Obtaining Financial Assistance

The OSSS performs an important role in providing students with a better access to UP through its financial assistance programs. To optimize the benefits from these programs, UP students are advised to assess their needs and form a plan so the OSSS can provide the right financial assistance services.

If you are UP student in need of financial assistance, you can take the following steps so the Office can help you address your concerns:

Step 1: Plan your cash flows for the entire semester

Students and their parents/guardian should first determine their cash flow requirements prior to availing any of the financial assistance programs offered by the OSSS. Cash flow requirements should be classified as follows:

  • Tuition and School fees. These include your total tuition, laboratory fees, and miscellaneous fees that need to be settled during the 1st month of the semester.

  • Board, lodging and other fees. These are items that need to be paid throughout the semester (from 1st to 5th month of the semester) and can be covered by monthly allowances. These include your room rental cost, budgeted meal costs for one month, and transportation/communication cost for one month. School expenditures which need to be incurred throughout the whole semester (i.e. photocopying, computer rentals) are also be included in this category.

  • School Project costs. These are items that occur on certain times during the semester. These include your budgeted cost for midterm and final exams (to be likely incurred on the 3rd and 5th month of the semester), thesis data gathering costs (to be likely incurred on the 2nd and 3rd month of the semester), and final project costs (to be incurred in the 5th month semester).

  • After computing for these items, you can plot them in a table to determine your cash flow requirements for the entire semester. For example, assume your tuition and school fees amount to P20,000, your board, lodging and other fees is approximately P7,000, and your school project costs is P10,000 which is essentially your final project requirements for a subject. Your cash flow requirement will appear as follows (refer to Table 1):

    Table Cash flow requirements for one semester

    Tuition and School Fees Php 20,000
    Board, lodging and other fees Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000
    School project costs Php 10,000
    Total cost per month before OSSS programs Php 27,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 17,000

    After completing Table 1, the student and their parent/guardian can then make an assessment to identify items where they need additional support to augment their college budget for one whole semester in UP . The student must also take note of items which they can afford but needs to deferred in other months of the semester (e.g. from 1st month to 4th month) so they can settle them in full.

    Step 2: Gather information about OSSS financial assistance services and program requirements

    To match cash flow requirements, the OSSS classified its financial assistance programs based on the type of economic needs they can address. They can be clustered into three groups:

  • Programs that provide additional subsidy for tuition and school fees at the start of the semester. These include the STFAP and UP Scholarship Programs that subsidize tuition and school fees.

  • Programs that provide living allowance, on a monthly or semestral basis. These include Scholarship Programs that provide allowances, Student and Graduate Assistantship Programs, and Adopt-a-Student Program.

  • Programs that defer cash payments to different periods during the semester. These include loan facilities covered by the Student Loan Program.

  • Based on the table prepared in Step 1, identify the OSSS programs that you need to avail to defray a portion or the entire amount of your monthly cost. When choosing a program, you must take note of the following program attributes:

  • Qualification of applicants,

  • Benefits offered by the program,

  • Program requirements, and

  • Period/time when benefits will be released.

  • Step 3: Prepare your financial assistance package

    After learning about the attributes of the OSSS programs, you need to create a plan on how the Office can help you address your needs. Based on the programs you have identified in Step 2, you can plot the benefits you can likely receive if you qualify for the program. For example, assume you will qualify for STFAP Bracket D and a private scholarship program that will give you P15,000 at the end of the semester. Your cash flow requirements table will then appear as follows (refer to Table 2):

    Table Cash flow requirements, net of benefits from OSSS programs

    Total cost per month before OSSS programs Php 27,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 17,000
    Less: Discount from STFAP Br D (Php 12,000)
    Less: Benefits from Scholarship (Php 15,000)
    Total cost per month after OSSS programs Php 15,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 7,000 Php 2,000

    After completing the table, the student and their parent/guardian can then make an assessment to determine if the benefits from the OSSS programs are sufficient to augment their college budget for one semester in UP.

    Step 4: Visit the OSSS

    To validate the feasibility of the financial assistance package, you must visit the OSSS during office hours from Monday to Friday. You may inquire with scholarships and financial assistance personnel from the different divisions of the Office to determine if your financial assistance package is adequate and to ask for alternative strategies to improve your proposal.