The program was established through Republic Act No. 10931 providing for free tuition and other school fees in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) and state-run Technical Vocational Institutions (STVIs), establishing the Tertiary Education Subsidy and Student Loan Program (SLP), strengthening the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST), and appropriating funds therefor. It is hereby declared that quality education is an inalienable right of all Filipinos and it is the policy of the State to protect and promote the rights of all students to quality education at all levels. The State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private higher education institutions and technical-vocational institutions in the educational system and the invaluable contribution that the private tertiary schools have made and will make to education.

The program aims to:

  1. Provide adequate funding and such other mechanisms to increase the participation rate among all socioeconomic classes in tertiary education;
  2. Provide all Filipinos with equal opportunity to quality tertiary education in both private and public education institutions;
  3. Give priority to learners who are technically-able and who come from poor families;
  4. Ensure the optimized utilization of government resources in education;
  5. Provide adequate guidance and incentives in supporting young Filipinos with their career choices towards the proper development and utilization of human resources; and
  6. Recognize the complementary roles of public and private TVIs in the tertiary education system.