QUALIFYING for UST is no longer as easy as it was four years ago as comparative data released by the Office for Student Admissions (OFAD) for the last five years revealed a decline in the number of students who have met the University standards.

From 2002 to 2005, only an average of 11,060 students yearly passed the UST Entrance Test (USTET), while an average of 22,024 examinees passed for 2000 and 2001. Data for the current school year were still unavailable as of press time.

The OFAD data revealed that almost 60 per cent of the students who took the USTET in 2000 and 2002 qualified for enrollment. However, since the implementation of the new rule covering applicants for Academic Year (AY) 2002-03, the passing percentage decreased to 30 per cent. Out of the 35,578 examinees in 2002, only 11,976 students passed the exams. For AY 2000-01, 22,651 passed, while 21,417 passed for AY 2001-2002.

Of the qualified applicants, only 7,000 applicants have enrolled yearly for the past five years. It reached a high 7,180 undergraduate enrollees for AY 2002-03 and a low of 6,274 enrolees for AY 2001-02.

OFAD director Dr. Mary Ann Vargas told the Varsitarian that the University’s desire to get the quality applicants pressed the college deans to raise the cutoff scores of the different programs.

“There are many students who want to enter UST, so to maintain the quality of students, we have to set higher (standards),” Vargas said. “We want to make sure that we always have a better set of students.”

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The way we are

Difficulty of USTET

The USTET focuses on English, Science, Math and Intelligence Quotient (IQ). To pass, a student must at least meet the required score in each subject, which varies from college to college.

Vargas said despite the quantity of students who want to enter UST, most of the programs offered are quota courses, and thus only accommodate a limited number of students.

The College of Nursing, posted the highest number of applicants for the past two years, averaging 11,485 applicants a year. But, on the average, only 700 applicants qualified, and only 500 were accepted for the program.

Meanwhile, the College of Science, suffered the biggest decrease in applicants from 9,010 in AY 2001-02 to 2,060 applicants in 2004-05. Of these, 2000 1,093 qualified, but not more than 60 per cent enrolled for the course.

“The applicants have to be aware that the competition is stiffer now,” Vargas said. “We do not have room for too many students.”

Vargas said that the students who were not admitted to the programs they applied for, could still enter UST through academic placement. However, this would depend upon the availability of slots from the different colleges to which their USTET scores apply. April Dawn Jennifer C. Adriatico

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