Monday, September 12, 2011

Government to Spent $1.3 billion for student support

As reported in The Chosun Ilbo,the government and the ruling Grand National Party have decided to allocate more than US$1 billion in next year's budget to help tackle rising college tuition.
The GNP and the finance and education ministries agreed to spend $1.3 billion on national scholarships while having universities use $700 million of their own money.
Under the plan, half of the funds will be used for students from families in the bottom 30 percent income bracket and the other half as subsidies for students in the bottom 70 percent range.
As elaborated upon in The Korea Joongang Daily,the result is that the average tuition for all students will be lowered by 5 percent. Students from families with incomes below the top 30 percentile will see their tuition cut by an average of 22 percent.
In the past, government scholarships were largely reserved for students from the poorest families.
Under the proposed system, which will have to be incorporated in the national budget and passed by the National Assembly, half of the government’s new budget, or 750 billion won, will be spent on direct scholarships to students.
About 675,000 students from families with incomes below the 30th percentile will receive scholarships from 900,000 won to 4.5 million won, which is almost 100 percent of tuition, per semester.
Students from households in the 40 to 70th percentiles will get about 960,000 won per semester. Those from the upper 30th percentile will be offered an average of 380,000 won.
The other half of the government’s new budget will be distributed to universities in proportion to their number of underprivileged students enrolled and the colleges’ financial status.
However, if a university wants to receive the state funds, it will be required to freeze its current tuition and take measures to boost its own scholarship program.

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