80,000 public school achievers exempted from taking UPCAT

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Some 80,000 achievers from public schools in the Philippines will be exempted in taking the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT).

As posted by Interaksyon, top 10 graduates of every public high school under the Iskolar ng Bayan Program can now enter the state university in their region without having to take the institution’s entrance test. This was announced by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.

“The scholars do not have to take the competitive entrance tests of state universities, including the University of the Philippines College Admission Test, or the UPCAT. All that they have to do is apply for admission, and they will be allowed in, as long as they choose the campus in their home region, and provided that the school’s quota for the Iskolar ng Bayan is still not full,” Romulo stated in a news release.

Romulo is the author of the Iskolar ng Bayan Act 2014. The law gives top 10 graduates of every public high school with scholarships in the country’s 112 SUCs. As shared by ABS-CBN, the transitory provision of the new law exempts all qualified scholars from taking college admission tests in SUCs for the first six years.

“This is an affirmative action policy that guarantees disadvantaged but gifted public high school graduates slots in SUCs, without having to go through a rigorous screening or elimination process, which is basically what an entrance test is,” Romulo added. “When we finalized the law, we simply decided to give the sons and daughters of marginal families a headstart.”

Meanwhile, DZMM cited the UPCAT guidelines stating that there are selected students who can enter UP without taking the admission test.

“Filipino graduates from the Top Ten of the graduating classes of public high schools may apply for freshman admission for SY 2016-2017 without having to take the UPCAT. This is provided by a transitory provision of RA 10648, the Iskolar ng Bayan Law,” it said.

When you get included in the Iskolar ng Bayan, “you are entitled to free tuition and other school fees for the first year of college.”

UP, however, clarified that: “All eligible applicants must indicate their campus and degree program of choice. Those who choose a campus outside their region do not qualify for automatic admission and will have to take the UPCAT.”