By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena
Despite the shift to the online filing of tuition loan applications this semester, students still had to fall in line outside the Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS) during enrollment period.
OSSS Officer-in-Charge Aristeo Dacanay said filing online applications would help students save time during registration. However, this was not the case for Juan Resureccion, a fourth year student who regularly applies for a tuition loan.
Resureccion, not his real name, was one of the students who used the online module this semester.
“Ang problema kasi, ang bilis nga nilang (OSSS) kumuha ng forms, pero ang bagal mag-process, three at a time lang (The problem is, they (OSSS) receive the forms faster, but the processing is slow – only three at a time),” he said.
Last Tuesday, Resureccion said he had to wait for over an hour to get his loan application processed.
Starting the second semester of academic year 2013-2014, UP Diliman implemented the online application of tuition loans, following a memorandum from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA).
The new system “aims to aid the students and helps the OSSS to further promote operational experience,” according to the Oct. 24 OVCSA memo.
Students who plan to apply for loan may directly fill up a form through their Computerized Registration System (CRS) account. They shall print two sets of copies of the accomplished form, complete with their signatures and thumbmarks.
The forms must then be submitted to the Student Loans Office at the third floor of Vinzons Hall.
If his application will be approved, senior Resureccion will be given a loan amounting to 80 percent of this semester’s fees.
A tuition fee loan covers 70 percent of fees for first and second year students, 80 percent for third and fourth year students, and 85 percent for graduate students.
Students who wish to apply for a 100 percent tuition loan, however, must have their forms approved by the Chancellor before forwarding the request to the Student Loans Office, which requires a longer processing time.
Tuition payment deadline is set Nov. 15. All tuition fee loans must be settled by the last week of February, or one month before finals week.
Dacanay said the new loan application system came about after several meetings with the CRS Team, the online platform hosting the module, members of the Office of the University Registrar, and consultations with Chancellor Caesar Saloma.
The CRS Team cited the benefits of the online loans module.
“[The new module] expedites the loan process, saves time of the students, and staff can readily view the application because this is real-time, so they can right away review the application of students,” said a member of the CRS Team in an email interview.
Students can save time and effort of going to and waiting in the Student Loans Office, as the online module allows them to print the form at home so they can have it signed right away by their parents, the representative said.
Dacanay also expects the new module will make loan applications easier in upcoming semesters.
“The online tuition fee loan is only in its first run this second semester. It’s normal that we encounter problems in its implementation, but as we go along, we can learn from experience and could make it better the next time,” he said.
He added that the OSSS, together with the CRS Team, hopes to have a fully-automated loan application system once they develop a computerized database in the future.
Still, Resureccion said that the application system remains disorganized.
“While nakakatulong siya kahit paano, kung sabog ang logistics at walang preparations on the part of the loan office, wala rin (Even if it helped in a way, if the logistics are disorganized and there are no preparations on the part of the loan office, nothing’s changed),” he said.