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Over 2 million college students get aid from China's state loan system

China's state loan system had assisted 2.068 million college students from poor families by issuing 17.27 billion yuan (about 2.08 billion U.S. dollars) in interest-free loans by the end of 2005, China's Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.

The Chinese government granted interest-free loans to 1.204 million college students by issuing around 1.025 billion yuan (123 million U.S. dollars) between June 2004 and the end of 2005, said Cun Bangyan, the ministry's senior official who is in charge of loan management.

China introduced a pilot state education loan system in 1999 in eight major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. The system was extended to the rest of the country in 2004.

By the end of 2005, 14.6 percent of the students studying in colleges and universities sponsored by the central government departments had received loans, with 8 percent in local universities and colleges.

In China, families have to pay at least 8,000 yuan (975.6 U.S. dollars) every year to support a college student, which means the farmers have to spend years of their income to support a college student.


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