TACLOBAN CITY, June 2 (PNA) — About 8,000 incoming freshmen college students in Eastern Visayas have applied for scholarship funded by the national government this school year, the Commission on Higher Education regional office reported.

More than half of applicants are for grants-in-aid category since the requirement is only a passing grade and belong low income level of families, said Zonia Salazar, CHED regional technical division assistant chief.

Officially known as Student Financial Assistance Program, the initiative has three categories — scholarship, grants-in-aid and student loan.

“The region got 666 new slots for scholarship category, which offers both full and partial grants to academically competitive students,” Salazar told PNA.

The CHED regional office will complete the selection process within this month.

Full scholarship is intended for high school graduates whose general weighted average (GWA) is at least 90 percent or its equivalent who will enroll in identified priority courses in accredited public or private higher education institutions.

Partial scholarship, on the other hand is for secondary graduates whose GWA is at least 85 percent or its equivalent. Same rule applies to course and school preference.

The budget from CHED for scholarship could be lower this school year since the government will be directly downloading scholarship funds to state universities and colleges.

CHED is still consolidating reports on the amount of assistance to 40 SUCs in Eastern Visayas.

In the last academic year, the region had a total of 21,695 scholars and grantees. Some of these beneficiaries have already graduated earlier. (PNA)