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China's Ministry of Education has pushed to level the playing field for students wanting to study at university with a multi-billion yuan funding program. It aims to help high school graduates from low-income families achieve their academic dream by relieving the burden of tuition fees.
The Ministry of Education unveiled a new set of measures on Thursday. Among them include additional student loans, more opportunities for balancing part-time work and study, and a modified "Green Channel" policy.
The "Green Channel" policy was conceived a decade ago. Under the scheme, students from low-income backgrounds can enroll at university first and pay tuition later with the help of subsidized loans and reduced fees.
Furthermore, students from disaster-hit areas will enjoy the same favorable policies as those students who suffered in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
A hotline will be set up from Sunday and run until September 15th at the National Center for Student Assistance Administration. The hotline will provide help to students who want to go to university, but cannot afford tuition fees. It will also serve as an avenue for consultations and complaints.
China has more than 20 million university students, a quarter who come from low-income families.
Generally, families have to pay at least 8-thousand yuan - or nearly a thousand US dollars - annually for their child's college education. This sum often equates to years' of an average farmer's income, which can make higher education a lofty goal for their children.