Cost of College Education in the Philippines

May 29, 2008 | By Garry De Castro | Filed in: Education Planning, Mutual Funds, News Articles.
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I’ve been trying to write something about Educational Plan or something like Importance of Educational Plan way back I started this blog. But somehow, I couldn’t get to start coz I’m missing some important data that would make this article worth reading. And that important data are current rates / tuition fees in the Philippine Universities and Colleges nowadays.

Coincidence as it may seem, but on May 26, 2008 – Monday, one of the news that caught my eye in the Philippine Daily Inquirer is

The cost of college education: Do the math and weep and wonder‘. Maybe because its already enrollment time. This is actually what I need, the current rates of units in the top universities of the Philippines. God must have seen it thru me, eventhough I can’t remember including it in my random prayers before I sleep (wish I could do that more often). Thank God and for that, let me share you my personal insights about these.

Well, you might ask, why would I bother myself of these facts wherein I already finished my college education. I should not worry myself about things that wouldn’t affect me directly. At some point, yes, I really don’t care if tuition fees increase 100% a year or if the inflation rate would triple this year. But then again, these figures will have a direct affect on me in the near future. Its just a matter of time.

As some may know, my wife and I are expecting for our first born this June. That means I’m going to be a father soon (Happy Father’s Day to me, hehe). And also, that means 16 years from now, whether we like it or not, these nightmares of tuition fees will soon haunt us on how are we going to enroll our children. Should we settle for less? I’m sure that any parent would want the best for their children. Its just that most of the time, that’s the only thing they can afford.

Here’s my dillema: Below are the actual Cost per Unit of Top Metro Manila Colleges and Universities for incoming Freshmen (Annual Year 2008-2009)

School Cost per unit Terms Estimated tuition per Year
University of the Asia and the Pacific P2,400.00 2 P124,800.00
De La Salle University 2,045.33 3 110,447.82
Ateneo De Manila University 2,517.03 2 90,613.20
Assumption College 1,533.00 2 84,315.00
Mapua Institute of Technology 1,400.00 4 84,000.00
St. Scholastica’s College 1,564.00 2 75,072.00
San Beda College 1,188.00 2 64,152.00
Miriam College 1,486.00 2 62,412.00
Philippine Women’s University 828.00 3 59,616.00
Far Easter University 1,100.00 2 55,000.00
Colegio de San Juan de Letran 970.00 2 50,440.00
University of the East 1,040.00 2 47,840.00
University of Sto. Tomas 1,072.90 2 45,061.80
St. Paul College of Quezon City 922.00 2 44,256.00
AMA Computer University 780.00 3 42,120.00
Lyceum of the Philippines 900.00 2 37,800.00
Trinity University of Asia 870.00 2 36,540.00
University of the Philippines 1,000.00 2 36,000.00
San Sebastian College 786.00 2 33,012.00
College of the Holy Spirit, Manila 903.91 2 32,540.76

That’s where these figures play an important role in planning. At least we’ll have an idea how much we should save and invest so that when the time comes, (for sure it will) our children’s education is secured. Let’s try to calculate.

For the case of my upcoming baby, that would mean that I’ll have (hopefully), 16 years before he starts college. Year today is 2008, we add 16 years, that would be 2024. If I’d want to enroll him in Ateneo or De La Salle University, I should have at least P130,000.00 (including miscellaneous fees) equivalent in 2024. Taking into consideration that tuition fees increase at a rate of 10% a year, that would give us

x 10% compounded annually for 16 years
x 4 years college education
P2,172,169.05 Total cost of College education

It only means that if I want to give my son a college education in one of the top universities of the Philippines, I would need P2.1M in 2024, so that I won’t be bothered of his tuition fee. Woohh, where am I gonna get that? That’s where proper planning comes in.

Using the same figure, I would need to have an investment that would give me P2.1M in 16 years. You’ll be surprise to know this but I would need to save at least P10,000.00 per month and invest in a vehicle that gives at least 12% per annum (mutual fund) so that in 16 years, I would be able to attain P2.1M allotment for 1 person college education. Imagine if you have 2 children, then start saving at least P20,000.00 a month and invest. Otherwise, train your children to be an athlete to be exempted from the tuition fees.

Writing this made me a little nervous actually. 😀 Just sharing. How bout you? Comments are welcome!

What are the solutions? You might want to read these

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81 comments on “Cost of College Education in the Philippines

  1. francis villangca says:

    4th year nako.. lapit na magcollege.. hahaha

  2. Jovy Caldejon says:

    I share the same dillema with you, I have a seven year old and a 10 year old nephew who is under my care. I send them to a school near our place that costs about a 30thousand a year, i can just imagine how much it will cost me to send them to college in the next 10 years. The cost of living is high, the market value of working as a professional is decreasing ………

    I just wonder..what to do now……..

  3. Kat says:

    I share your thoughts. I’m 7mos on the way and is thinking of all the expenses in rearing my child. We’d like to get him educational plans for elementary, high school and college but we know it will be real tough to cope up with payments. Any ideas which insurance firm offer the best deals?

  4. Finacial Guru says:

    Ms. Kat,

    As a broker of Prudential Life, I’m sure I would be biased if I say that we offer the best deals. But you are free to do some research and compare. One time, I was in Metrobank checking their educational plan and it seems fair enough.

    Aside from educational plan, you could also try Mutual Fund or UITF. Basically ganun din nman gnagawa ng mga banks, kaibahan nga lang walang insurance compared to educational plan itself.

    Id say that you attend our FREE seminars, para mas maliwanagan ka and check which option is best for you.

  5. cleofe lim gurtiza says:

    please send me an application form of child educational plan at the nearest possible time. thanks …

  6. Finacial Guru says:

    Ms. Cleofe, I’d like to know how old is your child?

  7. Jethro says:

    college education does not need to be that expensive.. if you happen to be a resident of the city of Manila, try to enroll in the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, being one of the top schools in the Philippines without the high tuition fee… imagine paying 3,000php for 1 sem… with absolutely high standards of education. well, its for you to take the risk, being a scholar is a big responsibility

    well.. sabi nga “ang pagaaral hindi kailangang mahal lang”

  8. Jethro says:

    shared it just for a thought..

  9. cristina says:

    good day to everyone.. im a single mom. i have a two chldren.. only one is studying now.. shes 4th year highschool now at jesus is LOrd foundation school.. my daugther relly wants to finish her college, but unfortunately i still dont know how to send her to college , i still have a year for my self to think how can i enrolled her in college , , i was looking for a person who can sponsor my childs education in college.. can you help me?? i owned a small sari sari store and it cant help me in my childs education. i live with my 81 y.o. mom and im the only one who takes are of her.. so as this early. im looking for a person or foundation who can help us.. please.. may GOD BLESS YOU all..

  10. Shan says:

    Hi! The tuition/unit costs table you provided is very useful.

    May I ask where you obtained all the figures from (unit costs/ estimated tuiton per year)?

    I checked the online version of the Inquirer article with the date specified in your blog (

    However, many of the schools in the table you provided were not even mentioned in the article.

    Please do let know where you lifted your figures from. I might be able to use this information for my college thesis.

    Thank you very much.

  11. Finacial Guru says:

    To Cristina, just like to let you know that you’re not alone. Probably you can inquire thru SM Foundation, they do sponsor college students if they pass the exam. Another one is, if you know of any Rotary Club within you’re area, check if they sponsor students to college. They are open for that.

  12. Finacial Guru says:

    To Shan, you’re right. I just checked’s online archive and the table was not included. I don’t know why they omitted that part in the online archive. But if you could check any library, look for the Inquirer dated May 26, 2008 and you’ll see the full article with the list of schools and tuition fees. I just got it from there.

  13. Carlos says:

    To Ms. Cristina, Pls call Monark Foundation located in Libis QC, they have scholarship program, try to contact Ms. Amy Maramag-6377021. But the thing is, for ladies program, they offer only Automotive Technology. For male, they offer Automotive Technology and Heavy Equipment Technology. First 4 batches of this Foundation are already abroad majority in Australia.

  14. Mommy G says:

    I just have a question about an educational plan which we enrolled for our son when he was just 2 years old. We paid for about 3 years and then we had a financial crisis and was not able to continue paying for it. It was with Prudential. Can we continue the plan?

  15. Finacial Guru says:

    Mommy G, our best advise would be to contact your agent during that time and ask him/her directly. The only problem is if he/she is no longer connected with prudential life.

    Usually, insurance companies have a certain period where you may still continue your policy. Also don’t be surprise if there are any penalties or interest charge.

  16. jereme says:

    well i am 2nd year civil eng’ring student at saint louis university, and i am wondered haow my parents still gave me such a pleasure to study to this exellent school.despite the fact the we i had a high tuition fee and daily needs

  17. Sharon says:

    Hi! can you send me details regarding Prudential’s Educational plan? My daughter is 2 weeks old and I’m looking into getting her a plan. Tnx!

  18. mcky says:

    hello all here,good topic above i got 3 year old son and upcoming son this year wanted to have a good education plan for both of them can i have that details too for prudentials educational plan i am here in kuwait working now please send me some tips and advise too.salamat”

  19. jerelyn says:

    hello, I have 1year old daughter(nov.10),my husband is planning to get her a plan but still I can’t decide what company to go..I’m afraid of what happened to some CAP clients who did not received the payment..any help?thanks in advance.
    by the way, the post was so helpful,i have now a preview on how much do we need to keep for our baby..

  20. piper69 says:

    Hi this is not a big problem for you for as long you have a job that pay reasonable amount…as you already know you have an amount of money that you can save everymonth…if you hit your target to save an X amount of money until the time your children are in college then that is a good sign..

    One thing which I would consider is to look for an emplyment that would allow you to earn more money and so you can cut down the time to earn and save for your future.

    you might want to consider having an extra amount of money in your bank so that in case you have emergency then you can get the money you saved without sacrificing the money you intent for the education of you children.

    unless you are earning big at home then you stay, otherwise working abroad should be an option for you. probably working abroad is 3 times more what you earn right now. so this will shorten the span of time to save money.

    also one thing I would like to suggest is to have a small family…having two children would be perfect for new couples like you. this will allow you to have more freedom in terms of financial. and easy for you to save and less expenses.

    another thing is to consider developing other strenght of your child, going to a high paid university doesn’t promise a good job or a better life…you might want to consider asking your child to get a vocational course instead of 4 or 5 year course…ofcourse if your children are highly intellectual then they are worth of millions of pesos for their college. also vocational courses are so in demand in other countries like canada, us, austrilia and middle east.

  21. richard says:


    may i know how did u obtain your data? I am currently in search of these rates for a study I am making. If ever, do you have any paper published/ written about this aside from this web page. Thank you.

  22. Barry says:

    I’ve had the same dilema in the U.S. but I guess I would have an easier time affording college over there with my money. I normally have to pay $4,000 U.S. Dollars per semester after Financial aide and Government Grants, Loans, and Aides. That’s 190,440 PH Pesos. Actual Cost of a good university here cost $15,000 a semester leaving $30,000(PH Pesos:1,428,300) a year this all includes housing, food, tuition, but not books, the average book new cost $100-200, used they cost a lot less sometimes little to nothing if you are extremely lucky. I pay my own way, my parents can only afford the books by themselves. I have always had interest in studying in the Philippines because the people here are very brainwashed and aren’t very cultured unless you are a true Native American like me. There are just too many assimilated people here. And cost of living compared to minimum wage doesn’t even come close to making the bills let alone food, medical, transportation, etc. Plus we are in a recession, definitely on our way to a depression, so that doesn’t help. Hopefully this new year about to come brings the Change with it.

  23. hatch says:

    i am a 21 years old husband and have a 2 years old daughter, well basically i felt nervous too because of the fact that i am already a father,i do have a work and a regular employee but the company im working with is not that stable like the other companies out there, although it is very compensating. I have time deposited an amount of money on BPi but i guess that wont be enough to send my daughter in college in the future because of tuition fee increase. well i havent calcualted the years but by the time my daughter will be entering college i guess the tuition fee id assume would be as expensive as what i am thinking of. And buying an educational insurance is not that good to me since i have heard lots of bad stories about it, that most of the cases these insurance company doesnt do what they have had promised and what has been said on the contract. Pls prove me wrong…and i do welcome suggestions where i can buy educational plans which is trusted ..thanks my email is hatchvillaverde at yahu dot com . thanks for the help

  24. Francesca Gillette says:

    me and my mom are thinking of moving to philippines…. i was wondering if theres an international college somewhere in manila? also i was wondering where my dad can do a international banking….

  25. Finacial Guru says:


    There are actually a lot of international college here in Metro Manila as well as international banking. What specific colleges are you looking for?

  26. Anonymous says:


    i purchased an edu plan back in 1991 for my daughter’s education. We are living in the US right now and I want my daughter to study there. I don’t have the certificate with me but the name in the policy is Lily Sacro. Can you email me how can my daughter avail of the plan. my email address is please

  27. Anonymous says:

    college here in the R.P. is hardly attainable w\ skyrocketing tuition fees and never ending economic recession.

  28. Jan says: a filipino living here in the US. I migrated here with my parents when i graduated high school in Cebu. I pay for my own school and living expences and pursuing a degree in pharmacy. Im currently taking my pre-requisites in a local community college and same time having a part-time job. With the chart showed above i might consider going back there and get my degree there. Universities here charged too much, For pharmacy school itself cost around $40-$60k for a year which is equivalent to a whole 4 year of college there in the philippines. I just have to look for a student loan for overseas student though or if anyone of you knows a good bank there in the philippines that can let me loan with a good co-signer to pay for school will be awesome. Thanks in advance.

  29. Anonymous says:

    DLSU offers financial support to those people who asks for it but i don’t know if there are certain requirements to grant your request. And besides if you’re able to be on the top of the list in the entrance exam you might be selected for the Star Scholarship. And also, you can be scholars through joining any sports team or guild of the university. I don’t know how it goes at the Ateneo. But one thing I know is that they have the Merit Scholars.

  30. gabb says:

    sa adamson university, how much, per unit?

  31. Analogous says:

    Diba trimester ang DLSU? so in the long run you’d be able to save kasi you’re paying higher costs nga pero that is for only three years! eh normally ang college is 4 years diba?

    Pero UP pa ren forever!

  32. elmot says:

    made a post about this great article of yours, made use of your table plus the link love….

  33. Good thing I already graduated from Ateneo de Manila last 2004 with my CAP college educational plan. My tuition fee back then ranges from 37K to 43K per sem. Depends on the number of units. So it was 70K-86K per sem. CAP though only shouldered 40% of it since my plan was for private school and Ateneo was considered by CAP to be exclusive school.

  34. godbro says:

    learning is not tagged on the cost of tuition fees,etc., but of course studying well the alternatives available may be the solution. the key here is resourcefulness!

    merit scholarship may not be as handy for all especially if a child’s foundation is not as strong,ie, to carry heavier mental weight would be burden. early &sustained knowledge (self) enhancement is very important even for genius.

    do stay away from hYpE educ plans that will only rob you of hard-earned money. likewise avoid those profit-oriented skul~bukols.

    what else- working while studying; student assistantship; athlete or band membership? one comment here aptly referred to PLM yet PMA, PNPA or PMMA seek talented & patriotic youth. while some shivers on the “risks” but showing our true love for our Philippines we will be a catalyst… then returning a favor for the millions worth of best almost-free education (or even with stipends pa).

    yes UP welcomes those who got the potentials… aside from Iskolar ng Bayan benefits and that a student sustain good grades &/or based on the need. my 2cents: pls check UDM, PUP, TUP &other state colls & univs, too.

    i wish that the cost of tuition would not hamper our child’s’s up to the person that would dictate future success, on himself. a good school is but a mere accessory.

  35. Denisse says:

    is this updated for the school year 2009-2010 because i’m an incoming 1st year college at miriam college, di kasi nila nilagay ung tuition fees nila, eh wala pa ko sa pinas. gusto ko sana pag punta school enroll na agad..

  36. yikes! tuition fees have tremendously increased!
    THe last time I was in UP, I only paid around 300 pesos per unit!

  37. Rexie says:

    can you please publish a similar table but with focus on preparatory schools?

  38. Demented says:

    Tuition in UP is SOCIALIZED. Meaning, you can get discounts if you submit the required documents (like Income Tax Returns). Search STFAP.
    Though of course, the base tuition, which used to be just around 300php, has increased to 1000php. The government’s abandoning its role in upholding every Filipino child’s right to quality tertiary education.
    UP remains one of the best institutions in these parts of the Pacific. Eye-opening to the realities of our nation’s life. So, try to get your kids into liking UP. It’s not just about frats and hazing and Oblation Runs. After all, it’s the NATIONAL university–like Sampaguita is the National Flower and Jose Rizal is the National Hero.
    See you in UPD!

  39. jm09 says:

    San Beda was 80k when I entered 5 years ago. mag mahal na ata ngayon

  40. cebu says:

    mura lang talaga basta outside manila..hehe…like cebu ako nag aral..cheaper talaga dito..pero medyo known naman po ung skul ko..hehe..mejo lang..go university of san carlos!!hehek..our bs in accountancy is only 26,000 per term,..unlike manila 40,000 plus(nosebleed)haha.dito na kau..mura na quality lang…lang magawa eh..ehhe

    • Finacial Guru says:

      Yeah, mas mura nga sa province compared to Manila schools. Add the fact that you still have to spend on board and lodging.

  41. evjenov says:

    i am a father of a 4th year high schoolstudent, my daughter wants to take occupational theraphy, which school do you think is good and affordable? is UP manila OK? or UST or Perpetual? thanks please help….

  42. dodi says:

    i want to ask u how much the cost of study in School of Fine Arts and Design Philippine Women’s University per year … please help me i want to help my friend and support him … he finish already his high school , so i need to know how much the cost per year ..
    please answer me because i dont want him to lose his study

  43. angie says:

    Iam worried too iam a mom of two boys 4rth and 6th grds i want my eldest to study in UP starts high much does it cost for the whole yr? and procedures for applying anyone help me colledge yes really its worrying,which is wisier to invest in a property that i would earn after couple of yrs from now or have them a colledge insurance? iam working here in Israel now thanks a lot.need your advise

  44. chol says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I now have a reference of how much to save. Just got married barely 2 years ago and want to plan my future children’s education this early. It’s quite nerve racking but at least i can start early and avoid panicking when the time comes. 🙂

    • Garry DC says:

      Hi Chol,

      Good thing you got something from the article. But also take note that the biggest part of that is in investing it in a vehicle that have the potential to earn 10-12% per annum. It’s like having an extra hand in building your educational fund. Money working for money, ika nga. Happy investing!

  45. Mommy des says:

    Hi! There are education plans in the market that could help you save for the future cost of college education of your child. I, for one, purchased Philam Life’s Bright Future Plus for my 1 year old child a year ago, and I am ensured that when my child gets in college, we’ll receive semestral cash payouts. Plus, the two of us are covered with life insurance, so no matter what happens to me, I am sure that my child will still be able to finish his studies. Hope this helped!

    •  Check my 2 part take on Educational Plan – Do It Yourself Educational Plan.

  46. Nichell says:

    i wanna know the tuition fee in national university for college of pharmacy 🙂 thanks.

  47. […] 2008, PDI published an article ‘Cost of College Education: Do the math and weep and wonder‘. That was the same year that I posted my first article that tackles the cost of college education […]

  48. imaginary says:

    St. Scholastica’s college is 1,645 per sem

  49. Raliwanag says:

    Very interesting article. The question is when is it time to invest in the mutual funds, do you need to invest when nav is low or just invest as soon as you have your money, and every month then on. Or you sill need to time it, every time. Thanks

    • Hi Raliwanag,

      Most financial advisors will tell you that the best approach to investing is doing it as early as possible and doing it regularly. It will be very hard for a non-expert to time the market. 

      As one mutual fund company says “Investing is not a matter of Timing. It is a matter of TIME”. (it’s actually Sun Life who quoted it) 😀

  50. Toikztaala says:

    does anybody knows the tuition fee of FEU in the year 1990?

  51. Donaldmichael says:

    I would like to get my Doctorate in Education and in the states it is so expensive I cannot go forward.  I am 57 years old on a fixed income.  I would like to know how much the cost would be for my degree.

  52. Halle says:

    My name is Halle. I live in the United States and I really want to attend a university after I graduate. My parents are willing to pay the tuition of college for me but I do not want them to use up so much of their money. I heard from my friends and other family that going to college in the Philippines is cheaper than here. Is that true? And if so, which University is the cheapest but is also a well recognized university? I am going for education, by the way. Please, I could really use some tips and information right now. Thank you. 😀
    extra note: I was thinking about going to a comunity college in the states first. But will my credits transfer to the universities in the Philippines?

  53. myx says:

    ano ba ung tuition fee,semestral fee ba un??

  54. Recc0m says:

    bale, tuition fee pa lng yung pinakita dito….hindi pa ba kasama dito yung ibang fees?…misc. fees, lab fees, etc..?…

  55. […] Cost of College Education in the Philippines […]

  56. P-ataasan ng U-tak P-ababaan ng tuition :)) lab it

  57. LiveLifeLoveLife says:

    Thanks for this post. 
    Here’s a little something I want to share..There are literally tons of college educational plans offered by Life Insurance Companies to help us supplement or augment our children’s tuition fees.Unlike pre-need firms (CAP, etc…), no life insurance company have ever folded down in the history of the Philippine Life Insurance, so rest assured your money is safe.  @1e2393082842309120160478805b464e:disqus  purchase is one great example.. Philam’s Bright Future Plus, Sun Life has educational plan too and so do others.On the side, PNB Life also has one great service as well, it’s called ACHIEVERS.It accepts children from 0-12 years old. You have 5 years max to pay. 

    >It provides increasing Educational Fund for your child upon attainment of ages 17 to 21, plus the child is also covered by life insurance from the start of the policy until age 21. (It’s a 2 in 1 product)

    >Upon age 17 your child will receive 50% of the Face Amount.
    >at 18 = 55% of the Face Amount.
    >at 19 = 60%
    >at 20 = 65%
    >at 21 (maturity of the policy) = 20%

    Total Payouts = 250% of the Face Amount.I hope this helps.

  58. OMG! At this rate I can’t afford to send both my kids! I have o wait for the other to grasuate so he could help me with the tuition of his sibling. T_T 

  59. Charlesblackbird says:

    your blog really help.thank you s0 much for the info.

  60. SiR says:

    Dun sa mga nagpopost na hindi daw yan ung cost ng tuition fee nila, MAGBASA KAYO! As of 2008-2009 nga at hindi pa kasama ang miscellaneous fees, malamang hindi updated yan! Malamang lahat ng school na nandyan nag increase na.

  61. […] [Check Cost of College Education in the Philippines] […]

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