STARTING this year, applicants who have passed the UST Entrance Test (USTET) but failed to enter their preferred courses due to limited slots have the option of studying at Letran in Intramuros instead.

The Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the second oldest Dominican educational institution in the country, has decided to accept USTET passers to boost enrolment considering only one out of four applicants make it to UST.

In an interview with the Varsitarian, UST Admissions Office head Lucila Bance said that from the 40,000 UST applicants every year, only 10,000 are admitted to the University.

“There will be applicants who will really fail to get a slot in their preferred program because of cut-off scores,” Bance said. “Instead of leaving (the applicants) out, we just recommend Letran. After all, Letran is our sister school.”

Bance explained that only applicants who passed the USTET but fell short of the cut-off scores set by colleges and faculties of the University can apply for Letran. Those who failed the USTET are automatically disqualified. The process, however, is not intended to turn the Intramuros-based campus into a “catch-basin” for surplus UST passers.

“Each program in UST can only accommodate as much that is why there are applicants who will really be left out. The program is focused on helping these applicants by recommending Letran,” Bance said.

Bance noted that since Letran will only accept those who have passed the USTET, this assures the 388-year-old institution that the college applicants are of UST standards.

“If our applicants cannot be admitted, we do not want them to go out there, not knowing where to go. So it is just right and proper to suggest Letran,” Bance said.

Spying made easy

Sister school

It was because of a “Dominican link” that the two historic educational institutions agreed on a joint admission policy, Bance and Letran Admission Office head Erlinda Pontilar said in separate interviews.

The Dominicans founded UST within the walls of Intramuros in 1611 before establishing Letran in 1620. For 307 years, UST and Letran existed side-by-side in the walled city until UST transferred to Sampaloc in 1927 due to the growing number of students.

Letran’s rector, Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P., served as UST rector for two terms.

Pontilar said the tie-up has helped Letran stem the decreasing number of freshman applicants.

“(The policy) boosted Letran’s enrollment because in the past we had difficulty encouraging high school graduates to study here,” Pontilar said. “I know that UST has the luxury of applicants, which I think is more than 40,000 in number every year, while Letran (has a smaller number of applicants).”

Aside from posting banners and streamers announcing the tie-up around the UST campus, the Letran admissions office has also inserted flyers inside the USTET results of UST applicants.

Since Letran also has its own admission process, the UST-to-Letran application is on a first-come, first-served basis. Pontilar said Letran can only accept 3,000 applicants under the tie-up. As of press time, 107 applicants have obtained slots for courses such as in Information Technology, Accountancy, and Hospitality Management, Letran said. John Constantine G. Cordon


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