As of Sept. 11, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) approved the applications of 2,468 college students from 936 universities for scholarship grants with no repayment obligation for FY17, Sankei Shimbun learned on Sept. 17. This was the first time for JASSO to offer scholarship grants. Another 40 or so students whose applications are being withheld for such reasons as incomplete documentation may also receive grants eventually.
A senior Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology official revealed that in the beginning, there were only a small number of applications because the application period coincided with the period when students were busy with their admission paperwork, but a larger number of applications were received after the application period was extended.
The scholarship grants were created after the amended JASSO law was enacted last March. The plan is to give grants to 2,800 students entering universities or junior colleges in FY17. The number of scholarships will be increased to about 20,000 by FY18.
Students of national and public universities are given a monthly stipend of 30,000 yen, while those going to private universities will receive 40,000 yen.
The government’s council on 100-year lifespan, which held its first meeting earlier this month, will study the expansion of scholarship grants and additional steps to exempt or reduce tuition fees in order to provide equal opportunity for higher education. (Abridged)