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Guidelines: How Can Incoming Freshmen Apply to UP This Year?

UP adjusted their admission policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, the COVID-19 has changed so many things for us— from the way we live, to how we socialize with others, and even how students apply for colleges.

In the past, entrance and admission tests (CETs/CATs) were administered by colleges and universities to determine who will be admitted to their degree programs. But for this year, these educational institutions have decided to forgo their CETs to avoid further spread of the novel coronavirus. (Read: ‘To All The Boys 3’ Trailer: 4 Striking Lines We Can All Relate To)

Among the universities that have adjusted their admission guidelines in light of the pandemic is the University of the Philippines (UP). In the previous years, the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) was one of the most awaited tests for many incoming college students. But the state university has announced last month that they would not be administering the UPCAT for 2021, and will instead use a “modified admissions system” to pick among the applicants.

Modified Admissions System

Photo from Philippine Star

For the modified admissions system, UP will be using data analytics to determine which students are eligible among the thousands of applicants. The data includes the applicants’ grades in high school and other non-academic records. (Read: Here’s Why the World Is Alarmed by the UK COVID-19 Variant)

The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), which also opted to not hold the ACET for this academic year, is using a similar metric to determine the eligible applicants. On the other hand, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) is using its new admission system called USTAR which computes a score for the records provided by the applicant, based on the university’s own parameters and scoring system.

UP Application Guidelines

Photo from University of the Philippines Facebook

Despite the adjustments amid the pandemic, thousands are still looking to enter the state university. And if you’re one of those who are aspiring to become an Iskolar ng Bayan, My Pope is listing what you have to do in order to successfully apply to the university!

Step 1: Access the UP College Admission Portal.
The UP College Admission Portal is where an applicant can sign up and fill out the necessary forms needed for their application. This can be accessed through

The Office of Admissions is requesting everyone not to do multiple sign-ups as this makes the queue longer for verification codes, thus lengthening the sign-up time. They also suggested accessing the website from 11 PM to 9 AM as these are the ‘decongested’ hours of the website. (Read: #PisayGiveUsABreak Trends Online As Students Demand Academic Break)

Step 2: Fill out the necessary forms.
The portal will be asking you to fill out a personal data sheet (Form 1) and upload your ID photo and electronic signature. The high schools are the ones responsible for uploading their students’ grades to the portal. If a student has no grades available in the portal, they must contact their school in order for them to upload the necessary records.

Step 3: Submit the data and wait.
After accomplishing all forms and records, you can now submit your application. After submission, you just have to wait for a notification from the university on whether or not you have been admitted to UP. Make sure your email address is active and you don’t forget your password to the admission portal. (Read: UP Open University Makes Online Bridge Courses Free for Public)

Applications are now being accepted and the deadline is on February 15. Manual applications will also be accepted by the university, but online application is encouraged. You may check the UP Office of Admissions Facebook page, UP website and Facebook page, and official Twitter account for updates.

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