775 mln Chinese students received aid scholarships over past decade
775 million Chinese college and vocational school students received financial help in the past 10 years, according to the country's Ministry of Education.
The number of students receiving financial assistance rose about 6.55 percent each year in the past decade, up from 51.6 million in 2007 to 91.3 million in 2016.
The nation spent one trillion yuan (about 159 billion US dollars) over the past decade on aid packages subsidizing students from lower-income families. Fiscal spending on grants and scholarships aimed at making education affordable was at 41.6 billion yuan in 2007 and 168.9 billion for 2016, an average growth of 16.84 percent year on year, the ministry said.
In May 2007, the State Council issued a document establishing a system of financial aid to college and vocational school students from poor families. It was the first comprehensive and systematic plan on student financial aid.
The aid comes in different forms such as tuition fee exemptions, living allowances, scholarships and student loans.
In the past decade, China has created 40 policies and documents on financial help for students, with 29 aid programs, the ministry said.
It also said that government funding always played a leading role in aid. The figure topped 726 billion yuan over the years, accounting for 68.87 percent of the total.
Currently, financial help is available to students from pre-school kindergartens to post-graduate studies, from public to private schools, and for all families in poverty, the ministry said.
China's compulsory education runs from the first through ninth grade, years when tuition is fully paid out of government coffers.