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China Initiates Financial Aid Program for Needy College Students
The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation initiated a massive financial aid program Tuesday designed to help 10,001 under-privileged high-school graduates realize their dreams of pursuing a university education.

The program, the largest of its kind in China, is expected to raise over 20 million yuan (about US $2.41 million) by the end of August so that the students can enroll in their respective institutions without worrying about costs.

According to the foundation, the candidates for the scholarship, hand-picked from a huge number of applications collected since April, are all from poor families, and all of them excel in their studies.

According to the program, each candidate will receive 2,000 yuan (about US$241) per year for living expenses.

Since Sept.1, 2002, the foundation has raised seven million yuan (about US$843,373) and funded the education of 1,000 underprivileged college students in 128 institutions of higher learning.

Of the country's 13 million undergraduate students, about 20 percent are poor, and between 8 and 10 percent cannot cover their daily living expenses at school, says a survey released by the foundation last May.

The Poverty Alleviation Office of the State Council has approved the establishment of "Care for College Students Day," which will be observed on Aug. 29 for the first time.

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2003)

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