The Department of the Treasury does not rule out extending the expiration date for high school graduate students to access a $ 1,000 voucher for the purchase of computers and equipment related to university studies, a program that is supposed to conclude on December 31 October.
Of the 50,000 public and private school graduates who could benefit from the Technological Solutions Program for Students Starting University Studies, only 32% —or 16,000— have applied for it. Of that amount, only 8% or 1,280 students have been able to redeem the voucher.
According to the Secretary of the Treasury, Francisco Parés Alicea, despite the information campaign, many people are still unaware of the program, and others do not request the help because they have computers or have the financial resources to acquire them. "We will remain vigilant and if it is necessary to extend the period to access and redeem the voucher, we will do so," he said.
Parés Alicea added that there have been no problems with the SURI system – where applicants must register -, and about the low amount of vouchers redeemed, he mentioned that it is due to the lack of inventory in the participating points of sale.
Once the students obtain the voucher through SURI, they must go to any of the authorized stores, accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are minors. There they present the voucher, a photo ID, evidence of 4th year graduation and evidence that they have been accepted into a university.
It was reported that students will be able to choose from the variety of 'laptops', computers and tablets available from well-known brands such as Apple, Lenovo, Samsung and Dell, among others, and with an internet plan.
“We trust that more merchants will want to join the list of authorized sellers, so that the offer increases. This initiative allows students to get better deals and equipment from the internet. The challenge now is availability, something that is happening worldwide and in which the Treasury has no interference ”, he declared.
At the moment there are 14 authorized sellers, among which are: Aeronet, Neptuno, Optico Fiber, Red Verde , Scanner Overseas of Puerto Rico, T-Mobile, Urban Networks, Worldnet, AT&T, Claro, DM Wireless, Intelligent Solutions, Liberty and Modérnica.
The program is part of the allocation of funds from the CARES program to support education to distance for the duration of the pandemic caused by the virus that causes Covid-19.