Reduce college entrance exam fees – Sen. Pimentel

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III appealed to college and university administrations to consider reducing required payment for examination fees.

Pimentel made the call after a meeting with parents of upcoming college students who complained about the “prohibitive” rates currently being charged by universities.

Pimentel said students take entrance exams in several colleges and universities, and naturally, their parents want to support them.

“But if applying at one school requires a PhP 500 fee, then applying to four, five schools can be quite expensive,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel also noted that large state universities like the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) although with thousands of applicants; still have entrance exam rates similar to private schools.

The Senate President, who is a UP Law alumnus himself, said that there are “around 80,000 students apply to UP each year, while roughly 60,000 take the PUP college exam annually.”

Assuming these schools only charge half of the applicants the full rate, Pimentel said that UP and PUP earn around PhP 20 million and PhP 15 million respectively, from entrance exam fees alone.

Suggesting means, Pimentel noted that educators should collaborate with the Department of Education (DepEd) and have a standardized test for K-12 sudents eligible to tertiary education institutions. Through this, colleges and universities won’t longer be needing to administer their own admission exams.

Pimentel also mentioned that all grade 6, 10, and 12 students are given the National Achievement Test (NAT).

“If this is considered insufficient to provide Philippine college admission offices with a means by which to assess applicants, then I encourage our educators to work together to come with something akin to the US’ SAT and ACT so that parents need not to spend for so many entrance exams,” Pimentel noted.

Pimentel is referring to the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT) which are standardized tests given to junior and senior high school students in the United States.