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확대축소프린트
 고아진
National Scholarship's Hidden Side
제 130 호    발행일 : 2012.03.02 


 Last year, the whole country was in an uproar over 'half-price tuition' demonstrations. Many people are divided into pros and cons. The government made the National Scholarship(NS) as an alternative to half-price tuition. The total amount of money supporting higher education is approximately 1.8 trillion won through the NS by the government. The NS combined the Future Dream scholarship, the Hope Dream scholarship and the Superiority Dream scholarship. The NS is divided into two categories, type 1 and type 2. The minimum G.P.A to receive the NS is above 3.0 point. Type 1 is offered to students from the bottom 5 income groups(roughly 29 million won a year). Type 2 is also awarded to the students from the bottom 9 income groups(roughly 54 million won a year). According to Korea Student Aid Foundation(KOSAF), students from the bottom 9 income groups can receive about on average 25% discounted tuition. However, students' responses to this change have been unreceptive.
 Kim Yeo-jin, a student in Chungnam National University(10'), said, "I heard that the government had increased ai d for higher education through the NS. However, it is only a hollow policy. I belong to the bottom 5 income groups. The benefits that I can receive were reduced compared to the past. Last year, I was supported with about 2.5 million won per a year from the government through the Superiority Dream scholarship. However, from this year, I can receive a maximum of 0.9 million won per a year." The Superiority Dream scholarship was given to students who belong to the bottom 7 income groups(roughly 38 million won), and who satisfy two standards, which are completing over twelve credits during the previous semester and receiving a GPA of A0 or higher. 
The government's purpose is to distribute scholarships, which were limited to poor minority students, to a larger population of students through the NS. It seems successful enough: about 1.13 million people(roughly 82%) out of about 1.36 million Korean university students applied for it. However, it's more difficult for poor students to spend a lot of time on studying because the amount provided for low-income earners has decreased. The sum of scholarships which the absolute poorest can receive is 4.5 million won, and the bottom 3, 4 and 5 income groups can receive 2.5, 1.35 and 0.9 million won.
 A controversy has arisen as to the selection criteria of the NS. Although the levels of their family incomes were within the range for scholarships, many university students failed to receive their scholarships. Many students are expressing their complaints because the KOSAF did not specifically notify about the selection criteria of the NS. 
An official in KOSAF said, "In addition to family income, types of income are also computed considering various factors such as health insurance, financial status and whether the family possesses vehicles. We are paying attention to the selection of beneficiaries to minimize damages as much as possible for students." 
 Despite this effort, the KOSAF and government still didn't find the solution about problems with not considering some criteria such as health insurance and debt, which are needed to properly know the types of income. The types of income of owner-operators are relatively higher than employees' because their health insurances are two times higher than employees'. Nevertheless, the employees' net incomes are often higher than owner-operators'. Also, debt isn't included in pricing income. The government should not forget the original purpose of the NS, 'Let's ease the students' burden about tuition!' In addition, they will gradually have to supplement the faults of the NS.
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