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Poverty in China's Colleges and the Targeting of Financial Aid*

  • Hongbin Li (a1), Lingsheng Meng (a2), Xinzheng Shi (a3) and Binzhen Wu (a4)

We use the Chinese College Student Survey, conducted in 2010, to examine levels of poverty among students on China's campuses. With the poverty line defined as the college-specific expenditures a student needs to maintain a basic living standard on campus, we find that 22 per cent of college students in China are living in poverty. Poverty is more severe among students from rural or western parts of the country. With a targeting count error of more than 50 per cent, it is important that the college need-based aid programme be improved. Lacking other income sources, poor students rely heavily on loans and paid employment to finance their college education.

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All four authors are affiliated to the China Data Center of Tsinghua University. Hongbin Li acknowledges the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project ID: 71025004 and 71121001). Xinzheng Shi acknowledges the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project ID: 71103108). Binzhen Wu acknowledges the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project ID: 70903042 and 71373136). We also acknowledge data support from the China Data Center of Tsinghua University.

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The China Quarterly
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  • EISSN: 1468-2648
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