So you didn’t get into the public university of your choice

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Published at Philippine Daily Inquirer

LET’S FACE IT, NOT EVERY-ONE can afford the expensive tuition fees of private universities. Many Filipinos can’t. Because of this, many graduating high school students are trying to enter public universities.

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and Unibersidad de Manila (UDM) are just among the universities in Manila that won’t make you shell out money beyond P2,000 a semester.

Universities subsidized by the government are quite few, and not that many students pass the entrance exams of such universities, which accept only a fixed number of students.

What should you do if you’re one of the unlucky ones who don’t make it to the public university of your choice?

Try other schools. Some public universities are still open for application. They might not be your dream school, but remember—the quality of education depends not only on the school, but on the student as well. If you’re really eager to learn, whatever university you’re enrolled in, you will learn.

Be a working student. If the only choice left is to enroll in a private school, why not be a working student to help offset the cost? Now is the time to use your skills and talents. Are you creative? Make scrapbooks and sell them. With Multiply and Facebook, everyone can now be an entrepreneur. Do you type fast? Be an encoder. Do you love writing? Be a freelance writer. Forget the shyness. There are a million ways to earn money.

Hunt for scholarships. Don’t forget to ask your friends and teachers to tip you off on available scholarships. Some scholarships require you to get high grades. Others will ask you to be a librarian or a helper in your school. Others need your attendance in an organization.

Bide your time. Most Filipinos don’t like to stop schooling because of our culture that says one must enroll in a university right after high school. They think being out of school for a bit is embarrassing.

But look at it this way. One enrolls in another school only as a halfway measure; he aims to move to his dream university the next year—but still as a freshman. Isn’t that stopping for only a year? Maybe he learned something in his former school, but he also paid for it. He’ll also have to take the same subjects again in his new school.

Why not stop for a year, and do self-study? Read grammar books, train yourself answering algebra, geometry and trigonometry problems, read history, do advanced reading on your preferred course. After a year, you can re-take the entrance exam in your chosen public university.

  • Jennylyn Besonia
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