The son asks, “Ma, mag-enroll po ba ako?” to which the mom replies, “Bukas na, anak.”
This exchange has been repeated thrice in Bukas’ newest online video aptly entitled “Kulit.” The video shows a son following up on his mom to meet the deadline of his enrollment by the end of the week. His mom tries her best to have enough funds for his tuition by doing different income generating activities but still fails to meet the deadline. The son would then introduce Bukas. The video ends with the mother and son applying for a tuition installment plan, securing the tuition fee and his future.
Despite its light tone, the video leaves a bit of twinge in the chest as we see the mom’s struggles and the son’s concern for his future yet understanding of the situation, reflected on his face every time he gets the same answer.
This is the challenge faced by many Filipino parents who only desire to see their children attain a degree in hopes of having a better future. But with the economy taking a hit, resources to send children to school have become even more limited, with over 4 million students not enrolling in 2020. Driven by the desire to continuously send their children to school, parents resort to alternative financing options, but most of the available options are not always the best in the long run, and cater to only a limited set of borrowers with its conditions, namely:
- Government Loans and Scholarships: Long and competitive process, usually has a high maintaining grade requirement.
- Private Bank Loans: Requires collateral that the more financially challenged families may not have. Also has higher interest rates.
- Friends and Relatives and Loan Sharks: May have outrageous interest rates, comes with unforeseen complications due to its vague nature.
Having seen the opportunity to be a game-changer, the founders of Bukas developed the platform to extend real help to parents and students. Bukas, a tech-enabled education financing platform by its parent company ErudiFi, is offering an affordable, complementary solution that aims to empower Filipino families to build a better tomorrow through quality education. The offering is accessible to more families and students who are not able to rely on bank loans, credit cards, or scholarships. With the following offers, the platform strives to deliver its “Ang Bukas Mo, Sigurado” promise:
- Up to 100% coverage from start to finish – Students can re-apply for additional tuition coverage every semester to make sure they can graduate.
- Interest rate lower than others – With a fixed monthly interest rate capped at 1.5% and payment installments up to 12 months, Bukas makes it sustainable to parents, and even to working students to manage their school finances.
- Pay early, earn rebates – Students who want to fully pay the loan in less than 12 months can do so without any pre-termination fees. In fact, they will earn rebates because they will only be charged interest for the months they consumed.
- Convenient payment options – Students can pay their monthly dues via GCash, Bayad Center, Unionbank, or at thousands of bank and non-bank payment centers powered by Dragon Pay.
Bukas now has a total of 35 partner schools, with presence in 71 campuses, including Mapua University, Far Eastern University, Adamson University, Our Lady of Fatima University, PHINMA Education Network, University of Nueva Caceres, Centro Escolar University, Eskwelabs, De La Salle University, University of Asia and the Pacific to more specialized institutions like SoFA Design Institute, Enderun Colleges, Avion School, and Uplift Code Camp.
Hanna Grace Laud, an FEU graduate, expresses her gratitude for having discovered Bukas, “Ang laki ng naitulong ng Bukas sa pag-aaral ko dahil ang hirap talaga magbayad ng buo sa tuition fees lalo na sa panahon ngayon. So nagpapasalamat ako sa Bukas dahil meron silang tuition installment plan para sa aming mga students at dahil doon naabot ko ‘yung mga pangarap ko at nakapagtapos ako ng pag-aaral.”
“We are strongly committed to providing students access to quality education and pave a path towards a brighter future. By providing education-focused financial products, we hope to reduce the number of out-of-school youth, and build a more secure future for the next generation,” shares JR Emlano, Country Manager of Bukas.