MAGANES: Free tuition fees in SUCs for school year 2017- 2018

July 10, 2017 at 7:15 am Leave a comment

 vir maganes

A lot of parents and students are in quandary on the implementation of free tuition fees in state colleges and universities (SUCs) this school year 2017-2018. Many parents and students have approached me asking the procedures and policies about the program. They said they could not understand how this will be implemented and who the priority students will be. Although I am not the right person to talk on this, allow me through this column to expound lengthily about this free tuition fees in SUCs.

 This free tuition fee program is for this school year only in SUCs, meaning private higher education institutions (HEIs) are not included. The government under the General Appropriations Act for 2017 has allocated more or less P8.3 billion to cover the tuition fees of students in the 114 SUCs all throughout the country. The funds  came from the realigned budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

 The guidelines for free tuition fees are embodied under the Joint Memorandum  Circular 2017-1 of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) dated April 20, 2017. These guidelines will be the basis of SUCs in selecting students to be covered under this program.

In Pangasinan, nine campuses of Pangasinan State University (PSU) are covered with the free tuition fees. Lately, the Board of Regents of PSU passed guidelines on who will avail of the program in accordance with CHED’s directives.

  “As an implementing SUC in the Free Tuition 2017, PANGASINAN STATE UNIVERSITY will be implementing the following guidelines and will be strictly followed as mandated by CHED.

 Please be guided accordingly.


Who will benefit from the Free Tuition program?


All students studying in SUC’s nationwide will benefit from the program.  Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP) beneficiaries will be the first ones to benefit. StuFAP beneficiaries who receive P15k or below shall be included in the program. The tuition of those who are getting more than P15k will still be charged against their existing StuFAP.


 What about those who are not StuFAP beneficiaries?


 Non- StuFAP beneficiaries can still be covered by the FREE TUITION program as long as the SUC still has a remaining budget. For non-StuFAP beneficiaries, the students will be prioritized according to their ECONOMIC STATUS.


 How can a student apply for the Free Tuition program?


 The existing enrollment procedures of the SUCs shall be observed. This means that students will have to go through the SUC’s assessment process to find out if they can be accepted into the program/ course they have chosen. Once a student is accepted by the SUC, his/her tuirion fee is free for the year.


Who are the priorities in the availment of the program and what documents/ requirements should a student submit to avail of the free tuition benefit?


 The priorities are (in order):

 1. All StuFAP beneficiaries (CHED, Provincial, LGU, Partylist, etc with stipend of P15,000 below)

 2. All non-StuFAP continuing students

 3. All non-StuFAP returning students and transferees

 (All StuFAP beneficiaries will be the first to avail the Free Tuition 2017; however, they MUST submit all the needed requirements to the Office of the Student Services. While the Non-StuFAP beneficiaries will be ranked according to their ECONOMIC STATUS and will depend on the remaining budget of the institution).

 Needed Requirements:

1. Student Profile Form (SSAA Office)

2. One (1) 2×2 picture with white background

3. Income Tax Return/ BIR Form 2316 (for families with income but must be less than P300,000 annual income)

4. BIR Certificate of Tax Exemption (for families without income)

5. Registration Form

(1st and 2nd Semester, SY 2016-2017)

6. Certification of Grades

(1st and 2nd Semester, SY 2016- 2017)


Is the tuition free for all schools nationwide?


The Free Tuition 2017 covers only State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and does not include private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).


Will the tuition fee continue to be free until a student finishes college?


The Free Tuition Program of 2017 will only be implemented for Academic Year 2017- 2018.


How many students will benefit from this program?


It depends on the number of enrollees, the capacity of the school and the budget allotted for the SUC.

The Office of the Student Services and Alumni Affairs will start accepting applicants starting July 10, 2017 until July 21, 2017 ONLY! Please comply! “

(For comments and suggestions, email me at or Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at


Entry filed under: News.

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