Korea University has decided to make scholarships only available to low-income students. The university hopes it will help low-income students concentrate on their studies, not on working at part-time positions. Likewise, prominent U.S. colleges have already begun abolishing scholarship allotment to top-ranking students for the same reason. However, there are a number of people who see downfall of this new regulation. They claim it is impossible to determine who absolutely needs the funds. In fact, there might be cases where students deceive their universities into thinking they are from lower income families. Because of the intense debate on the issue, Sookmyungians were asked their opinions on the issue.
- Debate Topic -
Is the decision by Korea University to only allot student scholarships based on financial need fair?
Department of Information Technology Engineering ’16
Personally, I agree with Korea University’s decision to only allot scholarships to students in need of the funds. First, the tuition fee at private universities in Korea is too expensive, so students from lower income families suffer hardships coming up with the money. In fact, Korea University’s yearly tuition is approximately 10,000,000 won. Other private university tuitions are quite similar. Families that cannot afford the fee require their children to work at part-time jobs in order to earn money to help cover the cost. Second, by allotting scholarships to students based on academic grades only incites more excessive grade competition. At university students should be engaging in other activities besides only working and studying. They should be able to participate in club activities, travel abroad, and join social activities. However, if students must only concentrate on being awarded scholarships, they will lose opportunities to experience the other activities that students from affluent families take for granted. Universities should protect all students’ right to enjoy university life. Lastly, the real goal behind awarding scholarships should be to equalize education opportunity, which is hard to do when students must compete for top academic grades. For these three reasons, I think the decision to abolishing scholarships given to top academic ranking students is wise and reasonable.
Department of English ‘16
I don’t agree with Korea University’s decision to stop awarding scholarships to students who show excellent academic performance. It is a student’s responsibility to study her/his major hard. Allotting scholarships to students who have attained high grades is, in a way, a prize for doing their job well. Also, Korea needs well educated students who can work to improve the economy. Awarding scholarships to those who have shown excellent academic performance entices students to study harder. This award benefits not only the recipients, but also the university because it will have nurtured successful graduates. Moreover, the nation will benefit with better educated graduates ready to work hard. Besides these reasons, there are so many students who suffer from hardships due to high tuition fees. Providing scholarships to those who have achieved excellent academic standings will encourage students to believe that if they study harder, they too will reap the benefits. In other words, it will help students who need financial help not only in terms of money but also studying. Therefore, I disagree with Korea University’s decision because the benefit of awarding scholarships to students who gain excellent grades is too great and it also helps to increase our national economy.