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SNU mulls free tuition for low-income students

June 16, 2011 - 19:06 By 이지윤
Seoul National University may waive tuition fees for students from low-income families from the fall semester, an official said Thursday.

Of the 16,325 undergraduate students at the school, some 1,700 to 2,000 are expected to benefit from the new measure.

“(The school) is considering offering a full scholarship to students from low-income households in the bottom 50 percent of the income bracket,” said Lee Hak-rae, dean of students.

“If the necessary budget of about 5 billion won ($4.6 million) is secured, we plan to start the new scholarship program from this year’s second semester,” he said.

Thus far, the school has paid for all or part of the tuition fees of about 230 students from low-income families who receive the government’s livelihood subsidy.

With the new measure, the beneficiaries of the full scholarship will increase seven- to nine-fold from now, the school said. The students are required to maintain an average grade point of 1.7 or higher out of the total 4.3.

From the first semester this year, the school also started offering a monthly allowance of 300,000 won to 300 students from low-income households.

Amid concerns of over the nation’s soaring college fees, the average annual university tuition reached 7.5 million won for private schools and 5 million won for public schools last year.

By Lee Ji-yoon (