5 Survival Tips for Paying Tuition Fees in the Philippines
The school year is about to start again. Even if we totally ignore the date, we would know because school supplies are already newsworthy topics.
However, the biggest concern during this time aren’t notebooks and ball-pens but tuition fees. And today we have guest blogger Kyle to share some tips on how to survive this annual challenge.
Filipinos value good education. Sadly, not everyone has the means to get one. With the introduction of the K-12 system and the ever-rising costs of tuition, more people are struggling to send their young ones to school or finish their own education for that all-important college degree.
Whether you’re a parent raising your first child or a working student making your own way in the world, you have multiple options available to you when paying your tuition fees. If you’re tired of going into Panic Mode whenever enrollment season comes around, you need a game plan for settling your tuition fees in full and on time.
1. Do a lot of math
To get a clearer idea of how much money you’d need per year, you first need a rough estimate of the total tuition fees you may need to pay, plus miscellaneous fees and other expenses. Once you have a figure on hand, plan ahead and structure your finances around reaching that goal.
Tuition fees are fairly straightforward to compute from primary to secondary school. From college onwards, however, fees can vary wildly depending on the school and major. If you fear that your current income will not be enough to cover future tuition fees, I recommend you start saving money as early as you can.
2. Compare fees from different schools
Because your main priority is getting the most bang for your buck, you need to enroll at a school with both affordable fees and quality education. This means choosing from dozens of schools and deciding upon the one that suits your needs best.
Everyone has different standards for what constitutes a reasonable price and a good curriculum, so you should do your own research before you commit to a school. You may need to make a decision between public and private school, or between the so-called “Big 4” universities and smaller colleges with comparable degree programs.
3. Tweak your regular budget
If you already have a budget in place for covering your everyday necessities, you can make small adjustments that allow you to save for school fees at a quicker pace. Consider the costs of schooling alongside other expenses such as food and groceries, household bills, debts, life and car insurance premiums, mortgage payments, or visits to the doctor.
Your aim should be to cover all of your necessities, not to sacrifice one in favor of another. Avoid getting into situations such as paying for tuition by skipping this month’s electric bill.
4. Scout for financial aid options
Many colleges in the Philippines provide students the option of applying for financial aid through grants and scholarships. You can also apply for scholarships outside the school, usually care of government agencies or private organizations.
Qualifying for a college scholarship can be as tricky as getting into college itself. Most scholarships are awarded to students who meet specific requirements, such as having high grades or coming from a lower income bracket. Before you sign up for any scholarship, check to see if you’re eligible and if other scholars have experienced trouble receiving aid.
5. Think twice before using credit
Borrowing money should be your last resort when you’ve exhausted all other options for covering tuition. Even then, you should stick to a line of credit from a trustworthy source and take all the necessary steps to prevent your debt from getting even larger.
We recommend paying with a credit card only if you’ve made a habit of using it responsibly. Those who have a history of poor credit card behaviors—such as reckless spending and late payments—risk worsening their situation by charging tuition fees on their card. Be sure to check if the school accepts your card or if the fees exceed your credit limit.
Kyle Kam is an online marketing specialist for Moneymax.ph, the Philippines’ leading financial comparison website. Whenever he’s not working, he’s busy at home watching MMA videos the whole day. You may follow him on Twitter @undisputedkyle