“I cannot afford the university tuition fee. It is too expensive for me.” This is a common worry that many university students have, and so do I. Such thought has been generalized among the students and has continuously been demonstrated for several years. In order to help students who have difficulties paying the tuition fee, the government is providing monetary support in the form of national need-based aid. The national aid is paid to the students differently depending on each student’s domestic financial status, which is divided into ten groups of income quantile.
However, although the national need-based aid is aiming to lessen the university students’ financial burden, it does not live up to their expectations and there are many problems in distributing the aid. One of the matters is the equity of the the standard of income quantile inappropriately by the Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF), the governmental organization that is in charge of the national aid system. To be specific, some students, who are in poor financial status, are ranked in high income quantile that smaller amount of financial aid is assigned. Also, there are some students receiving a big amount of aid even though they are wealthy.
In order to deal with this problem, the students, who are dissatisfied with their noticed result, have an opportunity to ask for reexamination of their quantile. However, in fact, it is quite complex to prove the result wrong and also, it is not easy to reverse. In addition, it is prevalent that some people use an expedient to reduce their real income so that they can receive more financial aid than the money they are supposed to get. Such problems are caused because the standards of income calculation and quantile decision system are quite superficial so that it cannot reflect certain family’s domestic financial status well. This insufficiency of national aid system is distressing a lot of university students.
Although controversy around the national need-based aid has existed for years, any improvements were not visible. Even though the KOSAF stated that they are making efforts to decrease students’ burden of tuition fee, it will not be realized unless the continued problems are resolved. Moreover, it is important to not only adjust the national aid system but also lower university tuition fee. If the tuition itself is not a big burden for students compared to now, the national aid system would not be needed and also the accompanying problems would not occur. In other words, preposterously expensive tuition fee in Korean universities is continuously making such matters. In this regard, I hope that existing expensive tuition fee has to be slackened and, as a result, the matter of the national aid system should be solved.
Choi Eun-ji firstname.lastname@example.org
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