What You Have to Know About the Free Tuition Law

It's not free for everyone.
by Ayessa De La Peña   |  Aug 16, 2017
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ICYDK, Candy Girls, President Rodrigo Duterte has already signed into a law the bill which grants students in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs), and technical-vocational institutions free tuition fee.

The Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act may seem a bit complicated, but we've rounded up the important things you need to know about it.

  1. It covers other fees as well.

RA 10931 includes "library fees, computer fees, laboratory fees, school ID fees, athletic fees, admission fees, development fees, guidance fees, handbook fees, entrance fees, registration fees, medical and dental fees, cultural and other similar or related fees." 

The government will also provide a stipend for poor students. It also establishes a loan program for students who are in need.

  1. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said in June 2016 that it will offer cash grants to medical students in public medical schools.

But it is not free for all.

  1. The free tuition fee only applies to undergraduate students who are taking a bachelor's degree for the first time.

This means that those who are going to get their second degree are ineligible. 

  1. The same thing also applies when taking vocational or certificate courses in technical-vocational institutions.

Students who have a bachelor's degree from a private or public institution or those who already finished a vocational degree before are not eligible anymore.

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  1. A student should finish the degree on the allotted period of time.

Failure to do so will mean that you have to pay the fees themselves during the exceeding period of time.

  1. Talks and arguments about its funding are still ongoing.

While there are still a ton of ongoing talks and arguments about where the bill will get its funding, how this affects those who really can afford to pay, and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), we can all be sure that the president is dead set on really implementing this new law.


As Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in his announcement, "Free tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a pillar or cornerstone of the President's social development policy so he weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education will definitely outweigh any possible short-term budgetary challenges. So as we say, 'If there's a will, there's a way.'"

They said that they are leaving the decision to the Congress to figure out a way to best fund the bill.

Sources: ABS-CBN News, CNN PhilippinesRappler

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Ayessa De La Peña
Candymag.com Assistant Section Editor
I am Candymag.com's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.
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