Cost of college in the Philippines – our experience at Central Philippine University

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Our niece Donnabel has been accepted at Central Philippine University (CPU) in Iloilo City.  CPU is considered to be one of the better Philippine colleges.  Donnabel will be enrolled in a four year accounting degree program.

We know many foreigners are interested in supporting college educations for Filipino relatives so we’ll provide some first hand information on what it should cost.

We paid Donnabel’s Central Philippines University tuition and fees for the first semester of the 2012-13 school year.  The charge was P16,697 for tuition and fees plus a P375 student fee or about US$400 per semester.

Initially we were thinking that Donnabel could continue to live with us and commute to CPU.  This would allow us to monitor and be involved in Donnabel’s education, but once we found out that Donnabel’s first semester classes would begin at 8:00am and finish at 7:10pm we realized that commuting would not really be feasible, since we live in Tigbauan, Iloilo, about 25KM and three jeepney rides from CPU.   We were hoping that we could get Donnabel a place in CPU’s Weston dormitory for women.  We visited the dorm.  It seemed like a great environment, but unfortunately there were no vacancies.

Our visit to the Weston dorm presented another example of the impressive administration of CPU.   Wherever we went at CPU there always seemed to be a student assigned to answer visitor questions.  These students were polite, informed and fluent in English.  Impressive!

With no room at the women’s dorm we visited a few boarding houses near the CPU campus.  These boarding houses provide spartan, economical housing to students.  We selected one very close to the campus.  Each small room accommodates four female students in two bunk beds.  Each student has a locker but there is little room for anything else, including desks.  Bathrooms are down the hall and shared.  The boarding house we chose costs P1,500 per month per student for a non-air-conditioned accommodation and P2,000 (plus electricity) for air con spaces.  Drinking water is an additional P25 per week.  There are no cooking facilities but residents are allowed to have a hot pot or rice cooker which will be used to cook “ramen” noodles — a staple of college students world-wide.

For P1,500 per month you get a bed space in a boarding house

 

Inside the college boarding house.  Each student gets a locker.

One of my sons attended Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.  The cost of housing for students there was and continues to be a huge problem.  The idea of a $35 per month student accommodation, however spartan, is astounding.

Donnabel will have a few more expenses.  Her food allowance will likely be about P100 per day.  She’ll have to buy textbooks.  So, it looks like about P80,000 per year in total or nearly $2,000 US per year.

Green CPU Campus

We accompanied Donnabel during the Central Philippine University registration process.  It was all amazingly similar to what I remember as a student fifty years ago and what I experienced as a parent.  Many of the parents arrived in SUVs, just like at home, and the parents went from office to office with their children like mother hens wanting to make sure that everything went well for their chicks about to leave their nests.  Just as I remember it from my past, the process was horribly crowded and chaotic with hundreds or thousand of students and parents jamming every office.  Still, we give credit to CPU.  The information office and the students working there were genuinely helpful.  Everyone, staff, kids and parents were pretty patient despite the heat, the crowds and the endless waits.   In many ways, Filipinos are the most civilized people on earth.

Luce Library at CPU

 

Comments (12) Write a comment

  1. Very Nice information, thank you. The wife and I are researching costs, schools and transferable credits to states for our daughter. In about 5 years we desire to retire in Philippines but I daughter will be ready for college then. We were thinking we may be able to afford school there but don’t know what courses will transfer on an equal basis for here at home. We hear nursing is a safe bet so long as it’s a good school but not sure. Any recommendations how, where we can zero in on this info? My searches on line have lead me here. Thanks and any advice is welcome

    Regards
    Bob

    Reply

    • Your daughter will have to take licensure exams in the U.S. So, send her to the best possible medical school. She will have the advantage of being a U.S. citizen, so no immigration issues, a real plus.

      Reply

    • Your daughter will have to take licensure exams in the U.S. So, send her to the best possible medical school. She will have the advantage of being a U.S. citizen, so no immigration issues, a real plus.

      Reply

  2. Sorry the page you are looking for cannot be found on the server. Click here to go back to home page.

    THIS IS THE REPLY I GOT AFTER I SEND THE MAIL I SENT YOUR SCHOOL JUST AWHILE AGO INQUIRING ABOUT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGNERS WHO WISHED TO STUDY IN YOUR SCHOOL.

    IF THIS IS THE REPLY THAT WE WHO WANTS TO CONTACT YOUR SCHOOL RECEIVED , HOW CAN WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU?

    Reply

    • Marissa,

      Sorry for your problems. Just a reminder that myphilippinelife.com is a blog, not a website for any school. You will have to research the websites for the schools you are interested in and contact them directly. Many of them may not respond to emails, even if they have an email link. It’s best to call or visit the admissions office.

      Good luck

      Bob and Carol

      Reply

  3. Hello my girlfriend is planning to proceed in Medicine, I would like to ask how much is the tuition fee, books, miscellaneous etc. Thank you.

    Reply

  4. I’m a centralian by heart (CPU College of Education’91), my hats off to you for upholding the central spirit.

    Reply

  5. Your blog post provides great ideas how to go about schooling in the Philippines, particularly at our beloved Alma Mater, Central Philippine University. Thank you for choosing CPU, not really a perfect school but I’m very sure that Donnabel would avail much from EXCEL.

    Reply

  6. Question? I’m a Navy Vet, planing to use my GI Bill there, I’m 28, and already had 2 years of college here in the U.S. My first question is that, i know i have to take another entrance exam to get into the college, but i want to know the difference from the entrance exam in the U.S college and the entrance exam there in philippines for Central. Also as a single pinoy living off of 1,300 a month can i survive there, with that kind of money? If i ever need money i always have my parents, but i want to be able to support myself without asking for money. Info about myself, i was born there, and i left when i was 5 years old, i still speak tagalog and understand. Im also raised in eating pinoy food, as a military person, i can survive eating, ramin and rice along with sardine with tomato sauce for months on end lol, i did that during my first year in the military, living in the barracks. I don’t want to share a room, since i don’t know who i can trust having my electronics around, T.v, laptop etc… how much is a nice ac condo for rent there? I also know from seeing some of the Condo pic, there way way way smaller from the condo’s here in the U.S. I just want to have space, ac, internet and no flood lol. Pref.. one place that water, sewer, electricity comes along with the rent, like here in the states.

    Reply

    • Dominick,

      Are you a Philippine citizen as well as U.S.? If you have two years of college in the U.S. I don’t think you’ll have any problems with the entrance exam. My niece was a so-so high school student and got into CPU. You should be able to live very nicely as a single student on $1,300, including your own quite nice air conditioned apartment. You can get a small basic two bedroom apartment for less than P8,000. Furnished places are scarce. We paid $500 for a very deluxe, furnished two bedroom apartment in Iloilo City. That’s very high. When we moved to Tigbauan we paid P11,000 for a small, nicely furnished, seaside apartment. Anyway, P15,000 should get you a nice place. Have some money available for first, last and current month plus maybe damage deposit and furnishings and necessities. There are few condos in Iloilo City. You’ll likely have to pay your own electricity, internet, drinking water. There are places, residence hotels, which will provide everything but you’ll pay more. Will you use public transport or need to buy a scooter or car?

      Good luck,

      Bob and Carol

      Reply

  7. Pingback: We send our nieces to school…. | My Philippine Life

  8. That’s amazingly inexpensive. My youngest son is attending a local community college and just his tuition and fees for one semester for 12 hours (minimum for a full load) is around 900 dollars a semester. If he were attending the local public .state university, it would be around 4,000 dollars a semester.

    Reply

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