What Is The Cost Of Education Philippines? How To Reduce It?

The cost of education Philippines is often a big problem for families because it is a necessary and long-term investment. But it is not necessarily unaffordable if the budget is prepared and supported.

This article will discuss the differences between tuition fees according to educational levels and how to reduce the financial burden on families while ensuring a comprehensive education. Keep reading for useful information about opening up your children’s knowledge!

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Overview Of The Educational Avenues In The Philippines

Overview Of The Educational Avenues In The Philippines

The institutions that conduct academic instruction in the Philippines are divided into two types: public or private, use English and Filipino as mediums of teaching, and offer different education levels.

  • Pre-elementary: for children from 5 years old before entering 1st grade
  • Elementary (known as Primary or Grade school): from 1st to 6th grades
  • Secondary (known as high school): divided into two stages, “junior” – from grades 7 to 10, and “senior” – for grades 11 and 12
  • Higher Education: like Colleges and Universities, etc.

In addition, some areas also have International schools preparatory schools, and others focus on certain subjects and languages.

Public Schools

The Philippines government funds public school tuition and has a program to support disadvantaged families with children. However, they struggle to provide the same quality education as private schools due to overcrowding, lack of materials, and low teacher salaries. Improvements are needed for a better learning environment.

Private Schools

Most private schools in the Philippines started as missionary or Christian schools and often built a faith-based learning system. These schools do not have government funding, so tuition is higher than public schools.

There are negligible changes in the curricula among them. However, private schools have smaller class sizes, more routinely modernized facilities, and frequently greater teacher compensation.

International School

There are many international schools in Manila, but they are expensive and have long waiting lists. The programs are based on English, American, French, German, or Japanese curricula and offer exposure to multinational education. Some schools also offer International Baccalaureate programs.

What Are The Costs Of Education Philippines?

What Are The Costs Of Education Philippines?

Elementary And Secondary Education

Public school students in the Philippines are expected to pay for uniforms, books, supplies, and other costs, which can add up to an estimated 2,500 pesos in expenses. 

But, elementary students are usually exempt from uniform requirements, and the cost of school supplies is typically less than 300 pesos annually. Overall, the average annual expenses for public school students range from 4,000 to 5,000 pesos.

Conversely, costs are higher at private schools, although they also include tuition, uniforms, books, and other incidental expenses. Specifically:

Expenses Average Cost in Education (₱)
Elementary Secondary
Tuition (per year) 30,000 – 200,000 45,000 – 250,000
Uniform 1,000 – 5,000 5,000
Books 10,000 15,000
Additional Fees 12,000 17,000
Annual Total 53,000 –  227,000 82,000 – 287,000

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

Attending a college or university can cost at least ₱100,000 annually, with additional expenses like uniforms, books, school sanitation, and incidentals adding up to around ₱50,000 per year. Tuition fees vary depending on the chosen field of study.

Majors Tuition fee ranges per year (₱)
Public Private
Agriculture 8,000 – 50,000 31,000 – 84,000
Architecture and Engineer 10,000 – 50,000 30,000 – 210,000
Business (including finance, marketing, office administration, etc.) 2,000 – 50,000 26,000 – 165,000
Hospitality Management 3,000 – 44,000 24,000 – 210,000
Information Technology 3,000 – 22,000 30,000 – 180,000
Marine Transportation 6,000 – 48,000 28,000 – 200,000
Science 3,000 – 50,000 40,000 – 225,000

Philippine universities offer many popular majors, but some have unique or more widespread specializations. Here is a list of top colleges and their renowned academic programs to assist you:

Top Universities Outstanding Majors Annual cost (₱)
University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Anthropology
  • Computer Engineering
  • Creative Writing 
  • Journalism
  • Philosophy
40,000 – 50,000 (Free for qualifying students)
University of Santo Tomas
  • Architecture
  • Journalism
  • Physical Therapy
60,000 – 160,000
De La Salle University (DLSU)
  • Arts And Design
  • International Studies
  • Hospitality Management
200,000 – 225,000
Ateneo de Manila University
  • Engineering
  • Law 
  • Liberal Arts
  • Management
  • Sciences
92,000 – 184,000
Mapua University
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
130,000 – 220,000

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

How To Reduce Expenses On The Cost Of Education Philippines

Get Discount

Many private schools provide siblings or other family members a 10% tuition reduction if they attend the same institution. From elementary school to college, everyone is eligible for this discount. 

Additionally, you qualify for a decrease of 5-15% off the total tuition charge if you apply for early admission or pay your tuition payments in advance, even for the following year.

Apply For Subsidies From The Government

Educational Services Contracting (ESC)

The DepEd has implemented the ESC program to reduce student density in public schools. The program reviews applications based on two conditions: admission standards and available slots in private schools. Student’s requirements:

  • Graduated from a public or DepEd-recognized elementary school
  • About to enter 7th grade (passed ALS A&E/PEPT qualifying rounds)
  • Never received ESC benefits
  • Be a Philippine citizen

Each student may come with ESC stipends ranging from 9,000 to 13,000 PHP, depending on the region.

Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP)

SHS VP is aimed at senior high school students (11th and 12th grades) in public and private schools, established by the DepEd and the Private Education Assistance Commission (PEAC). Eligibility requirements include:

  • Enrolling in senior high school for the first time
  • Graduated from DepEd basic education program
  • Pass a Certification or Equivalency Test (same as an official Placement Test)

After passing the test, applying, and being approved, you can receive a subsidy ranging from 14,000 to 17,500 PHP.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

DSWD’s 4Ps program provides financial assistance for health and education to underprivileged individuals, with an annual subsidy of 6,000 PHP per household for health and 3,000 PHP per child for teaching (up to 3 children per household). The program also conducts workshops and health check-ups for families.

“Hunt” The Scholarships

"Hunt" The Scholarships

Students in the Philippines can apply for scholarships at all levels, with options from schools and the government. The process involves submitting test results, academic records, and financial documentation. Awards can range from 10,000 to 300,000 PHP based on academic success and family circumstances.

Minimize Spending Costs

You can also proactively cut unnecessary expenses to save more on tuition fees. Some ways to mention include reusing old books and uniforms through relatives or friends around you. In addition, choosing a dormitory near the school instead of a boarding house or a small apartment also saves extra travel time and rent.


Regarding the cost of education Philippines, in addition to the big difference between public and private schools, you can see the efforts of the government and schools to create conditions to promote education. Students and families can significantly reduce their annual education budget through tuition exemptions, scholarship programs, or grants.

In addition, for higher education levels, you can consider choosing a suitable major and using student loans when necessary!

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