Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UniFAST)

The Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act, or UniFAST, is an office by the Philippine government designed to unify all state-funded financial aid programs for students under one comprehensive system. This significant reform aims to simplify the process of accessing scholarships, grants, student loans, and other educational support mechanisms, making higher tertiary learning more attainable for Filipino students across the country. The program not only streamlines the application procedure for financial assistance but also ensures that a wider range of students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, can benefit from these opportunities.

UniFAST’s creation was driven by the need to address the fragmented nature of previous financial aid programs, which often made it challenging for many Filipinos to pursue tertiary learning. With over 500,000 students benefiting since its implementation, the program has been instrumental in increasing enrollment rates among low-income families, promoting social mobility, and contributing to the development of a skilled workforce. Eligibility for the program encompasses a broad spectrum of Filipino students who meet the admission criteria of their respective tertiary institutions. The system is grounded in Republic Act No. 10687, ensuring that its benefits are accessible, efficient, and equitably distributed. As the program continues to evolve, it remains a cornerstone in the Philippines’ commitment to fostering educational equity and empowering its citizens through quality tertiary programs.

UniFAST scholars
Credits: UniFAST / Facebook

What is UniFAST?

The Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act, commonly referred to as UniFAST, is a transformative approach by the Philippine government to consolidate all government-funded student financial aid programs under a single system. This initiative aims to streamline access to scholarships, grants-in-aid, student loans, and other forms of educational support, thereby making tertiary programs more accessible to Filipino students nationwide.

Significance of this Program

Prior to the creation of this system, fragmented financial aid programs limited tertiary learning access for many Filipinos. This act, backed by legislation and implemented through regulations, streamlined access by consolidating various scholarships, grants, and loans under one system. Since its implementation, over 500,000 students have benefited, with studies showing increased enrollment rates, particularly among low-income families. By removing financial barriers and promoting equity, this paves the way for social mobility, empowers individuals, and ultimately contributes to a more skilled national workforce, driving economic growth and development for the Philippines.

Legal Basis

The foundation of this system is Republic Act No. 10687, signed into law on October 15, 2015. This legislation and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were crafted to enhance the implementation of Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) at the tertiary level, ensuring efficient, effective, and equitable access to education for all Filipinos.


UniFAST amalgamates all government-funded StuFAPs, including scholarships, grants, loans, and other specialized forms of assistance, into one comprehensive system. This integration facilitates a more streamlined process for students seeking financial aid, ensuring that the support reaches a broader segment of the population, including those from underprivileged backgrounds.


Eligibility / Qualifications

Eligibility for program benefits varies across its different programs. Generally, Filipino students who meet the admission and retention criteria of their chosen tertiary institutions can apply. Specific programs cater to undergraduates, graduates, and dependents of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), with certain projects designed for those enrolled in priority courses or those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.


Applicants must fulfill specific requirements depending on the program, including admission to state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), or technical-vocational institutions. Documentation proving academic standing, financial need, and, for some programs, the status of being a dependent of an OFW, may be necessary.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Benefit from the Program

Determine Eligibility: Review the specific qualifications for each program to identify which ones you are eligible for.

Gather Required Documents: Collect necessary documentation, including academic records, proof of income, and any program-specific requirements.

Apply: Submit your application through the UniFAST portal or the respective educational institution, depending on the program’s application process.

Follow Up: Keep track of your application status and respond to any additional requests for information or documentation.

Utilize Benefits: Once approved, make sure to comply with the terms and conditions of the financial aid, including maintaining academic standards and fulfilling any return service agreements.

Success Stories / Recent Updates

A Life-Changing Journey with the Tulong Dunong Program

Genevive Singasing, a Bachelor of Science in Criminology student at Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, expresses her utmost gratitude for the Tulong Dunong Program. This generous support has not only alleviated her financial burden but has also provided her with the opportunity to fully immerse herself in her studies, explore internships and research projects, and enhance her learning experience. The encouragement and recognition as a scholarship recipient have boosted her confidence and reaffirmed her commitment to success. Genevive promises to continue striving for excellence and is forever grateful for the lasting impact of this scholarship on her life.

UniFAST OIC Executive Director Ryan Estevez Joins Congressman Haresco in Awarding SMART and Tulong Dunong Grants to Aklan State University Students

UniFAST OIC Executive Director Ryan Estevez joined Congressman Teodorico “Nonong” T. Haresco, Jr. in a ceremonial turn over of Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) and awarding of Tulong Dunong grants to students from Aklan State University in Tangalan, Aklan, on February 16, 2024. The event was attended by Culasi, Antique Mayor Jose Jeffrey Y. Lomugdang and Aklan State University President Emily M. Arangote.

Pursuing Dreams and Overcoming Challenges: Kaironisa Alimpang’s Inspiring Journey

Kaironisa Alimpang, a student at Parang Foundation College Inc., is determined to fulfill her parents’ dreams and overcome the hardships she has faced. Despite the loss of her mother and her father’s sacrifices as a farmer, Kaironisa remains grateful for their support and is motivated to succeed. With the help of UniFAST and CHED PinaSkolar, she is a TES grantee and confident that she will achieve her goal of graduating and making her parents proud.

Students Share Inspiring Stories of Government Support for College Education in Siquijor

Beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) and the CHED Merit Scholarship Program (CMSP) gathered for a ‘Pakighinabi with Chair Popoy De Vera’ session in Siquijor. Students from Siquijor State College and Carmelite College of Siquijor shared their inspiring stories of how these government programs supported their college education. The event, held at the SSC Convention Center in Larena on February 17, 2024, was attended by UniFAST OIC Executive Director Ryan Estevez and SSC President Steven Sumaylo.


Video: Tertiary Education Subsidy

Discover the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) Program, a key project of Republic Act 10931, also known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. Implemented by UniFAST, an attached agency of the Commission on Higher Education, this program aims to provide financial assistance to eligible students pursuing tertiary learning. Stay informed about the latest updates and opportunities offered by the TES Program.



UniFAST represents a significant stride towards making tertiary education more accessible and affordable for Filipino students. By consolidating various government-funded financial assistance programs, this program ensures that financial barriers do not hinder the academic aspirations of deserving students. As this system continues to evolve, it holds the promise of nurturing future generations of Filipinos who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute positively to society.

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