Tuition Fee Guide in the Philippines

Last Updated Sep 15, 2022 @ 3:24 pm

It comes as no surprise — education is expensive in the Philippines, often involving five to six-digit numbers.

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If you still haven’t saved up for your kid’s education, it will surely cast a heavy burden on your back.

You may think that the cost of education has significantly decreased after the pandemic. However, that is not the case.

Despite students not being in school physically, education still remains pricey, especially considering the added cost of internet connection bills and equipment for online classes.

The amount you need to cover your kids’ education will depend on their age and school, but it is quite evident that the cost of education in the Philippines is something you need to prepare for.

For instance, if you are planning to send your kid to public school from preschool to college, prepare to shell out at least P300,000 to around P840,000 or more.

Financial consultant Facebook group “Save, Invest then Harvest” even shared in a Facebook post that if you have a 3-year-old kid today, at least P3 million1 is needed to put your child in school in the future.

They considered factors such as inflation rates, as well as tuition fee hikes.

In this guide, we will let you in on how much you really need to prepare for education in the country, as well as different ways to offset this huge cost.

Grade School Tuition Fee Average Cost in the Philippines

Private grade schools in the Philippines starts from the Nursery level and ends until Grade 6.

Tuition (per school year)P25,000 to P100,000
BooksP10,000
School SuppliesP5,000
UniformP5,000
Miscellaneous expensesP7,000

High School & Senior High School Tuition Fee Average Cost in the Philippines

Since the K-12 education system was added in the country, it has added two extra years to this level in both public and private schools.

Junior high school and Senior high school cover a lot more specialized subjects compared to Grade school. This means more books and requirements are needed to complete education.

Tuition (per school year)P45,000 to P150,000
BooksP15,000
School SuppliesP7,500
UniformP5,000
Miscellaneous expensesP10,000

College Tuition Fee Average Cost in the Philippines

Without a scholarship grant, this is undoubtedly the most challenging and expensive stage parents worry about.

College education not only poses a great difficulty for parents but also the child because requirements and subjects will become more demanding.

Tuition (per year)P70,000 to P250,00
BooksP17,000
School SuppliesP8,000
UniformP5,000
Miscellaneous expensesP15,000

Average Tuition Fee Cost of the Top 10 Universities in the Philippines

Wondering what the average cost of tuition in the Top 10 Universities in the country? Keep on reading to find out.

1. University of the Philippines Diliman

Annual Cost: P40,000 to P50,000 (free for eligible students)1

This university was established as the largest constituent of the University of the Philippines School System in 1949, and it boasts consistent ranking2 as one of the top 500 universities in Asia and the world.

This university also features tons of Center of Excellence departments which coincides with their high-caliber courses and programs.


2. Ateneo de Manila University

Annual Cost: P160,000 to P200,000

Ateneo de Manila offers elementary, high school, and college education.

Founded in 1959 by Jesuits, it is one of the oldest universities in the country, and it is recognized as one of the best schools of graduate programs in management, sciences, government, art, education, and law.


3. De La Salle University

Annual Cost: P200,000 to P225,000

Founded in 1911 by De La Salle Brothers, this school is the first of two institutions in the Philippines that was awarded the Level IV accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities or PAASCU.

De La Salle University also ranks in Asian University Ranking lists.


4. University of Santo Tomas

Annual Cost: P100,000 to P160,000

This university is the oldest in Asia. It is also the largest Catholic university in the world in terms of the student population.

Founded in 1611 by the Archbishop of Manila, UST remains one of the top choices of students in the Philippines.

This school offers several Center of Excellence and Center of Development accreditations.

They were recognized by the PACUCOA in 2013 for having the most accredited programs in the Philippines.


5. University of San Carlos

Annual Cost: P60,000 to P90,000

Located in Cebu, this university was founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1935. Now, it’s one of the biggest and most successful universities in Cebu, covering over 90 hectares for its 5 campuses.

This university is also consistent in ranking as one of the top schools in the Philippines and Asia. It is recognized by CHED for having the most number of Center of Development and Center of Excellence in Visayas and Mindanao.


6. Mapua University

Annual Cost: P130,000 to P220,000

Formerly known as Mapua Institute of Technology, this university has campuses in Makati and Manila.

Founded in 1925 by Tomas Mapua, the country’s first registered Filipino architect, this university is known for its engineering programs, with seven I.T. and engineering courses recognized as Centers of Excellence by CHED.


7. Silliman University

Annual Cost: P150,000 to P200,000

Located in Dumaguete, this university was founded by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and it was named after the school’s first donor, Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman.

It is the first recognized American school in the country and Asia.

Silliman University is also one of the five universities in the country with an Institutional Accreditation by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines of FAAP.


8. Mindanao State University — Iligan Institute of Technology

Annual Cost: P7,000 to P18,000

Located in Iligan City, MSU-IIT is recognized as the flagship and largest campus of the MSU system.

This public and coeducational institution is one of the best universities in the Visayas-Mindanao region and the Philippines in general.

This university has multiple Center of Excellence recognition from CHED, and they have also received Accredited Status from the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges & Universities of the Philippines or AACCUP.


9. Xavier University — Cagayan De Oro

Annual Cost: P100,000 to P120,000

This university was named in honor of St. Francis Xavier. Located in Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, this private Catholic university was first established in 1933 as Ateneo de Cagayan.

It is also the first institution in the Mindanao region that was granted university status in 1958.


10. Saint Louis University, Baguio City

Annual Cost: P80,000 to P120,000

This university was founded in 1911 to provide education to local boys. It was granted university status in 1963, making it the first university in Northern Manila.

This campus has over 40,000 students, and it has received various Centers of Excellence ratings from CHED, as well as PAASCU accreditation.


5 Ways to Help Fund Your Children’s Education

Wondering what’s the best way to take care of your children’s education costs? We’ve gathered some ways below.

1. Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded based on merit so your child may be eligible for it. They can be academic, athletic, for the arts or music, or for community service.

There are many private foundations that offer scholarships and if your child is willing and able to carry out certain projects, he or she may be eligible. 

2. Educational plans

There are prepaid education plans that you can set up for your child.

The advantage of these plans is that you can choose exactly what you want to pay for, and you can control the amount of funds you will have for your child’s college education.

You will have to open an account for this and pay for the premium in advance, and when the time comes, you can use this money to pay for any accredited colleges or universities

3. Financial assistance programs

If your income is within a certain range, you may be able to apply for financial aid. These programs help students who cannot afford an education otherwise.

The amount of financial aid you can get will depend on the financial situation of your family.

4. Leverage investment options that suit your goals and risk appetite

Investing in your child’s education is not the same as investing in your retirement.

If you are investing in your child’s education, your focus should be on how well the investment will perform in the future when it is time for your child to attend college.

Mutual funds & UITF

For most people, mutual funds are the best way to invest. Mutual funds are easy to manage and you only have to worry about making one investment decision. 

Mutual funds have the advantage of giving you a lot of diversification for a relatively small investment.

This makes mutual funds one of the best options for parents who want to save money for their child’s education.

Stocks

Stock investing and trading is great if you are willing to devote a lot of time to it. Stocks are riskier than mutual funds, but you may be able to earn higher returns. 

You need to carefully research the companies and be able to understand their business models, and you need to have a good understanding of the economy and the industry.

Bonds

If you are willing to do the research and understand the risks, you can choose to invest in bonds. Bonds have a fixed interest rate and are known to be relatively safe investments.

The risk, however, is that if interest rates in the market rise, the value of your bond will also fall. One way to manage this risk is by adjusting the duration of your bond.

Duration refers to the time period until the bond matures. The longer the duration, the higher the risk. The shorter the duration, the lower the risk.

Pag-IBIG MP2

This is a saving program that is available to Pag-IBIG Fund members with at least 2 years of monthly savings. For as little as P500, you can earn as much as 8.11% in dividends.

Pag-IBIG MP2’s 3-year average which stands at 6.96% is also higher than regular bank savings accounts. It allows people to withdraw earnings every year or get the lump sum when their fund matures in 5 years.

Cooperatives

A cooperative is an autonomous and duly registered association of people with a common bond of interest. They work together to achieve their goals. 

There are many types of cooperatives. For example, you can join a credit cooperative that is composed of small borrowers and savers. This can help you save or borrow money at a lower cost compared to banks.

PERA

Personal Equity and Retirement Account or PERA was officially launched in 2016 by the BSP. It helps Filipinos save for retirement or their child’s education. The income you earn through PERA is tax-free.

5. Loans

Loans have become more accessible today thanks to different online loan apps and platforms. You can apply for a student loan from traditional banks or online platforms to cover your child’s education expenses.

Loans are a good option if you have collateral to put up as security. If you are applying for loans, you need to make sure that you have good credit.

This can be achieved by consistently paying your bills on time and not spending beyond your means.


Tips to Help You Save More For Your Child’s Education

Here are some ways you can save more to cover your child’s education costs.

Establish a monthly budget

Find out your monthly income and review your expenses. You need to make sure that you don’t spend more than you earn.

Calculate how much your child’s education will cost you for a year. This will serve as a basis for your monthly budget.

Next, identify your fixed monthly expenses. This includes your rent, transportation, food, water, electricity, and other basic necessities.

If you have any recurring expenses, add those too. Doing this will help you spend your money more wisely.

Automate savings

Set up automated savings where money will be taken out of your bank account without you noticing. This will avoid any temptation to spend your money.

Create passive income sources

If you want to save more for your child’s education, you need to earn more. One way to do this is to create passive income sources.

Passive income refers to income that isn’t related to your main job. For example, if you love baking, you can sell cookies online.

Get a side hustle

You can also try getting a side hustle. It is usually an additional job that you do in your free time.

It may be a part-time job or a freelance job that pays you for the time you spend doing it.

Set short and long-term savings goals

Setting short and long-term savings goals will help you stay motivated. Short-term goals are for you to save for the immediate future.

For instance, you should already be saving for your child’s school supplies for the next school year. Long-term goals are for you to save for the distant future.

In this case, it would be for your child to enroll in a university.

Sources

  1. UP College Admissions
  2. Times Higher Education

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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