Around 23 percent of De La Salle University’s (DLSU) students are scholars — the highest rate it has been since the original Full Scholarship Equivalence (FSE) target of 20 percent was actualized two years ago.
As previously reported by The LaSallian, before departing his post as President and Chancellor, Br. Ricky Laguda FSC bumped the FSE target up to 25 percent. The FSE is the percentage of full scholars in the University versus the total number of full-time students enrolled.
In striving to reach the new target, different offices in the University are committed to generating funds in creating more scholarship opportunities to deserving students. On the other hand, several other offices are behind the marketing campaigns conducted by the University to position itself at the forefront of providing world-class Lasallian education for all.
Extending its reach
The Office for Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) leads the University in marketing its different programs and establishing itself as a leading research institution. STRATCOM Director for Operations Johannes Badillo explains that STRATCOM employs many programs in its marketing endeavors. In addition to utilizing the DLSU website, social media accounts, press releases, and radio announcements, STRATCOM also conducts visits to high schools all over the country.
According to Badillo, their office has a regular list of around 30 schools to visit every year, most of them being feeder schools. He also explains that every year, STRATCOM and the Office of Admissions and Scholarships (OAS) make sure to include high schools far from Metro Manila, since both offices want to expand the reach of the University.
Badillo also shares that the STRATCOM collaborates closely with the OAS and its new student-centric organization Lasallian Scholars Society (LSS) in scholarship-related events as part of the University’s strategic marketing thrusts. Badillo states that the STRATCOM is usually involved in career fairs. Meanwhile, the OAS is tasked to organize career talks to entice potential scholars. Both of these programs are conducted with the aim of recruiting the best and brightest high school students nationwide.
For scholars, by scholars
Working under the supervision of the OAS, the LSS spearheads various activities and projects, which aim to make high school students, especially those coming from public schools, aware of the different scholarship opportunities offered by the University to the financially challenged and academically competent.
Marc Lancer Santos, who served as the organization’s president for academic year 2013-2014, shares that LSS started visiting public high schools in Metro Manila during the past year to spread knowledge about the various scholarship grants offered by the University. Relatively similar to the school fairs conducted by STRATCOM, these visits usually feature different scholars coming from the particular high school to talk about their experience as a DLSU scholar.
A scholar himself, Santos describes that high school students coming from public schools are usually apprehensive about applying for DLSU because of its high tuition and fees. Santos laments the fact that some students usually forego the application altogether because they “feel that they are incapable, financial-wise,” he explains in a mix of English and Filipino.
In conducting these visits, LSS aims to change this common misconception among students. Santos notes that the organization over the past year was able to visit three public high schools, namely Manila Science High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School, and Senator Renato Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High School.
Room for improvement
Santos expresses that since LSS is a new organization, the lack of manpower and budget prevented them from reaching out to more high schools. Despite the small number of school visits LSS was able to conduct the past year, Santos hopes that the activity will be conducted annually. He also mentions that he hopes the next batch of officers of the organization will also take into consideration visiting private high schools. “Hindi naman natin masabing lahat [sa private schools] privileged,” Santos elaborates, pertaining to scholars coming from private institutions, despite the notion that these schools are for the affluent and well-off.
With their objectives in mind and projects in action, Santos shares that LSS aspires for financially challenged high school students to have bigger dreams for themselves and to realize that DLSU is not a school only for the wealthy. “Kailangan naming tumulong,” Santos reasons, explaining that the same feelings of doubt were also experienced by some of the members of LSS, who hailed from public schools themselves.
“DLSU is a school not just for the privileged, but also for those in need,” Santos ends.