Grant system may not offer a solution to poor students

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lists three countries that have both ‘high tuitions’ and ‘loan-only scholarship systems’ for university study: Chile, South Korea and Japan. Starting in fiscal 2018, however, the Japanese government will do something about it, by launching a grant-type scholarship system for deserving higher education hopefuls, write Phil Brasor and Masako Tsubuku for The Japan Times.

Ostensibly, the criteria for approving grants are grades and ‘character’, but as Haruki Konno, who runs the non-profit educational assistance group Posse, points out, each school is only allowed to make one recommendation, which means politics will likely come into the equation. The lucky students who receive the grants must also keep their grades up. If they fall behind in their studies, the government can demand they pay back any grant funds they received in the past.

Konno says that because all of the grant recipients are from poor families, they will likely have to work while attending university, thus making it more difficult for them to keep up with their studies. So even if they receive the grant, they could end up in a worse financial hole than they would if they had only taken out a loan.
Full report on The Japan Times site