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Big Boost for Needy Students
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A special Shanghai government scholarship to award gifted college and polytechnic students, especially those from impoverished backgrounds, will be introduced from this fall semester.


The Shanghai Education Commission said yesterday 1,000 local university and college students are expected to win an 8,000 yuan (US$1,053) scholarship each year.


The polytechnics grants are forecast to benefit 10,000 people per year, accounting for about 5 percent of total student number. These will be awarded scholarships ranging from 500 yuan to 1,500 yuan annually.


And needy students who volunteered to work in rural areas for more than three years will be exempted from paying off tuition loans from this year.


Commission officials said the city had put 330 million yuan aside to aid needy college and polytechnic students this year. The figure is expected to reach 550 million yuan next year.


Shen Xiaoming, the commission director, said that the city is also requesting schools to lend a hand to the needy.


"Our goal is to free poor families from tuition burdens and never let anyone drop out of school due to financial difficulties," Shen said at a press conference yesterday.


(Shanghai Daily July 6, 2007)

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