Wow! This UP Student Who Didn't Pass the UPCAT is Graduating Summa Cum Laude

"This is for everyone that has failed. Do not let it define you, let it fuel you."
by Leika Golez   |  Jul 28, 2022
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Facebook/UP Diliman, Facebook/Gia Santos Evangelista
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Every time graduation season rolls around, we meet a new set of hard working individuals who have a bright future ahead of them. One such promising fresh graduate is Gia Santos Evangelista, a University of the Philippines–Diliman student poised to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. 

Unlike most of her fellow honor students, however, Gia actually didn’t pass the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT). “I did not pass UPCAT, and it has been my greatest insecurity as a UP student,” Gia wrote in UP Diliman’s Facebook post. 

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“But being here today, not as an SCL but simply as a graduating student, means that if there's one thing that UPCAT has failed to measure, it's my grit,” the 21-year-old concluded. How well-said! 

In an interview with The Philippine STAR, Gia further revealed that she only got to secure a slot through the Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014. ICYDK, that’s a scholarship program instituted for outstanding students from public high schools. 

She also shared that she initially hesitated to open up about her previous failure out of fear that it’ll cloud her current achievements. After all, she worked day and night to graduate with the highest academic award from her dream school. “I do not want to be the 'summa cum laude that did not pass the UPCAT.' I just wanted to be a summa cum laude," she told The Philippine STAR.

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Still, she decided to share her story anyway to encourage others to remain hopeful in the face of adversity. “This is for everyone that has failed. Do not let it define you, let it fuel you. Your time will come,” she said.

Congrats on your success, Gia! 

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Leika Golez
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