By Joseph B.A. Marzan
As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the PHINMA University of Iloilo (PHINMA UI) on Friday launched its ‘Reach for the StARs’ scholarship program to support even more underprivileged students.
The new scholarship program is aimed at the so-called Students-At-Risk (StARs), who are students who were at risk of dropping out due to the lack of the financial capacity to support their schooling.
The university’s data from Academic Year 2020-2021 indicated that out of 3,703 enrolled freshmen students, 2,046 or 55.25 percent were considered StARs, and 58 percent of the latter were given internal scholarships.
During the second semester of the same school year, only 1,371 or 67 percent enrolled, and the remaining 33 percent actually dropped out.
Recognizing the need to help more students-at-risk, the Center for Student Development and Leadership (CSDL) and the Alumni and Corporate Engagement (ACE) teams of PHINMA UI leads this scholarship campaign to help students-at-risk complete their tertiary education by tapping partner industries, alumni and generous individual sponsors who would wish to help out to pay for tuition and allowances of students.
The program will admit 75 ‘StARs’ as part of the initial program, but the number of recipients is expected to grow in the next academic years.
CSDL Director Gian Bermudo said that this is just part of PHINMA UI’s focus on providing quality education for those who cannot afford it.
“As one of the schools of PHINMA Education, PHINMA UI adheres to the mission of making lives better through quality education. Part of staying true to this is to ensure student retention. This means students stay in school until they eventually graduate,” said Bermudo.
She explained that the Reach for the StARs project will help more at-risk students to be able to finish their studies without having to worry about financial burdens.
“PHINMA Education already gives a lot of scholarships. For example, 50 percent of student population are already receiving internal scholarships we give. That’s 50 percent of tuition and miscellaneous fees. But because we serve low-income and majority, first-generation college students, that’s not enough,” she said.
“We have students who have scholarships but it’s not enough so they drop out, and we still have students who are at-risk and haven’t attained a scholarship who are in danger of getting lost. So, we thought of doing a scholarship drive on top of what we have been giving, and let’s call it ‘Reach for the StARs’,” she added.
PHINMA UI already has its ‘Hawak-Kamay’ scholarship program for incoming freshmen students, who enjoy a 50 percent discount on their tuition and miscellaneous fees. As of 2022, the university has had 19,014 scholars under this program.
For interested sponsors of the Reach for the StARsand further information about the program, you may reach Bermudo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 0995-150-60-19.