When it comes to student financial assistance programs funded by the government, the UniFAST agency is tasked by the Commission on Higher Education to bring them all together in one place. This attached agency also creates scholarships, student loans, grants-in-aid, and many other Student Financial Assistance Programs.
The main goal of this agency is to create an all-in-one portal so students can easily access government-supported financial aid programs that cater to their needs. It makes things easier for the students in terms of finding and applying for a specific program they want. In addition, it reduces the workload of concerned offices that manage financial assistance programs in schools and other educational institutions.
What Is UniFAST?
UniFAST basically means Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act. It is tasked to reconcile, strengthen, expand, improve, and unify all modalities of financial programs that are funded by the government for students. The UniFAST Board has created specialized forms of Student Financial Assistance Programs including student loans, grants-in-aid, and scholarships.
Moreover, UniFAST offers a valuable option for students who can’t fund their education. The online portal is accessible for all types of financial grants that qualified students can apply for. In October 2015, it was signed into law according to Republic Act No. 10687. The UniFAST law ensures that StuFAPs are efficiently and successfully implemented while remaining politically neutral at the tertiary level.
Benefits of UniFAST Programs
The main benefits of UniFAST include bringing all modalities of StuFAPS together and ensuring that students at the tertiary level can benefit from government-funded education assistance for private and public educational institutions across the country. Eligible students can enjoy financial grants to fund their college programs and other education-related needs.
Programs and Services Offered
Filipinos residing in the Philippines and abroad can take advantage of UniFAST programs as well as services. Generally, it is designed to grant scholarships to qualified students and OFW dependents. Here’s a list of the services and programs that are available to every Filipino student:
Free Higher Education Program. Filipino undergraduates can apply for the Free Higher Education Program as long as they are enrolled in CHED-recognized LUCs and SUCs. They can enjoy free tuition, miscellaneous fees, and other school expenses at the start of their academic year. Qualifications include no previous college education, passing the admission rules of the school, and no exceeding the maximum residency in college.
Moreover, students should also maintain good grades and meet the return service obligations of the CHED-recognized LUCs or SUCs. There is a timeframe for the return service to be fulfilled after a student has completed their degree program. The return service applies to any students who willingly contribute to their university.
Free Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The Free Tech-Voc Education and Training Program is available to Filipino students enrolled in NC I or II in public Tech-Voc Institutions recognized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. They will receive living allowances based on TESDA conditions. Third, fourth, and fifth courses will become accessible after TESDA implements longer-term programs.
In addition to the free tuition and other school fees, students will also receive allowances for training, living, instructional materials, startup tool kits, and national competency assessment fees.
Short-Term Student Loan Program. This student financial grant is designed to fund the student’s undergraduate education, licensure exam review fees, and graduate programs like law and medicine. The short-term SLP is available to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any quality-assured programs that are included in the Registry of programs offered in LUCs, SUCs, private TVIs, private HEIs, and State-run TVIs.
When it comes to the benefits, student beneficiaries can take advantage of loan revenues in order to help them with their needs. This is designed for students who experience liquidity shortage for one year or less. The institution where the student is enrolled must be given direct payment for the services from TVIs and HEIs.
Tabang OFW Program. This Tertiary Education Subsidy helps qualified OFW dependents or beneficiaries enroll in college programs. They will receive Php 30,000 cash assistance to fund their education. For every repatriated or deceased OFW, one eligible dependent can benefit from this financial aid.
To qualify, you must be a Filipino citizen, passed the admission and retention standards of the higher education institution, haven’t exceeded the residency requirements, enrolled in an undergraduate program at a CHED-recognized school, qualified dependent of an OWWA-member OFW who died or was repatriated, and doesn’t have other scholarship grants from the government.
Tertiary Education Subsidy. The beneficiaries of this program include the students from the Listahanan 2.0, they are rated by estimated per-person household income. On the other hand, students who don’t belong to the Listahanan 2.0 are ranked by their projected per-person household income. Qualified beneficiaries will receive an allowance for transportation, school supplies, books, and other expenses such as fair allowances for laptops or any related expenditures.
Students who are qualified for the program will receive financial aid for the entire academic year. Depending on the ongoing study, the benefits can be renewed every year to ensure that deserving students get the most out of their scholarship grants and other assistance programs.
How to Apply for the UniFAST Scholarship Grant
Whether you’re an OFW or have a related or family member who wants to apply for a scholarship, there are a few helpful tips to get more chances of getting accepted. Nowadays, it’s indeed challenging to fund your studies due to the financial struggles that everyone seems to experience. With the help of education assistance from the government, it’s easier to achieve your goals.
If you’re interested in applying for a student loan, scholarship grant, or other student financial assistance program offered through UniFAST, it’s important to consider the qualifications and requirements for each specific program. Below are the general steps when applying for the UniFAST scholarship online:
Step 1: Go to the CHED-UniFAST official website https://unifast.gov.ph or the online scholarship application portal.
Step 2: Register to create an account.
Step 3: Sign in to your new account and complete the application online.
Step 4: Check all the details and then click on the Submit button.
Step 5: Wait for the response or feedback.
Video: UniFAST Profile
In this video, you will discover everything about the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education. This attached agency of the Commission on Higher Education offers scholarship grants and student loans for deserving applicants including OFW dependents and beneficiaries. Watch until the end to get hte latest updates about the agency,
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does UniFAST do?
UniFAST supports the dreams of deserving students who want to serve the public as world-class Filipino talents, researchers, leaders, thinkers, inventors, and artists.
2. How can I contact UniFAST via their email address?
Each regional office of UniFAST has its own email address and other contact details. Check out this link for the complete list of their email addresses for each region https://ched.gov.ph/unifast/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
3. Do UniFAST offices accept walk-ins?
Yes, UniFAST regional offices accept walk-ins as they are open from Mondays through Fridays from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.
4. What is the primary purpose of the UniFAST attached agency of CHED?
UniFAST brings all state-funded programs and services of the Student Financial Assistance Programs for higher education levels. This attached agency of CHED also offers specialized educational assistance for both private and public institutions.
5. Can OFWs and their qualified dependents apply for a UniFAST scholarship?
Yes, OFWs or their dependents may apply for any of the UniFAST educational assistance as long as they meet the qualifications and requirements. For instance, beneficiaries of deceased, displaced, or repatriated OFWs can apply for the Tabang OFW TERTIARY Education Subsidy. This program is available for every tertiary-level OFW dependent who was mainly affected by the health crisis.
6. Am I eligible for the UniFAST student financial assistance program?
The eligible applicants for the UniFAST scholarship include high school graduates or senior high school courses who passed the admission requirements of CHED-recognized education institutions. Eligible courses include sports, arts, TVET, and more.
Now that you know everything about the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education, you can confidently submit an application to the nearest CHED Regional office. Make sure that you meet all the qualifications for the specific program you want to apply for in order to increase your chances of getting the benefits of any UniFAST scholarship grant.
Whether you’re looking for a student loan, grants-in-aid, scholarship, or any specialized form of StuFAPS, the UniFAST program of CHED got you covered. You can submit an application online without any hassle. Keep in mind there are various programs and services offered under this agency and each requires a unique set of requirements and qualifications.