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Loans for College Students Roll Out

With the start of the new school year, Shenzhen's three major institutions of higher education, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen Polytechnic and Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology, have started implementing the new loan program for under-privileged college students.

Shenzhen University president Xie Weixin said the university would take in about 4,300 new students this year, about 15 percent of whom were from disadvantaged families.

"For those poorer students, we will provide a package program aimed at helping them obtain bank loans as the registration for this year's students starts Friday," Xie said.

The average annual tuition for students at the university cost around 5,000 to 6,000 yuan (US$727), Xie said.

"We'll suggest students apply for bank loans every year based on their family background. The highest amount they can apply for in one year is 6,000 yuan," Xie said.

On Friday, the university, in cooperation with the city's banks, will set up a service center to process loan applications from students who can provide the necessary information.

For students whose applications are not accepted by banks on the day of registration, the university will reduce or waive their tuition, or deduct it from bank loans granted later.

During the past three years, more than 450 students from poor families had received bank loans totaling 11 million yuan, Xie said.

This year, the university will also create more than 300 jobs in student dining halls or university libraries for poor students who plan to work part-time on campus.

In the new school year, Shenzhen Polytechnic and Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology will build up files for students from poor families and help them apply for bank loans, special funds or scholarships.

Shenzhen Polytechnic will also provide about 600 positions with a minimum wage of eight yuan per hour for students who want to work on campus.

(Shenzhen Daily September 8, 2004)

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