It's SONA time once again, and President Noynoy Aquino's now rocky presidency will come under intense scrutiny from the public. Whether he commits another faux pas by so bluntly defying the Supreme Court, or achieve the improbable by restoring faith in his administration, we're not so sure. And frankly, we can't be sure until a some time passes by.
Here in CollegeRev however, we'll view the event with a bit of looking back, once again from the perspective of Higher Ed, by showing you the educational demographics of President Aquino's cabinet. The list is made in order of quantity. The colleges (note: undergraduate) with the highest representations come first.
#1 University of the Philippines - Diliman (6 members)
Not really a surprise here, as UPD alumni are scattered across the different government departments and offices. They include:
Dept. of Health (DOH): Enrique Ona
Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH): Rogelio Singson
Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD): Dinky Soliman
Dept. of Science and Technology: Mario Montejo
Dept. of Agrarian Reform: Virgilio de los Reyes
Dept. of Tourism: Ramon Jimenez
#2 De La Salle University - Manila (4 members)
A very big surprise here, since President Aquino is well known for being an Atenean, all the way up to his college years. The Ateneo battle hymn, 'Blue Eagle the King' even played regularly in the previous SONAs. So there is, apparently, no hint of the usual college tribalism present, and nor will Ateneans get the same treatment in government that Harvard law grads get in Suits. Sorry Blue Eagles.
Dept. of Justice: Leila de Lima
Dept. of Finance: Cesar Purisima
Presidential Spokesperson: Edwin Lacierda
Dept. of Education: Armin Luistro
#3 Ateneo de Manila University (3 members)
Dept. of Budget and Management: Florencio Abad
Dept. of Energy: Jericho Petilla
Dept. of Trade & Industry: Gregory Domingo
#4 (tie, arranged alphabetically) Luzonian University Foundation (1 member)
Dept. of Agriculture Proceso Alcala
#4 (tie) Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQ)
Dept. of Labor & Employment: Rosalinda Baldos
#4 (tie) New York University
Dept. of Foreign Affairs: Albert del Rosario
#4 (tie) Philippine Military Academy
Dept. of National Defense: Voltaire Gazmin
#4 (tie) United States Naval Academy
Dept. of Transportation and Communication: Jun Abaya
#4 (tie) The University of Pennsylvania
Dept. of Interior and Local Government: Mar Roxas
#4 (tie) University of the Philippines - Los Baños
Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources: Ramon Paje
#4 (tie) University of Santo Tomas
Executive Secretary: Paquito Ochoa
To the unfamiliar and uninitiated, the new trending topic on Twitter, #ThomasianWelcomeWalk, is probably a mystery. For those among us who are uninformed, this article will explain to you the basics of what is already a beloved part of the UST experience.
The Welcome Walk is an event held annually by the university, wherein the incoming freshmen are welcomed by the university community and walk through the Arch of the Centuries, and head towards the Main Building. After that, they usually have a mass and an event where campus organizations and groups hold a sort of welcome party for the newly minted Thomasians. It is the university's way of linking their current students with their heritage and to create a certain rite of passage that binds all UST alumni.
Contrary to what you may think however, the Welcome Walk itself is not an age old tradition, and in fact dates back only to 2002, when it was simply known as "The Rites of Passage." Nevertheless, it is a new tradition that the university's community has taken to very well and looks to be a binding experience for their alumni for years to come.
The application essay is often an underrated aspect of the Ateneo application. Rumours are the committee doesn't even read the essays unless you failed to pass the ACET, but I would like to think not. We think that the essay, in contrast, could make or break your application.
What if your ACET scores and HS grades are terrible? Do you have the personal qualities to justify getting in? What if your ACET scores and HS grades are sky high, but your essay comes off as pretentious or disappointingly weak? Wouldn't it raise doubts on whether you deserve a spot and whether your academic record is valid? It is in moments like these, and during the appeal process, that the essay comes into play, and for that reason we think it is a very important component of your application.
Anyways, here's a list of 3 ways we think you can best utilize and write your essay for your application:
1. Tell a story, one that talks about who you really are. And don't tell someone else's
Most applicants make the mistake of turning their essays not into stories, but into any of the following:
a) Self-glorification pieces
b) A pseudo-list of achievements
c) A persuasive essay/argument (please please please let me in!!)
d) Cliched stories about determination, hard work etc.
Don't do that. Seriously. It makes you look like a dweeb in front of the admissions staff, and it certainly isn't proper for a mature, young adult to be writing something similar. Instead, write in-depth about experiences that made you change your outlook towards life, or helped you realize things you never did before. And often, these things happen in the context of your everyday life, so don't be afraid to use those examples, just as long as you present them in a compelling and insightful manner.
2. Have someone read and edit your essay
When you finish writing your first draft, it's hard not to feel like its the most awesome clutter of words you have written, but don't fall for it, and let someone else read it first because chances are, you made a mistake or two with your grammar, and you may have emitted a certain tone in your essay that doesn't sit nicely with what an admissions office wants. Having another reader, two if possible, helps eliminate this risk.
3. Make your essay memorable
Ok, so not every one of us has exactly had a near-death experience, rose from extreme circumstances like starvation or walked 20 miles to school everyday. The vast majority of applicants lived regular lives with not a lot of scruff, but the Ateneo will be reading over 18,000 essays, so you at least have to write about something genuinely you, but at the same time non-standard. Perhaps you can give a different take on everyday experiences and tell the reader things even he or she would appreciate knowing, like how you view your daily commute to school, or how you learned to appreciate the value of acceptance from the story of Miley. Things like that.
Still confused or unsatisfied? Read some sample essays! You can also like our Facebook page to receive updates on new articles and resources!
From The Philippine Collegian and the University of the Philippines
Earlier in July 3, the University of the Philippines' administration made an announcement regarding their overhaul of their financial aid, in the form of the Socialized Tuition System, or the STS. They made this announcement in the face of stinging criticism from students via Twitter, who expressed their discontent with the supposedly inaccurate bracket placements through the hashtag #BracketAKaNa. Now, with an article from the Philippine Collegian, the university's student publication, the students strike back and claim that the STS is not nearly as successful as the administration claims it is.
As you can see in in the infographic above, a much bigger portion of students have indeed applied for STS at UP, with compared with a 40% application rate under what was then the STFAP, but this is due largely to the fact that unlike under the STFAP, an application for the STS is required. The Philippine Collegian also reveals that the number of E1 & E2 bracket students, who comprise roughly 3% of all STS applicants and receive free tuition, are at a low point, with around 10% of students from 2007-2012 placed in these brackets.
Then there are discrepancies between the contrasting claims of the Philippine Collegian and the UP Administration, putting some doubts as to who has the more reliable information. For starters, UP says that 48% of students were put in brackets A and B, while the Collegian puts it at a much higher 59%. Also, the UP Administration's statistics notably do not specify the percentage of students under each specific bracket, instead lumping all the students from brackets C-E2 under one category, which does not tell us the particular amount of students who received a full tuition and fees grant. Likewise, it does not make a side-by-side comparison between the amount of students in specific brackets from STFAP and the STS.
Whether the students are using exaggerated statistics, or the UP Administration is cherry-picking facts to make the STS look successful, we do not know for sure, but financial realities for UP students struggling to get by with their tuition payments remain. And it doesn't look like they'll get a respite soon either, because the new STS, judging from the persistent complaints and contrasting claims, is still due for a very long discussion.
Read more at The Philippine Collegian and the UP Website.
A lot of us might write a lot of idealistic stuff on our college application essays about a genuine love for learning, passion, and saving the world or whatever else we thought of back then, but let's face it, for many people, going to college is all about the dollars you're going to make afterwards. With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 universities around the world who have the most alumni who could have claimed to have written at least nine digits for their net worth.
There are a few notable surprises, with a certain school from a certain city trumping its old, traditionally superior, neighbour.
And there are some notable non-surprises too. You'll see.