UniversityUSG opens student financial assistance programs
USG opens student financial assistance programs

Several student financial assistance programs such as scholarships, grants, and subsidies that seek to help Lasallian students were introduced to the student body during the University Student Government (USG) Financial Services Launch held at the USG office last February 1.

In collaboration with the DLSU Science Foundation, De La Salle Alumni Association (DLSAA), and other various administrative offices, USG Executive Treasurer Adi Briones assured that these programs will be sustained and will have sufficient funding to ensure that it will benefit students in need.

DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, who gave his remarks during the event, expressed his gratitude for the programs being offered by the USG. “I must congratulate the USG because each of those groups that prepared the program really thought it out. They were sensitive to what DLSU students need,” he expressed.

 

 

New financial assistance opportunities

Most of the financial services of the USG were already introduced in previous years, but two of those presented were only recently implemented, namely the Externals Grant and the Meal Allowance Program (MAP).

As explained during the launch, the Externals Grant will provide a certain amount of incentive to students who will be representing the University in competitions or any event that would carry the name of DLSU.

“This is part of my promise to the student body because I recognize that education should not be limited to education inside the classroom, [and] that there are students who pursue education outside the classroom [through] external opportunities,” Briones mentioned.

Suplido also noted that some students who are sent to competitions may not have enough pocket money, which hinder some worthy participants from representing the University externally.  

The grant is in pilot testing this term, for which the USG has allotted P50,000. It will be offered to five students who will be representing the University, where two will be given P13,000 while the other three will receive P8,000.

To apply for the Externals Grant, interested students will need to fill up an application form and send a list of estimated expenses and recommendation form. After participating in the external event, the grantee would need to submit the list of actual expenses incurred and a certificate of participation to prove their attendance.

Another new financial service that the USG will be offering this year is MAP, which provides food stubs to students to be used to purchase meals within the vicinity of the University.

“We know that some students in DLSU do not have breakfast, not because they are avoiding being late in class but because their allowance is limited. They have to allocate the money to other important things, and, unfortunately, they have to sacrifice food,” Suplido highlighted.  

 

 

USG scholarship grants

Merit-based and needs-based scholarship programs were also launched by the USG, both of which are aimed to be given to those Lasallians who embody the values, ideals, and traditions pursued by St. John Baptist de La Salle.

The Achievers Scholar Program (ASP) is a merits-based, one-term scholarship program, funded by the DLSAA, open for ID 117 students and below who excel in terms of both academics and extracurricular activities. Interested applicants must have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 and no major offenses. The most eligible applicant will receive a scholarship grant of P25,000.

Meanwhile, the needs-based scholarship grant, called the Lasallian Scholar Program (LSP), is for undergraduates who are in need of financial assistance, having an income of less than P700,000, a CGPA of no lower than 2.0, and no major offenses. The said program can provide as much as a 100 percent scholarship for one term, as long as the student meets the criteria.

All those interested in the scholarship grants would have to pre-register and go through a two-part screening process. The first step is the “college phase”, in which a panel from the college, comprising of the dean, representatives from the student government, faculty, and scholar ambassadors, will interview the applicant.

Once proven eligible, a final interview would be done in the “University phase”, where a panel from USG’s partners, DLSAA, and the Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment, will screen the applicant again.

Another financial aid program is the Student Government Loan Program, which aims to provide zero percent interest loans to students who cannot pay their tuition fee on time. The loan will be under the Office of the Executive Treasurer and will be repaid by the grantee at the end of the term.

 

 

Other financial assistance programs

The USG also aims to help those who are not beneficiaries of the scholarship programs through the Student Government Allowance Program, which seeks to give extra financial assistance to students by giving them a meal and commute allowance.

The USG has also partnered up with different establishments around the University. The Subsidized Student Services, in partnership with Copycare and the Student Co-operative, aims to lessen the expenses of students through providing free printing and photocopying benefits to the student body.

Meanwhile, The Animo Premium, another financial assistance program, also helps students lessen their expenses by providing exclusive discounts for Lasallian students and alumni. Those accepted will only have to show their IDs in order to avail discounts and promos from partner establishments.

Currently, the USG is still in the process of finding more partners in the hopes of expanding their services for Lasallians.

 

 

Future plans

When asked about the launch, Briones explained that it was their goal to let Lasallians be more aware of the financial assistance programs offered by the USG. “Before, the primary platform [we use to] communicate [with] the students is through social media and I recognize that we cannot tap 100 percent of the student body if we just use online means. [We] needed something like a launch or activation so that Lasallians would be made aware,” he elaborated. 

When asked on other financial services that they had in mind for the future, Briones shared that they are planning to extend the student loan program. “Right now, its scope is for those students who have difficulties in paying for their tuition fee right now, but we also recognize that students have different costs. For example, they use fees to purchase school materials, and these are programs that we are still currently working on,” he revealed.  

Likewise, Briones noted that they are also planning to increase the number of slots for the External Grant Program after its pilot test. “If [the program is] successful and we deem it fit for more students to receive this grant, we may open more slots to the student body,” he noted.