Officials in the Office of Student Affairs have announced that an adjustment to the undergraduate scholarship system has been in progress since early this year. Byung-seok Ahn, leader of the administration's Scholarship Team, said that the administration is reducing proportions for grade-based scholarships. He added, however, that this does not mean that the entire amount of the scholarships will be reduced, but rather that more funds will be allocated to the budget for other scholarship programs, such for school activities or students from low-income families.
Ahn explained that the adjustment plan is an attempt to address the changing needs and values of UOS students. According to Ahn, what the school expects from students is not just superior grades. “The school is trying to encourage students to participate in the activities and self-improvement programs that the school offers,” he said. In addition, the proportion of scholarships for students from low-income groups will be extended, since the UOS has been emphasizing “sharing” as one of the school’s most valued identities, which means that the financial support for minorities and students from families suffering economically has been increased.
Ahn acknowledged, however, that there is a trend in Korean universities toward reducing grade scholarships. Korea University (KU) announced the abolishment of all grade scholarships on October 14. In its revision, KU is increasing scholarships for low-income students, much like the UOS. Sogang University and Ewha Womans University have also announced gradual reductions in grade scholarships.
So-hyun Jo (Dept. of English Language and Literature, ’14) applauded the school’s decision. “Some students from low-income families have trouble attaining high grades, because they have to both study and work to make living.”
The revised guidebook for the scholarship system will be published next February, and students can access it on UOS’ scholarship website.