October 2, 2020 (2:43 PM)

4 min read


GRANTING AID. Admissions Director Jerome Serrano discusses the budget situation concerning scholarships and financial aids for the second semester during the SAMAHAN’s webinar series’ public forum, September 30. Screenshot by Leah Genny Altizo

In line with the scholarship applications for the second semester, Admissions Director Jerome Serrano explained last September 30 during SAMAHAN’s Forward Together: Webinar Series that the offering of new scholarships is mainly contingent on the available budget.

Financial Aid is known to be granted every semester by the College Scholarship Committee to deserving students. With the anticipated increase among applicants next semester, Serrano stated that the Committee is yet to calculate the budget allocation. Hence, there is no certainty that the Committee would be welcoming new scholars.

“Whether or not there is an available budget, that is yet to be finalized by our program officer because she is also dependent on the data or information provided by the Finance Office,” Serrano said. 

Serrano further explained that each School has an allocated budget, and the Committee has distributed these according to the School with the highest number of programs offered. If a particular School has not fully utilized its funding for scholarship grants in the first semester, there is a potential opening for applications.

On the other hand, Scholarship Program Officer Devi Barcena assured that the Committee would continue with the current scholars’ financial aid grants until the following semester.

“I’m still waiting for the decision from the Committee if we will open the application for the second sem because we are still finalizing the expenses also for the previous semester. But we will continue with the scholarship with the current ones. But for the application, we are still looking into [it] if we will open the application,” Barcena said.

Renewal of grants and unsettled balance

Concerning the renewal process for working scholars, Barcena reminded the students that the Committee had waived the working hours for the first semester due to the ongoing community quarantine.

“Once we can go back to normal operations, then we will just revive the working hours requirement. But as long as we are in quarantine and are required to go online for classes, we are waiving the service hours requirement,” Barcena explained.

Vice President for Finance Jimmy Delgado asserted that scholars need to take their final exams considering that the University has already provided them assistance. 

“When we crafted the primer, the one-year leeway was supposed to help those who are economically-challenged students. In terms of scholars, since you are already scholars, there is no reason for you to avail of the one-year leeway because the University has already supported you. So please, you have to take the exam,” Delgado expressed.

In the event that a scholar cannot provide a complete record of their grades because of summative assessments that require face-to-face settings, Serrano stated that it is up to the Committee to evaluate the situation.

“As members of the University Scholarship Committee, we need to tackle this one, and eventually create a sort of procedure on how to deal with scholars who wish to renew their scholarship but cannot provide us a record of their complete final grades,” Serrano said.

According to Delgado, if a scholar has been able to take the summative assessments by securing a promissory note, but has failed to settle their account, they may still not receive their final grades.

“We normally allow students who have difficulty in terms of finances to take the summative exam. But you need to communicate with us to issue a promissory note online so that you will be able to take the exam,” Delgado stated.

“With regards to the grade, I’m so sorry to tell you, but the Registrar will not issue any report card or grade if you have pending balance because there’s a law regarding that,” he added.

The forum was the second of the series of talks organized by SAMAHAN to tackle different student concerns regarding the finishing semester. Last Wedenesday’s talk dealt with finances and scholarship concerns.

End the silence of the gagged!

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