Scholarships are fundamental in molding the educational terrain, granting students access to opportunities that may otherwise remain beyond their reach. Among these laudable initiatives is the CHED SMART Scholarship or the Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Program, a program crafted to embolden individuals through the avenue of education.
In this guide, we uncover the intricacies of the CHED SMART Scholarship, delving into its origins, application procedures, advantages, tales of triumph, hurdles encountered, and the profound influence it exerts within communities.
What is CHED SMART Scholarhip?
In adherence to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7722, also known as the "Higher Education Act of 1994," and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Resolution No. 547-2023 dated September 4, 2023, the implementation of the Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Program has been initiated. This program aims to provide one-time financial assistance to undergraduate students across various Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) nationwide.
How Much Can I Get From CHED SMART Scholarship?
The SMART Grant program aims to offer a one-time fixed grant of twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) to eligible students enrolled in any undergraduate program for Academic Year (AY) 2023-2024. This assistance is part of the National Employment Recovery Strategy, which seeks to enhance students' success in graduating despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant may cover educational expenses and living allowances.
To be eligible for the SMART Grant, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Filipino Citizenship: Applicants must be Filipino citizens.
- Income Limit: The combined household (parents/guardian) gross annual income should not exceed Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP400,000.00).
- Enrollment Status: Applicants must be enrolled in any curricular year level of their first undergraduate degree in CHED-recognized bachelor's degree programs offered by Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) or State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)/Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) with Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) for the First Semester, AY 2023-2024.
- Non-Recipient Status: Applicants must not be recipients/grantees/beneficiaries of any national government-funded scholarship or educational grant within AY 2023-2024, except for the Free Higher Education (FHE) program under Section 4 of R.A. No. 10931.
Applicants are required to submit the SMART Application Form along with the following documents:
- Certified true copy of Certificate of Registration/Enrollment (CORS/COEs) as proof of enrollment.
- Proof of income, which may include:
- Certificate of Indigency from their Barangay
- Certificate of Tax Exemption from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
- Case Study Report from City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office
- 2022 BIR Income Tax Return (ITR) showing a combined household gross annual income not exceeding Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP400,000.00).
Application Procedures, Validation, Issuance of Notice of Award
Students should submit a completed SMART Application Form to the CHED-Office of Student Development and Services (OSDS). CHED OSDS will:
- Review the application documents.
- Prepare a consolidated list of student-applicants.
- Prepare a master list of grantees with corresponding award numbers.
- Notify the concerned CHEDRO regarding the list of qualified grantees.
- Provide Notices of Award (NOA) to grantees.
Procedures of Payout
Transfer of Funds from CHED Central Office (CO) to CHEDROs: Funds will be released to CHEDROs based on the list of grantees endorsed by OSDS.
Transfer of Funds from CHEDRO to Grantees: CHEDRO processes the financial assistance of grantees by issuing a cheque. Grantees must present a valid school ID or any government-issued ID upon claiming the cheque.
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Frequently Asked Questions About CHED SMART Scholarship
Who is eligible to apply for the CHED SMART Program?
Eligibility criteria include Filipino citizenship, enrollment in a CHED-recognized undergraduate program for AY 2023-2024, a household income not exceeding Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP400,000.00), and non-recipient status of other national government scholarships except the Free Higher Education (FHE) program.
What is the amount of financial assistance provided by the CHED SMART Program?
The CHED SMART Program offers a one-time fixed grant of twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) to qualified undergraduate students.
What documents are required for application to the CHED SMART Program?
Applicants must submit a completed SMART Application Form along with supporting documents such as a Certificate of Registration/Enrollment, proof of income, and other specified documents.
How are applicants notified if they are selected for the CHED SMART Program?
CHED's Office of Student Development and Services (OSDS) reviews application documents, prepares lists of student-applicants and grantees, notifies CHED Regional Offices (CHEDROs) of qualified grantees, and issues Notices of Award (NOA) to successful applicants.
What expenses can the CHED SMART grant cover?
The grant may be used to support educational expenses and living allowances, aiding students in their pursuit of academic success amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitating the transition to recovery.
Other Scholarship Programs in the Philippines
- CHED Scholarship
- TESDA Scholarships
- DOST Scholarships
- GSIS Scholarship
- SM Foundation Scholarship
- Ayala Foundation Scholarship
- Metrobank Foundation Scholarship
- Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Scholarship
- Megaworld Foundation Scholarship
- MVP Academic Achievement Award
- DOH Pre-Service Scholarship Program
- L.A.N.I. Scholarship
Also check out my list of College and Postgraduate Scholarships in the Philippines