June 14, 2024

More than 40,000 college students in the Cordillera enjoyed free higher education for school year 2021-2022, the Commission on Higher Education reported.

The beneficiaries are under the Free Higher Education Program implemented by CHED, pursuant to Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act that provides free tuition and other school fees to students enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), among others.

CHED-Cordillera OIC Chief Education Program Specialist Menzie Kuengan said around 6,990 students enrolled in Abra’s SUC have benefitted from the program.

In Apayao, 4,020 enjoyed free higher education this school year while in Benguet, 9,236 students benefitted from the program.

There were 8,576 college students who benefitted from the program in Ifugao; 6,782 in Kalinga; and 5,491 Mountain Province.

Those who want to avail of the Free Higher Education program must pass the admission and retention requirements of the SUCs they intend to enrol in and must not have completed any undergraduate degree.

For the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), which provides financial aid to deserving students enrolled in SUCs private higher educational institutions, Kuengan said 4,179 college students benefitted from the program.

Beneficiaries of the program enjoy a stipend of P40,000 to P60,000 per year.

CHED-Cordillera disbursed P167 million for the beneficiaries of the TES program for this school year.

The Free Higher Education and TES are among the programs implemented by CHED under RA 10931. The other programs are Free Technical-Vocational Education and Training and Student Loan Program.

Kuengan said the Free Higher Education and TES are so far the ones being implemented by CHED-Cordillera.

There were 112,517 students who enrolled in the different higher educational institutions in the Cordillera for SY 2021-2022, according to Kuengan.– Jane B. Cadalig