Spending School Life Wisely: Scholarship
Spending School Life Wisely: Scholarship
  • Kim Seol Jieun
  • 승인 2016.10.09 10:56
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Like many other students, one of a Sookmyung Women’s University student, entered the Sookmyung Women’s University website to register for the new semester on the morning of August 22th.  Looking at her tuition invoice, she smiled pleasantly because she didn’t need to remit any funds.  In her tuition invoice read ‘amount owed 0’.  Was there some mistake?  Surprisingly, she wasn’t the only lucky person this happened to.  On the tuition invoice, a number of students found an oddly named scholarship that covered her school costs.  Let’s investigate how to apply for the various scholarships Sookmyung Women’s University offers its students.




The Scholarship You Need

A few years ago, people used to say 'Ugoltop' which, translated, means a top made of cow head bones, when their child entered university because people used to sell their livestock in order to cover their child’s tuition costs.  The word clearly highlights how difficult it was for lower-income families to afford the cost of their children’s education.  However, is the situation the same today?  Sadly, many university students still feel burdened by their high tuition fees.  At the moment, university tuition rates average about 6,670,000 won a year.   In other words, for a univeristy student to graduate, the student must pay about 26,680,000 won.1)  At Sookmyung Women's University, students pay about 7,000,000 won a year, but the actual tuition differs according to college.  Students at Sookmyung are always worried about money.   According to the OECD Education Index Investigation, the university tuition costs that Korean students bear are higher than any other advanced country and Korean university tuition fees are second only to the fees in the U.S.A.  This result shows the burden students in Korea must bear to study at university.
To decrease students’ financial burden, Sookmyung Women's University offers its students a variety of scholarships.  At Sookmyung Women's University, there are few scholarship organizations.  The Sookmyung Scholarship Volunteers, a leadership group at Sookmyung Women's Universty, has been actively working to promote scholarship opportunities at Sookmyung Women's University as well as connecting students with off-campus volunteer programs.  The Scholarship Service Center has also been working aggressively on scholarships and spreading information on them via the school website or at special Sookmyung Scholarship Presentations. 
Also, students are free to apply to any number of various scholarships offered by Sookmyung Women's University.  The scholarships include those offered by outside sources, the university itself, and the Korean Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF).  Because a number of students are unfamiliar with their options, this edition is offering detailed information as well as campus reviews on them.



The Start of Wisdom; Knowing What Is Out There

In order to receive a scholarship, you first need to know about available scholarships.  Among the three different scholarships mentioned above, reporters have chosen to focus on scholarships offered by Sookmyung Women’s University, specifically: scholarship for active students and scholarships for students in need of financial assistance.
For high-intensity proactive students, SMT recommends the ‘Sookmyung leadership group scholarship’, the ‘Sookmyung global talented person scholarship’, and the ‘Winning a contest scholarship’.  The Sookmyung Leadership group is quite famous on campus.  Students who belong to this club such as members of ‘NIVIS’, ‘Sookmyung Ambassador’ and a media press club can receive a fixed amount of money each semester as a credit to the amount of tuition owed.  Also, Student Union members, Graduation Committee Preparation members, and Publicity Models all earn scholarships.  The ‘Sookmyung global talented person scholarship’ is a unique scholarship that is only found at Sookmyung Women’s University.  It includes the ‘Global Explorer Scholarship.’  It is offered by department or college and the Global Exchange Center, so students with an interest in this scholarship should check their major homepages or search the center’s bulletin board.  However, students may only receive this scholarship money twice throughout their 4 years at Sookmyung, so be careful not to exceed the application limit or you will not receive any money.  According to Oh Jieun, Department of Mathematics ’14 and a recipient of the Global Explorer Scholarship, “As a Sookmyungian, it was a proud feeling to go overseas with the support of the school.”  ‘Winning a contest scholarship’ is for students who have won a contest.  Not only do the students win a prize from the contest, they can also receive scholarship money for doing so.  However, you need to know that this scholarship is a one-time deal.  You may not apply for this scholarship again throughout the rest of your school years.
Students in need of financial assistant may apply for one of three scholarships: ‘Work scholarship’, ‘Saebit Scholarship’ and ‘Circumstance Scholarship’.  The ‘Work Scholarship’ is for students who work at the School Administration Office.  To qualify for this scholarship, students must first be selected by KOSAf.  Information on how to apply can be seen on SnoWe, and students can also earn 6,030 per hour working at the office.  The advantages of this scholarship are that students earn money between classes and gain practical business experience.  Also, the ‘Saebit scholarship’ supports recipients of basic living allowances.  In order to receive this benefit, students have to achieve a 2.0/4.3 GPA and have completed more than 12 credits.  The average allotted amount of scholarship money is 1,200,000.  The ‘Circumstance scholarship’ is for students who have suddenly come into a bad situation such as a death in the family, become unemployed, suffering from a long-term illness, and bankruptcy.  Anyone interested in learning more about these scholarships should surf the school website or speak directly to the Scholarship Support Team.




Sookmyungians Voice their Wisdom

From August 23rd to 27th, The Sookmyung Times surveyed students’ awareness of Sookmyung Women’s University scholarships.  Students were asked 6 questions, and a total of 231 students responded.
Findings found that Sookmyungians favoured grade scholarships and scholarships that encouraged students to strive for higher academic achievement because they were believed to be allotted evenly among students.  91.5% of students reported having received a Sookmyung scholarship, and 74.6% said they received money for having achieved excellent grades.  45.1% of respondents have received scholarship money for academic achievement.  Additionally, when asked about the advantages of Sookmyung scholarships, most of the respondents said they were satisfied with the two types of scholarships the school offered.  Secondly, 54.1% of students said they received over 1,000,000 won a semester. 23.8% said they received over 2,000,000won, and 10.3% said 0~100,000won.  Considering that tuition fees for a semester are approximately 3,500,000won, students were able to receive 1/4 of the total tuition cost burden from the school.  One participant said, “The advantage of Sookmyung scholarships is that a large number of students can receive equal amounts of money through various ways.”  However, findings found that more promotion of Sookmyung scholarships is needed.  38% of respondents got scholarship information from the homepage of the Scholarship Support Team, and 34.7% said they learnt about the scholarships on the school community sites like Everytime and Facebook.  Unexpectedly, the scholarship volunteer Sookmyung Leadership Group and presentations about offered scholarships were not major means of information.  Respondents said they would like to see more active promotion in the school through more various and different means.  Specifically, a number of participants in the survey said they would like to see a scholarship information section on Sookmyung community sites such as SnoWe and Snowrose, and distribution of pamphlets on available scholarships.


Take Action to Receive Benefits

According to Yoram of Sookmyung Scholarship Service Center, in 2014, on average students received 3,430,000 won in scholarship money per year.  This amount is higher than in 2013, which saw students receiving only 2,703,000won on average per year.  As the index shows, students are now receiving more money to offset the burden of high tuition costs.  However, many students are unaware of the scholarship types available to them or how to go about applying for them because they don’t search for information.  Students can get information through simple online searches.  Students need to just click the Sookmyung Scholarship Servie Center website link or attend an event held by Sookmyung Scholarship Volunteers to reduce the worries of paying for tuition, which will make school life more enjoyable.  Also, Sookmyung Univerity should offer kinds of scholarships and modify its scholarship allotment system after hearing from the student body and its opinion on how to make information more accessible.  For a brighter Sookmyung Women's Univertity, proactive behavior by both students and the school is needed.

1)Lee Jeongpil, “University tuition averages 6,670,000 Won….”, E today, April 29, 2016

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