GPA under B deserves no tuition subsidy?
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GPA under B deserves no tuition subsidy?
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2011.06.04 16:25
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 Controversy over the remark from Kim Sung-sik, the assistant chairperson of Hannara Policy Board, who claimed to subside tuition fee restrictively toward students whose average GPA is over B has been aroused. While supporters of his suggestion argue that such device is needed to prevent moral hazard and to cut the budget, the objectors criticize the policy, saying it will arouse another Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) situation, giving too much pressure to students.
As a student who has spent three and a half years at Ewha, I experienced five times of the most fierce battle field of competition; three times of mid-terms and two of finals. During the exam periods, I was shocked to see all the students wearing gym clothes and big glasses instead of make ups and high heels. They headed right toward the library after classes, even skipping dinners to save time to study. Although there was no penalty system to make students study, they already seemed to be obsessive in getting good scores for their own reasons like getting a job or entering graduate schools.
Considering this already competitive situation of universities, concerns about a moral hazard seems needless. Moreover, the basic premise of the remark which regards having bad GPA as a moral hazard is problematic. Having a bad score in school is sad indeed (it really was sad in my own experience), but it’s not an immorality that should be punished.
Another important problem is that such GPA criteria might damage the meaning of tuition subsidy by misunderstanding the original purpose of it. The fundamental reason to cut tuition fee is to recover the public and democratic character of education. Unlike other market goods, education is considered as public goods in economics since one’s getting education improves the life quality of others in the same community. Also, in democratic society, flexible social mobility should be guaranteed and the typical means for upward mobility is education. All these characters of education indicate the importance of equitable tuition subsidy regardless of one’s GPA.

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