Here's How Much It Costs to Study at Ateneo de Manila University

by Hannah Lazatin   |  Jan 8, 2022
Image: INSTAGRAM/ateneodemanilau
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Are you considering what it’s like to be a true Blue Eagle and (one day) call Ateneo de Manila University your own alma mater? Before filling up that application form, here’s everything you need to know about Ateneo and its undergraduate programs: 


History of Ateneo de Manila University

The Ateneo de Manila is one of the oldest Jesuit-run institutions of higher learning in Asia, with over 150 years. Dating all the way back to 1859, Ateneo de Manila University began as Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school in Intramuros established by Spanish Jesuits. Once a private school for Spanish residents, Escuela became Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1865 and offered courses in secondary education, such as certificates in agriculture, business, and surveying. After the American colonization, Ateneo Municipal lost its government subsidy. In 1909, it became a private institution now with the name, Ateneo de Manila. The initial Intramuros campus was destroyed by a fire, and later transferred to Padre Faura. During the war, the campus was ravaged again and temporarily reopened in Plaza Guipit, Sampaloc, Manila. After reconstruction, the university moved back to its Padre Faura campus. 


In 1952, Ateneo was moved to a campus along Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, in Quezon City, and the Padre Faura campus housed the professional schools until 1976. The Ateneo undergraduate programs welcomed female students in 1973, while it co-founded the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in 1968. Aside from the main campus, there are two other campuses in Rockwell Center and Salcedo Village that house the graduate programs in business, government, and law, and a fourth campus in Ortigas Center, Pasig for the school of medicine and public health.

Courses That Ateneo is Known For

There are 155 courses on offer to undergraduate students, with 13 types of scholarship programs for you to avail. Across courses, there is a liberal arts core curriculum that all undergraduate students must complete. This includes philosophy, English, Filipino, literature, theology, history, and social sciences, along with yearly community service programs. 

In relation to the community service programs, Ateneo was recognized as the highest university in the country to rank at the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings list, based on the fulfillment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In the QS Global World University Rankings 2022, Ateneo was named as one of the top private universities in the country between 601-650 and at no. 135 across the Asian university rankings.

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It was also reported that Ateneo was one of the Philippines’ best universities in terms of global employability, making it as the only university in the country to place at the top 200 of the QS World University Graduate Employability Rankings.

How to Apply at Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo welcomes everyone to apply to its undergraduate program, regardless of their citizenship, background, or beliefs. Here’s what you need to know about applications and admissions at Ateneo de Manila University:

  1. To begin your application, you must complete the application form and fill out your degree program choice, prepare your personal essay and recommendations, and record your academic, co-curricular and extracurricular achievements. You may browse through the list of programs here and the list of freshman requirements here
  2. After submitting these requirements, applicants typically take the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) on the assigned date. The ACET, however, was suspended for applicants in 2021 - 2022 and 2022-2023. You may see more details regarding the ACET suspension here.
  3. Each application will be processed and reviewed by the Committee on Admission and Aid. The process of application is completed by the school.
  4. Finally, applicants will receive their application status. One can either be accepted, waitlisted, or not accepted. Those waitlisted may still file an appeal to the institution’s processing body and follow other procedures so that their application may still turn out to be accepted.
  5. Those offered a spot at freshman year need to confirm their slot.

Admission and Tuition at Ateneo de Manila University

Applicants for first year or for transfer need to pay an application fee of P600 for students from schools in the Philippines and P2,500 for students from schools outside the Philippines. Applicants from local public or science high schools are exempted from paying the application fee, as well as those from private high schools who are in the top 10 of their batch and who are not financially able to shoulder this cost. The tuition at Ateneo ranges at P90,000 to P110,000 per semester.

For the academic year of 2020 to 2021, the average tuition fee was at P92,064, with basic fees at P12,385 and miscellaneous fees at P3,750. This, of course, would fluctuate depending on the course and additional fees such as charges of laboratory use. 

Students may be through online payment methods or over-the-counter transactions and may divide their payments into schemes of two or four installments.


Famous Alumni at Ateneo de Manila University

Many public servants earned degrees at Ateneo, including former presidents Noynoy Aquino (bachelor’s degree), Cory Aquino (honorary doctorate), Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (master’s degree), and Fidel Ramos (master’s of business administration. Ateneans in Philippine history also include Jose Rizal (bachelor’s degree), Antonio Luna, and Gregorio del Pilar. 


Notable athletes with an Ateneo education include Gretchen Ho, Kiefer Ravena, Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, Chris Tiu, and Alyssa Valdez, to name a few. Personalities in the media include broadcast journalists Korina Sanchez, Howie Severino, Pia Hontiveros, and newspaper moguls Chino Roces, founder of the Manila Times, and Max Soliven, co-founder of The Philippine Star


Celebrities who hail from Ateneo include Robi Domingo, Kelsey Merritt, Janine Gutierrez, Kylie Versoza, Jose Mari Chan, Mikael Daez, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith.


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