The government has announced that it will spend a whopping 1.75 trillion won this year to increase the amount of scholarships for college students in an effort to alleviate the burden of skyrocketing tuitions.
The National Scholarship operated by the Korea Student Aid Foundation is a scholarship system that allows everybody to have an opportunity at higher education according to will and ability, regardless of economic situation.
Students who are Basic Livelihood Protection Recipients, or below the 30% rank in income (converted earnings around 30 million won per annum), and who receive more than 80 points (converted from grade to percentage) in their previous term’s grades will be eligible for National Scholarship Type I.
National Scholarship Type II has the same standard grade as Type I, and students who are below the 70% rank in family income (converted earnings around 50 million won per annum) will be eligible for Type II.
The government seems to be using much of its power to reduce tuition in this way. However, a strange thing can happen. A student whose parents have a foreign car can be chosen as a scholarship recipient while students who really need scholarships are eliminated.
This is because the selection of beneficiaries is based not on real income but on declared income. The people who have not earned income but have capital assets should not receive benefits. In a case like that, if people who have wealthy families lie about their income, they can benefit.
Although the government pumped money into national scholarships, it has not led to enough practical effect. Government and the school will need more precise rules for selecting beneficiaries.
Choi Deok-yoon -
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