SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of university students from low-income households will receive tuition discounts of up to 50 percent from this year.
The Ministry of Education said on Tuesday that nearly 3 in 10 university students will benefit from the national low-income scholarship programs this year, as government funding has increased to nearly 3.7 trillion won, up 49.9 billion won from last year.
An estimated 600,000 students, accounting for 28 percent of all university students in South Korea, and 75 percent of all recipients of national scholarship programs, will pay only half of their tuition fees.
The number is up by nearly 80,000 from last year, thanks to increased funding and less strict income requirements set by the education ministry this year.
“The new move addresses criticism that there is lack of support for median income households. Over the next five years, we are investing an additional 1 trillion won to raise the number of scholarship recipients and the amount of scholarship money,” the ministry said.
National scholarships are given to low-income university students in South Korea with an overall GPA of B or higher, and students will be eligible for up to 5.2 million won per year.
For instance, students from households with an income at the median level will be able to claim 3.86 million won as opposed to 2.86 million won this year.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the median monthly income for a four-person South Korean household is nearly 4.5 million won this year.
University students who received other national scholarships while in middle school and high school will also be eligible for the higher education scholarship programs for low-income students.
In addition, up to 1 million won earned by students from part-time jobs will be deducted from their household income calculation, which determines one’s eligibility and the amount each recipient can claim.
All students from multi-children families will be on the receiving end of state-backed tuition fee discounts from this year, as opposed to the previous minimum requirement of three children.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)