Things you need to know on Senior High School voucher

How much will SHS cost?

SHS is free for students who go to public schools, just like the earlier grades. For private SHS students, costs will vary by school but they may avail of some government tuition subsidy upon request.

What kind of financial assistance is being extended to public school students who opt to transfer to a private SHS?

Grade 10 completers from public schools who want to enroll in a private or non-DepEd SHS automatically qualify for financial assistance through the SHS voucher program. All Grade 10 completers from private schools may also apply for a voucher.

According to the Department of Budget and Management, P12.2 billion has been set aside for the SHS voucher program.

What is the SHS voucher?

The SHS voucher represents funds that will cover the tuition, or a part of it, when public school students enroll in non-DepEd SHS. Expenses such as daily allowance and transportation cost are not part of the deal.

The voucher is not a physical piece of paper that can be transacted like cash, but its monetary value may be enough to cover the full cost of SHS tuition and miscellaneous fees at a private institution, depending on its location. It will be released directly to the non-DepEd schools where Grade 11 voucher recipients choose to enroll.

Public school Grade 10 completers and all private school Grade 10 completers who are Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees need not apply as they are automatically qualified to receive the vouchers.

Although more than 50,000 vouchers have been awarded according to DepEd, online applications have been reopened until May 6 to give more Grade 11 students the option to enrol in non-DepEd SHS.

To apply, go to, the Private Education Assistance Committee’s Online Voucher Application Portal.

Applications will be until May 6 only. Results will be announced on or before May 20.

Will the voucher program allow students to choose a school?

The voucher program will allow students to choose any private or non-DepEd school granted a permit by the DepEd to offer SHS if they decide not to go to a public SHS where no vouchers are required.

How much is the SHS voucher worth?

The voucher value varies depending on the location of the SHS where it will be used and the type of voucher recipient.

The full value of the voucher in the National Capital Region is P22,500. In highly urbanized cities outside NCR, the voucher is worth P20,000. In all other cities and municipalities, its value is P7,500.

Students who finished Grade 10 at public schools qualify for 100 percent of the voucher value, meaning if they prefer to go to any private SHS in NCR, they are entitled to a voucher amount of P22,500. Grade 10 completers from private schools will qualify for only 80 percent, or P18,000.

Grade 11 students who choose to enroll at SHS attached to SUCs or LUCs will qualify for only 50 percent of the voucher value. For example, University of Makati will only be paid 50 percent of P22,500 when it enrolls a Grade 10 completer whether the student comes from either a public or private school.

For how long can a student avail of the SHS voucher?

The voucher is good for use only in the school year immediately following Grade 10.

Students can avail of the voucher for two successive school years only. So if a student fails Grade 11, the voucher program will not cover the Grade 12 tuition anymore.

But students can always enroll at a public SHS for free or at a private or non-DepEd schools at their own expense.

What is the assurance to parents that the SHS voucher program will be continued by the next administration?

The SHS voucher program is not just a stop-gap answer to a problem, according to the DepEd. First, the program is in the law. Second, it has been difficult historically to slash budgets for programs that are running and working, and the voucher is fast becoming a popular program because it opens up choices for students and provides financial assistance to learners.

The DepEd has approved 50,000 voucher applications—essentially every student who submitted all requirements. Because the program is needs-based, the department did not look at grades.

The spirit of the voucher is very simple, said Uy: The government spends for students who go to public schools; if students go to private schools, the government should still fund them if they need to be supported.

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