Filipino youths who qualify for education in the University of the Philippines are provided full support to ensure that their admission is fulfilled. Republic Act 9500, also called "The U.P. Charter of 2008" states, "No student shall be denied admission...by reason solely of age, gender, nationality, religious belief, economic status, ethnicity, physical disability, or political opinion, or affiliation."
In addition, "No qualified student shall be denied access to UP education due to financial incapacity", was the instruction of then-UP President Alfredo Pascual in his executive order to the UP Student Loan Board to grant loans to financially-needy students.
Even earlier, since 1989 until 2011, UP had the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) that provided discounts based on household income. In 2012, the STFAP was superseded by the Socialized Tuition System (STS) with a simplified income bracketing. Under STS, lesser-earning households received higher discounts or "full-discount" tuition fees with corresponding stipends. Conversely, students from wealthy households paid the full cost of UP education. Since then, the STS served the UP Mindanao students, most of who qualify for discounts on tuition and other fees.
In 2017, UP President Danilo Concepcion implemented the tuition-free college education in UP as provided through Republic Act 10931 or "Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act”, also known as the “Free Tuition Fee Law”. This is a milestone in the history of higher education, world-wide. Despite the free tuition law, students who qualify for full-discount under the existing STS can avail of the stipend it provides in addition to the 100% discount on tuition and other fees. Students who fail to qualify under the free tuition law can still avail of tuition discounts under the STS.
To address the cost of living, other forms of financial assistance are available to students. There is paid work as student assistants in offices or research assistants in projects. There are cash allowances or stipends from scholarship providers. Dept. of Science and Technology-XI has the biggest number of available scholarships with allowances and tuition support, followed by the UP Alumni Associations and Sun-Life Foundation. The Commission on Higher Education has scholarships for students from indigenous peoples’ communities.
Providers who give allowances-only are the UP Mindanao Foundation, Vicente Bello Scholarship, and Creche Foundation. Scholarship providers who used to provide tuition scholarships are in discussions to convert their tuition subsidies to allowances. In addition, UP has additional subsidies for students doing field work, research, thesis, and graduation-related expenses.
On student welfare, UP has academic tutorials, counseling and guidance, dormitory, health, food, security, and transport support services throughout their stay.
For those who wish to begin their professional lives after completing undergraduate education, employment opportunities as research assistants and associates are available under existing University research projects. UP Mindanao, for its part, has produced 3,072 graduates, many of whom are working in Mindanao where development is taking place.
UP ensures that the best qualified students are given the fullest support from admission to graduation, in order to contribute to Philippine development to the fullest.