STFAPSocialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (Philippines)
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In the STFAP, first implemented in 1989, only those who pay P1,500 per unit were classified in the millionaire's bracket .
For Macuha, the affected students, and a group of senior professors who were commissioned by no less than UP president Alfredo Pascual to study how to democratize UP education, the better alternative to the STFAP and STS is to scrap it, and return the tuition fee to a flat rate of P300 for all students.
Fidel Nemenzo of the UPD Institute of Mathematics, is that STFAP is one of the main drivers in the present skewed distribution of UP students in favor of the well-to-do or upper socio-economic class of the Philippine society," Macuha expounds.
He adds that the application rate in the socialized tuition increased to 90 percent from 40 percent when STFAP was still in use because the easier application process encouraged more students to avail of the tuition discount rather that doing the contrary and be assigned to the default millionaire's bracket.
For example, the income cutoff for bracket A, the top grouping, was P1 million and higher under the STFAP.
The STFAP was also criticized after 16-year-old Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada, a Behavioral Sciences student in UP Manila committed suicide after allegedly failing to pay for her tuition.
Gonzalo said that the 90 percent application rate is a "significant increase" from the 40 percent application rate when the former STFAP was still in place.
An STFAP application used to take from two to 12 months to process, while an STS application only takes two weeks processing," he stressed.
UP employs an economic bracketing scheme for its students through the STFAP wherein tuition fees of each student vary according to their economic status.
Various lawmakers called on UP to revisit the STFAP itself, saying the program no longer served its purpose.
The changes were geared toward simplifying the STFAP application process and increasing the financial aid for poor students.