What changes in the Free University of SC program in 2024

What changes in the Free University of SC program in 2024
What changes in the Free University of SC program in 2024

The Free University program will have changes in 2024. A decree with amendments in the rules used to calculate the need index for students enrolled in the program was published this week by the State government.

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In summary, the Free University will have three modifications this year, and the first of them is that the scholarships will be exclusively for in-person higher education courses. The change had already been approved in December last year, through a bill in the Legislative Assembly. As a result, distance learning courses are excluded from the free courses offered by the State, both at community universities, within the Acafe system, and at private institutions.

The second change is in the way of calculating the so-called Deficiency Index, the main criterion used to grant scholarships to students with the lowest family income. New questions were included in the calculation of the indicator, such as monthly family expenses on study and public transport and the value of assets owned by the family group. Information on these topics must be passed on by students during registration or re-registration and proven through documents.

With this change, the Deficiency Index will also become the only criterion for defining the classification of students when applying for university scholarships.

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After applications are validated by the university selection committee, students will be listed in descending order according to each student’s Deficiency Index.

— We had placed great emphasis on the impact of tuition fees on income and this made it difficult to have a wider choice in different types of courses — explains the Secretary of State for Education, Aristides Cimadon.

The changes announced at Universidade Gratuita will also apply to scholarships granted through another format created last year, the State Fund for Support for the Maintenance and Development of Higher Education (Fumdes), intended for courses at private universities.

Uniedu scholarships guaranteed until the end of the course

The third change announced this week at Universidade Gratuita is the possibility that students benefiting from study or research scholarships under previous legislation, called Uniedu, will be able to renew their benefits until the end of the course, for students who receive scholarships, or the project, for those who benefit from a research grant.

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Initially, renewal would only be possible until the end of 2023, and from this year onwards, beneficiaries would need to try for a place at Universidade Gratuita — with the risk of not getting a scholarship, as the criteria for the two programs are different.

Students who already have scholarships through Uniedu will need to continue renewing their registration in the program every six months to ensure the continuity of the scholarship.

Program had 4,500 scholarships in the State in 2023

The Universidade Gratuita closed last year with 4,500 scholarships funded by the State and another 1,000 free scholarships offered by universities in the Acafe system — the counterpart of one scholarship paid by universities for every four granted by the government is provided for in the law that created the program .

Another 17,800 students continued to receive scholarships from the old system, Uniedu, until December last year.

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By 2026, the investment estimated by the State government in the Free University program should exceed R$1.2 billion. For the benefit of studying for free, students covered by the program repay 20 hours of work in their area of ​​training, for each month they study at no cost. The compensation can begin during the course or be made up to two years after graduating.

Read too

End of scholarships for distance learning courses at Universidade Gratuita is approved by Alesc

Free University grants 4,500 scholarships in the first semester of operation in SC

Court rejects request from private colleges that tried to block Free University in SC

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Free University program



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