How to Study in the Philippines for Free (8 Steps)

The Philippines is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia. It has thousands of islands spread out over its area and is known to be a rich and diverse center for culture and arts. Aside from this, the Philippines also has good opportunities for those looking to further their careers by taking up bachelor’s degree courses or graduate degree courses.

The Philippines is no stranger to international students wanting to study there and has numerous universities offering opportunities and scholarships to aspiring applicants. International relations are important for any country since this helps develop both its economy and its diversity in culture. Studying in the Philippines can be both an affordable and worthwhile experience. In this article, we will be looking at ways on how you can study in the Philippines for free.

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How to Study in the Philippines for Free

1. Determine the profession you want

One of the first things you need to do to be able to study for free in the Philippines is to determine the type of profession you want to take up. Certain professions may not be available in certain countries due to certain factors, such as lack of facilities, lack of equipment, or lack of proper training and accreditation of their faculty or teaching staff.

As such, it is important to find out whether the profession you want to take up is actually being offered by the universities available in the Philippines. Some programs welcome international students, while others are not as equipped to offer international students admittance into their program. Thus, this is one factor that you should consider before filling up any application form.

2. Know all the possible application opportunities

Universities may offer more than one type of scholarship that may be applicable to international students, or may be limited to nationals only. It would be in your best interest to compare the application processes between universities that offer degree programs to international students, since others may have more difficult application processes, while others may favor international students from a more diverse background. Understanding the possible opportunities and how your country of origin may help in such opportunities is also one of the factors that you should consider.

3. Early preparation is key for applications

Being prepared will always be one of the more significant factors to getting you through any application process. Some applications require interviews, while others merely require the submission of documents or essay. Regardless of the type, preparing early will ensure that any difficulties that may come will not deter you from submitting a well-crafted application.

4. Look for scholarships in universities in the Philippines

Some of the best universities to look to for scholarships are state or public universities and those run by officers who value the effect of better international relations. Universities such as the University of the Philippines, which is a state-owned university, offers scholarships and programs for international students. One of the scholarships offered by the university is the UP Presidential Scholarship. This scholarship grants the student free tuition and fees, as well as a monthly allowance, book allowance, and thesis allowance. Certain grade requirements must be met. Getting these fully-funded scholarships is one of the best ways to study in the Philippines for free.

Other universities like the Ateneo de Manila University, which is a Jesuit-owned university, offers numerous scholarships listed on their site. An example of which is the Ateneo Freshman Merit Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to those who fair well in their entrance exam, and allows a student to have a full tuition grant, along with a semestral allowance. The grant also provides dormitory accommodations if requested by the student.

5. Try Applying for Scholarships Elsewhere

If finding universities that offer education for free or scholarships prove to be difficult, another option you can take is to look for scholarships offered by organizations such as non-profit organizations or government-funded organizations. Similar to this, you can also opt to inquire with your own government sector in-charge of international studies, as to whether or not they offer scholarships for students who want to study internationally.

6. Find Out Which Universities in the Philippines are Affordable

Nothing is more effective at cutting cost when it comes to education than by looking for universities that offer the lowest rates. Attending affordable universities in the Philippines is one of the ways that could help you to study in the Philippines for free. Universities that offer lower rates in terms of tuition are not necessarily those that do not provide quality services. When looking for affordable universities, it is important to balance the costs of tuition and fees with the university’s track record. Some factors that you should consider when weighing this option is whether the university has a program specifically for international students, and whether they are capable of providing high-tier education despite its affordable services.

In the Philippines, the average fee for tuition is at $1,000 per year for public universities and $1,200 for private universities. If basic necessities and accommodations are taken into account, the cost can reach up to $6,000 a year. If you are interested, check this list of Cheapest Universities in the Philippines for International Students!

7. Try to save on unnecessary expenses

One technique in lowering the amount of money you spend when studying internationally is finding accommodations that are affordable. Unnecessary expenses occur when you choose a more expensive apartment over a cheaper alternative, or a more luxurious location as opposed to living in the dormitory within campus. Transportation should also be considered, since taking cheaper modes of transportation like trains and public buses can be more affordable in the long-run when compared to using your own car or taxis to commute everyday. Also, saving up on food purchases and other miscellaneous wants may also make for a more affordable learning experience. Education should be the priority, and if money is a bit short at the moment, saving up on unnecessary expenses is key to study in the Philippines for free.

8. Work While Studying

Some countries allow their students to work while studying in order to deter the amount of expenses that tuition fees and other school fees can cause the international student. In the Philippines, students who wish to study in the universities there must apply for a student visa. For your student visa to be granted by the Department of Foreign Affairs, according to their site, you must already have sufficient means of support for your education in the Philippines. Thus, working to support yourself while studying in the Philippines is not an option for those hoping to curb their expenses with a possible job in said country. However, you can always work online as a freelancer.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page.