When I finished high school I never expected to go to college in spite of passing the entrance exams of some of the top universities in Manila. Imagine a reed-thin high-schooler in me joining his classmates in exploring the hot, filthy, smoggy city of Manila taking chances of passing entrance exams even though there was no guarantee that I could enroll come the next school year.
I was already setting my sights to becoming either a security guard, a soldier, a janitor, a priest, an insurance salesman, an MLM scammer, a not-so-macho dancer, etc. since my father was sick and jobless and we just could not ask for help all the time from our relatives abroad. Not that they don’t want to help us, but it’s just not in my father’s vocabulary to ask for help from them. He always reminded us to work on our own to achieve what we want and to strive hard in order to get what we need.
Fortunately, I had my late grandfather and father who insisted I apply for a scholarship grant from any institution. It was so hard as I always had to buy newspapers or borrow the Yellow Pages from a distant baranggay in order to look for scholarship grants being offered to high school graduates.
How A Scholarship Grant Jump-Started My Career
I was able to finish college (Accountancy) through a scholarship grant I took from a foundation (Macabebe Foundation, Inc.) based in my mother’s hometown, Macabebe, Pampanga of course .
I was hoping but not expecting to get good results since I sat down for the scholarship exams with just a pack of Rebisco sandwich (a sandwich biscuit) and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Luckily I was able to pass it. I still remember how happy my grandfather was upon learning that I was finally going to college.
If not for this scholarship grant, I wouldn’t be able to grab my precious first professional job in one of the largest holding companies in the Philippines and eventually be offered another one at of the Big Four auditing firms in the world.
List of Upcoming Scholarship Grants
So if you are worrying about your high school kids’ college education and you know that they have the desire, capability, and determination to reach their dreams come the school year 2014, then check out some of the best scholarship grants being offered by compassionate foundations in the Philippines.
1) SM Foundation Scholarship Grant – Graduates of public high school in NCR, Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo, Pampanga, Davao, Misamis Or., Bulacan, Bagiuo, Lucena and Batangas may apply. Those whose aggregate annual income of family in the same household is less than P150,000 are also qualified. Those whose aggregate NSAT score in Math and Science is 80% and abov. Those who with a 4th year weighted average grade of at least 88% in the 2nd or 3rd grading period. NOTE: Students should directly apply at the Customer Service of any SM Department Store. Forms may be available at Customer Service Section.
2) Meralco Foundation, Inc. – The scholarship is open to Filipino citizens 16 to 22 years old who cannot afford college education. Applicants for full scholarship must come from a family with an annual income of not more than P150,000.00. Full scholarship benefits include: 100 percent free tuition fee, uniforms and calculator. Technical courses offered include electrical, electronics, instrumentation, tool & die and the two-year IT. Application forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s office at the MFI Building (beside the Medical City Hospital) along Ortigas Avenue in Pasig.
3) Metrobank Foundation College Scholarship Program - Metrobank partners with Boysen Philippines and Flour Daniel to provide scholarship grants to incoming freshmen college students with Architecture and Engineering as priority courses.
4) Megaworld Foundation Scholarship Program – Aside from providing college scholarships, the foundation has also started including high school scholarships for both public and private high schools. Kindly visit their website for more details.
5) Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) [JG Summit Holdings] – Dedicated to empowering the Filipino youth, The Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) launches the Scholarship for Excellence program that grants 50 scholarships to the brightest and most deserving young leaders. This program demands a high level of excellence, accepting only applicants who belong to the top 10 percent of their high school batch. Moreover, GBF aims to provide opportunities to less privileged students thus offering the program to graduates of public high schools who will pursue any of the following engineering courses: Civil, Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, and Electronics & Communications. Please visit the site for more details.
These are just five of the many scholarship foundations helping our youth build their bright future.
Most universities and colleges also offer both full and partial scholarship grants. Some are academic performance-based while others are sports-based or other non-academic performance-based scholarship grants.
To add to this list are the scholarship grants offered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to the children of active commissioned and enlisted officers and uniformed personnel. Endorsement letters may be obtained from the AFP’s and PNP’s respective education of internal service affairs services and committees.
Other government agencies and state-run colleges and universities also offer scholarship programs for indigent but deserving young people.
Investing in quality education for your deserving children need not be expensive. We just have to look for these organizations that exist not only for profit but to help other people, their customers, become future builders of our nation.
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Photo credit: Florida Atlantic University