At least 11 percent of UP Diliman (UPD) undergraduate students are no longer covered by the 2017 Free Tuition Law, further revealing the policy’s inadequacies just as the government’s economic managers mull over the landmark legislation’s repeal.
Some 1,522 out of 16,137 students must already pay school fees to finish their undergraduate program, according to data from the UPD Office of the University Registrar.
The exclusions to the law are students who opted out of the policy, those who are unable to complete their degree more than a year after the normal duration of the program, already bachelor’s degree holders, and law and medicine students, according to Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
Garnering the highest percentage of students ineligible for free tuition is the School of Library and Information Studies, where 32.8 percent, or 60 of its 183 undergraduate students, are not covered by free tuition. Coming in second is the College of Music (CMu), where 26.7 percent, or 81 out of its 303 undergraduate students, already pay tuition fees (see sidebar 1).