Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST)

The Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education, or the UniFAST Act, is an agency attached to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). It helps facilitate access to student financial assistance programs financed by the Philippine government by bringing it all into a centralized portal. But what is UniFAST, and how does it work? To find out, keep reading as we share everything about UniFAST, including its purpose, functions, programs, and services.

Established in 2015, UniFAST offers various scholarships to Tertiary students. Through the UniFAST Board, qualified applicants can access Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs), from scholarships, student loans, and grants in aid. The agency provides a central portal where students can easily access and apply for government-financed assistance programs. Also, it’s under RA 10931, or the Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act, which aims to lessen the duties of educational institutions and financial aid offices.

what is unifast

What is UniFAST

Also known as UniFAST, the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education implements RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. It provides free tuition and exemption from other fees in local and state colleges, universities, and CHED-accredited institutions in the Philippines. As part of CHED, the agency offers programs open to both public and private students.


UniFAST helps organize, enhance, bolster, and expand all government-funded Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) for tertiary education by creating a centralized portal. The UniFAST Board develops various StuFAPs, such as scholarships, student loans, grants in aid, and other special educational assistance to public and private institutions.


On October 15, 2015, the President authorized and signed into law the Republic Act No. 10687, or the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education. Under the UniFAST law rules and regulations, the agency should successfully and efficiently implement StuFAP to the tertiary level without political labeling. The programs offered by UniFAST can help students with their education and ease their financial burden.


With its aim to provide quality tertiary education to poverty-stricken but deserving Filipino students, UniFast will fulfill the following:

  • Allocate and use all government resources properly to help tertiary-level students through efficient beneficiary-targeting
  • Guarantee the consistency, progress, and effective collaboration of financial assistance programs and policies to tertiary students.
  • Ensure each region fairly administers student financial assistance programs free from political labeling.
  • Produce competent and proficient graduates and experts who will contribute to the country’s labor force through scholarships.
  • Provide convenient access to quality tertiary education through scholarships, loans, and grants in aid for deserving students who are part of the marginalized sectors.
  • Help students access student loans with a liquidity crisis


Here are the minimum requirements for students who wish to apply for financial assistance for tertiary education as per UniFAST Board:

  • Should be Filipino citizens
  • Should Senior High School graduates or its equivalent
  • If pursuing technical vocational education and training (TVET), applicants should have at least ten years of basic education or equivalent.
  • Should have good moral character and without a criminal record
  • Should be enrolled in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Technical Vocational Institution (TVI) listed in the Registry of Programs and Institutions
  • Applications of TVET programs should pass the initial TESDA screening/assessment procedure, trade test, or skills competency evaluation
  • Applicants should declare if they are already benefitting from other student financial assistance, including the government StuFAPs
  • Applicants should obtain a minimum score for the Qualifying Examination System for Scoring Students and other scholarship examinations for some courses (required by the UniFAST Board)

Do note the UniFAST Board may provide foreign students with exemptions based on the mutual programs that grant the same benefits to Filipino students, including student exchange programs, international reciprocal scholarships, and other mutually beneficial programs.

Also, UniFASt waives the requirement of good moral character with no criminal record for programs targeting learning in conflict with the law and those who have undergone or are still in rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the UniFAST Board will review the qualification criteria for student financial assistance, which they can revise if necessary.

UniFAST Board

The chair of the UniFAST Board is the Chair of CHED and co-chaired by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary. As for the members, it includes the Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary and representatives from the National Youth Commission (NYC), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Development Authority (NEDA).

In addition, the agency coordinates the operations of the StuFAPs with the following departments:

  • Department of Agriculture (DA)
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
  • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
  • Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  • Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD)
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)
  • Houses of Congress
  • Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
  • LandBank of the Philippines (LBP)
  • Government Service Insurance System
  • Social Security System (SSS)

UniFAST Programs and Services

Whether living in the Philippines or overseas, all Filipinos can access UniFAST programs and services. This agency focuses on providing financial assistance to qualified and deserving poverty-stricken students and dependents of OFWs who are on the tertiary level. Below are the programs and services UniFAST offers:

Free Higher Education

Undergraduate Filipinos enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) recognized by CHED will get free tuition fees, miscellaneous, and other charges during the start of the academic year given the applicant meets the following:

  • Pass the admission and retention rules of the institution (no age/financial restrictions.)
  • Don’t have a previous college education.
  • Not overstaying in college (For instance, minimum residency rules with an additional one (1) year as per law.)

Free Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Aside from providing free tuition and miscellaneous fees, UniFAST offers free technical and vocational education and training. It grants learners allowances to help them cover the training expenses, including instructional materials, living allowance, assessment fee for national competency, and startup kits.

TVET Beneficiary

Through this program, applicants can avail of free TVET given they meet the following conditions:

  • Applicants must be admitted in their first National Certificate (NC) I or II in any TESDA-registered Technical Vocational Institution (TVI).
  • Once TESDA implements long-term programs or diplomas, applicants can also avail of free NC III, IV, and V courses.

Short-Term Student Loan Program (SLP)

Under this program, applicants can avail of short-term student loans. Filipino students can use this program to fund undergraduate education, graduate degrees (medicine or law), and licensure exam expenses for review. It grants loans to help students experiencing liquidity issues not exceeding one (1) year.

SLP Beneficiary

The following can apply to short-term SLP:

  • Filipino undergraduate and graduate students admitted to the Registry of Programs, including law and medicine
  • Applicants should be in LUCs, SUCs, state-run TVIs, and private HEIs or TVIs

Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES)

Another program from UniFAST is the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES). With this program, students in LUCs, SUCs, state-run TVIs, and TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs) can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Allowances for supplies, books, and other personal expenses, such as transportation, fair rental fee, purchase of computer/laptop, and other educational expenses
  • Students allowance for housing and boarding expenses

Meanwhile, students in private HEIs or TVIs can avail of the following benefits:

  • Tuition and other school fees (similar to the nearest SUC or state-run TVI in the particular area
  • Allowances for supplies, books, and other personal expenses, such as transportation, fair rental fee, purchase of computer/laptop, and other educational expenses
  • Students allowance for housing and boarding expenses

TES Priority Beneficiaries

  • Students who belong to households listed in Listahan 2.0 are classified based on the projected household income per person.
  • Students not included on the Listahan 2.0 – classified based on the projected household income per person (assessed by the UniFAST Board depending on the proof of income document)

Also, the prioritization does not apply to Filipino students in municipalities and cities where LUC and SUC campus is non-existent.

UniFAST Special Projects


This program is a project under TES designed for college dependents of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It provides each qualified beneficiary of OFWs with a one-time financial assistance worth P30,000, which they can use for their studies and other school-related expenditures.

LANDBANK Mastercard Prepaid Card

Under this program, Filipino students who wish to pursue tertiary education will receive assistance through an exemption from paying tuition fees. The LANDBANK Mastercard Prepaid Card (LMPC) is reloadable and multi-purpose. It also serves as an electronic wallet or debit card, allowing students to pay for transportation and food.

Film Development Council of the Philippines

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) focuses on advancing and implementing policies for the Philippine film industry. This national institution also helps improve and administer the Philippine film industry programs.

Pamantasang Pangmalakasan

Launched by the government, the Pamantasang Pangmalakasan proposes and encourages to make their agencies’ transactions more secure and convenient. It’s an online feature focusing on public and private HEIs to implement the core elements of RA 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA). Additionally, it applies the significant components of Tertiary Education Subsidy and Free Higher Education programs.


With the Unified Financial Assistance System (UniFAST), proven-stricken but deserving Filipino students and dependents of OFWs will receive free tuition and other educational-related expenses, from books and supplies to transportation, rental, and purchase of personal computers.

This agency brings together in one place all the government-funded financial assistance programs to make it easier for Filipino students to access the much-needed support to finish and improve their education. Therefore, we encourage all Filipino students to avail of UniFAST programs and services to reduce their financial burden in completing tertiary education.

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