Tuesday, April 17, 2018

If you are a parent with a child (or children) in college, you would have been wracking your brains trying to figure out how you will survive financially for the rest of the year. The first semester of School Year 2014-2015 has started for a majority of universities in Metro Manila and the budget crunch for parents has begun all over again.

It is a known fact that in the Philippines, a degree earned in a reputable university instantly assures the graduate of a good job later on. However, not every Filipino parent can afford to pay the tuition fee. Some parents planned ahead and bought an educational insurance plan for their children to pay for college fees. This group of parents is the ones who had disposable income when they were starting off as a family. However, a majority of parents are the ones who take on private loans, sell farmlands, or take on second jobs to make ends meet. As a popular Filipino saying goes - "Ayan lang ang kaya kong ipamana sa iyo, anak." ("That is the only inheritance I can give you, my child."), which is probably the reason why parents tend to give up everything for a child to get a college education. To give you an idea of how much tuition fees are, check on the infographic below. That is the cost per unit, so if your child enrolls in 21 units (or credits), you'd have to multiply that amount by 21. I am sure these figures are higher now, considering this infographic was based on 2014 statistics.

Infographic designed by Jonathan Asuncion, and reported by AJ Abando (philstar.com)

Before the K+12 program was implemented by the Department of Education, high school graduates in the Philippines were 15-17 years old on the average. Eager to enroll in college and sensitive to their family's financial standing, these kids try to find employment to help out. 

Here are their options:

1. Apply for a part time job. Great. Workers get a decent per hour rate. However, most businesses that employ student workers would require "at least two years of college education." 
My questions are:  (a) Why would you need at least two years of college education to flip burgers and clean tables? (b) Would you need college algebra to bag groceries or work in a department store as a sales clerk? I am not stereotyping, however, there are some businesses that really require this, together with tons of licenses, permits and documents.

If you’re pursuing an online course or study, it will be easier for you to work part-time without worrying about missing the lessons. Another great thing about getting a part-time job is that this option is open and available even before you start college, as students can enroll in online high schools and combine their studies with easy-to-get part-time jobs ideal for their age. This way, you can start saving money through high school before you apply for college, so you’ll have some money available before college starts. Of course, how much you can make while still in high school level may not be much, but it can go a long way to lessen your college financial burdens. 

2. Apply for a job in the college/university. When you’re doing those student tours Washington DC. See if there are any vacancies available. These are mostly clerical jobs - filing, typing, encoding. However, a grade point average should be maintained, and it does not pay much. You can perform a college search to find the right colleges to suit your job preferences. From there, you can seek a job and help out financially.

3. Offer tutorial lessons. Those students gifted with above average IQs can offer tutorials to their peers, high school students or grade school students in their neighborhood. 

4. Start a small business. They can save some of their allowances to use as a capital for a small business. They can sell goodies to their friends, like packed lunches, or cupcakes or homemade cookie cups. Those into arts and crafts can make things to hold gadgets in, like a pretty crocheted pouch, or make trendy loom bands.

5. The last and the best option they have is to study hard, get good grades and apply for a full academic scholarship. This way, they not only relieve their parents of the financial burden, they also bring pride and joy to the family. To see a child graduate with honors is one rewarding experience for parents. 

To conclude, I would want to applaud all parents out there, for their selfless work and sacrifice. I also throw up a prayer to God to bless all the college freshmen, that they take advantage of the privilege that has been given to them and to move forward to the future with gratefulness in their hearts. 

My dear children, go on and reach your dreams. 
Mama will always be here to support you in every way I can. 
That's my pinky promise!

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  1. Wonderful tips Aio! I worked at McDonald's as soon as a graduated high school to help my parents out with my allowance. I was lucky because the branch I was assigned is near where I went to university. Did that for 2 years but unfortunately had to give it up. If I could go back in time, I would have started a business, raket-raket muna.

  2. Tip # 4 seems a little bit 'adventurous' for college students to handle. The rest are just attainable. My say, just study hard and leave the financial burdens to your parents.

  3. wow, this is really helpful. I can't believe how much expensive the tuition nowadays.

  4. I like Tip No. 5 the most partly because I can relate. I was a scholar in high school and college. I studied hard because I had to. My parents couldn't afford my tuition fees, and what they saved from my education was spent for my siblings' schooling.

  5. These are very helpful tips Sis to go to college and at the same time help them with the finances while schooling :-)

  6. These are very helpful tips Ate. I'm a college student myself and I'm proud to say that my parents doesn't have a problem with anything about my studies, I've been working online already since I graduated in high school and up to now. :) My parents has stopped working too so they can look after us and take care of us. ^^


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