CHED wants more gov’t scholarships for Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 May) — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Region 12 is pushing for the opening of additional government scholarships slots for the coming school year for “poor but deserving” students in the region.

Dr. Maximo Aljibe, CHED Region 12 director, said Monday he has asked their central office to increase the region’s scholarship provision under its enhanced Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) so they could accommodate more qualified applicants.

CHED-12 was apportioned 9,000 scholarship slots this year under the StuFAPs, specifically for the State Scholarship Program (SSP) and the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) components.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Aljibe said they received a total of 28,835 applications for the scholarship program and the number of those who qualified based on their initial evaluation has exceeded the available slots.

“I wrote (CHED) chairperson (Patricia) Licuanan and practically begged for more scholarship slots,” he told reporters.

The official did not cite the specific figures but said they are pushing for the inclusion of all qualified applicants in the region into the StuFAPs.

“The opening of additional scholarship slots will erase doubts from the people as to how we implement the program,” he said.

Aljibe said they’re expecting to get a favorable response from the CHED central office regarding their request before the scheduled posting later next month of the qualified scholars.

Under the StuFAPs, students may avail of full and partial scholarship grants through the merit, grants-in-aid and “study now, pay later” scheme.

High school graduates and graduating students with general weighted average of 85 to 90 percent could qualify for financial grants of P15,000 to P30,000 per academic year under the SSP.

PESFA offers partial scholarship grants of P15,000 a year for qualified students with an average of at least 85 percent.

Incoming college students may avail of tuition grants of P6,000 to P12,000 per year under the grant-in-aid or “Tulong Dunong” program.

For the “study now, pay later” program, students may qualify for a financial assistance of P15,000 per academic year.

Aljibe earlier said that aside from the regular scholarship programs, the region received additional scholarship slots this year to accommodate students who were previously recipients of scholarship programs funded by the abolished Priority Development Assistance Fund of members of the House of Representatives.

He said such move was an offshoot of the national government’s earlier decision to delegate to CHED the implementation and screening of applicants for all government-funded scholarship programs. (MindaNews)