Many students could not make it to college because of financial reasons. many resorted to being working students or acquiring scholarships either from the government or private sectors. Now it is made possible through a newly launched short-term student loan program from the Commission on Higher education (CHED). Students will be able to apply for loans amounting up to P60,000 for their tuition and other education expenses.
The said program is mandated by Republic Act 10391 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education that waived tuition and other fees in public tertiary institutions.
The launch coincided with the signing of the memorandum of agreement between CHED, the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to facilitate the automated disbursements of the loans and other financial assistance grants for students.
“This partnership between CHED/UniFAST and DBP is the long-awaited final component of RA 10931 to help needy students pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in public and private schools by providing them short term loans for their education needs,” said CHED chairman J. Prospero De Vera III.
Under the partnership, the DBP will come up with a payment scheme called direct remittance servicing system to ensure timely disbursement of the funds. The program has been initially allocated P1Billion.
The short-term loan program will be available for students enrolled in public and private tertiary institutions that are designated as program implementers by CHED for colleges and universities and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for tech-voc institutions.
De Vera said they will work closely with higher education institutions that have no existing student loan systems to ensure the program’s immediate implementation. Students taking post-graduate degrees, including medicine and law, may also apply. The interest rate of 6% per annum will also be waived if student borrowers would be able to repay it within the academic term.
Sanctions will also be imposed “to instill strictness and seriousness of the government to collect repayment from student loans.”