boat). The reconsideration process may take longer than the initial screening, however, so you have to be a little patient. If your appeal for reconsideration is approved, the excess fees will be refunded. There will also be a deadline for appeals, so make sure to submit yours by that time.

STFAP Pro Tips

The application process may differ from person to person, but here are a few general tips I can offer on the matter:

  • If you fall into either bracket A or B, you don’t need to apply for the STFAP. All you need is a Bracket B certification (which will be submitted during enrollment).
  • Accompany your parent/s or guardian during the acquisition of important documents. You will need the experience in the future.
  • Apply for the STFAP as early as possible. Lines start to get long a week or two before the deadline for the current batch of applicants.
  • If you want to be notified of your bracket assignment prior to enrollment, be among the first batch of applicants.
  • In some cases, the screening personnel will ask you for additional documents. Of course, it is advisable to return as quickly as possible and before the deadline for your batch.
  • Independence may be valued greatly in UP, but it will be better to bring your parent/s or guardian with you when applying. They know more about your finances than you do.

Other Scholarships, Financial Grants, and Student Aids

There are also other forms of help offered at UP, either sponsored by a different committee of the Scholarships Office or private organizations. Some scholarships are available only for specific campuses or degree programs, while others require the applicant to have a specific skill. Each one has different conditions (e.g. maintaining grades, validity periods). For more information on these scholarships, contact the Scholarships Office of your campus.

Contact Details

Campus

Office

Baguio

Office of Scholarships and Student Services
UP Baguio
Baguio City
Tel. No. (074)446-5230

Diliman*

Office of Scholarships and Student Services

Rooms 302-306, Vinzons Hall
Telephone No. 928-7228
UP VoIP: (02) 981-8500 local 4504 (loan Board) 4505 (STFAP) or 4506 (Scholarships)

Los Baños

Office of Student Affairs
UP Los Baños College,
Laguna
Tel. No. (049) 536-2238

Manila

Office of Student Affairs
UP Manila
Padre Faura, Manila
Tel. Nos. (02) 526-2274 / 525-4105

Visayas**

Office of Student Affairs
UP Visayas
Iloilo City
Tel. Nos. (033) 509-3417 / 337-6582

Mindanao

Office of Student Affairs
Admin. Bldg.
UP Mindanao
Mintal, Davao City
Tel. Nos. (082) 293-1353

*UPEP Pampanga qualifiers may acquire STFAP application forms from the Office of the Dean or the Office of the College Secretary.
** UP Cebu or Tacloban qualifiers may acquire STFAP application forms from the Office of the Dean or the Office of the College Secretary.

Two Down, Three to Go!

Now that you know UP will not let financial difficulties hinder your education, you may continue the process of becoming an official UP student. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the “Admission for Incoming UP Freshmen” series, Physical Exam!

Sources:

http://stfap.up.edu.ph/stfaponline/page.php?content=bulletin&prevpage=%2Fstfaponline%2F (STFAP Frequently Asked Questions)
http://www.up.edu.ph (UP official website and sub-domains)