Millions more Chinese university and vocational students from
low-income families will be entitled to some financial assistance
next year as the government plans to double its student aid
The central and provincial governments will spend 30.8 billion
yuan (about US$3.95 billion) to provide financial aid to colleges
and vocational school students beginning in September 2008, Deputy
Finance Minister Zhang Shaochun announced on Monday.
That's up from 15.4 billion yuan this year and 15 times more
than was provided to low-income students in 2006 when the student
assistance program gave out 1.8 billion yuan, said Zhang.
The central government will allocate 20 billion yuan to the
program while local governments will be expected to supply the
The augmented fund will be used to offer higher grants and
scholarships to more students in need.
The value of national scholarships for postgraduate students
will also be doubled to 8,000 yuan a year beginning in September,
said Zhang adding that the number of students receiving the
scholarships will jump to 50,000.
Twenty percent of college undergraduates are now entitled to
student aid granted by the program, up from just three percent in
2006. This year qualified students can receive 2,000 yuan a year,
an increase of 500 yuan from the previous year.
University tuition fees are about 5,000 yuan a year and student
accommodation is about 1,200 yuan a year. It's estimated it costs
the average student some 10,000 yuan a year to attend
In September 2008 when the budget for the aid program doubles to
more than 30 billion yuan many more millions of students are
expected to receive financial aid, but the exact number has yet to
be worked out.
This year assistance has been provided to 90 percent of
secondary vocational school students up from the previous five
percent, with each entitled to receive 1,500 yuan, up 500 yuan from
the previous year, according to Zhang.
A total of four million undergraduates and 16 million secondary
vocational school students are expected to receive financial
assistance this year, Zhang said. The government also plans to
expand the state student loan program to provide greater access to
bank loans to students from low-income families. Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao told the National People's Congress in March that the
improved financial assistance program will promote fairness in
(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2007)