University's discreet meal subsidy plan celebrated

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-23 14:56
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A university in Hunan province has won praise from many netizens for providing aid to students experiencing financial difficulties in a considerate manner, CCTV News reported.

The Hunan University of Science and Technology announced recently that based on a big data analysis of students' cafeteria consumption, the university is about to give meal subsidies to over 2,000 students who have visited the cafeterias on campus very often but spent much less than average. The subsidy requires no application and will be credited directly into the meal cards of the eligible students, whose names will not be released.

The meal subsidies will be handed out four times a year, scheduled for March, May, September and November, respectively. The university will allocate 1 million yuan ($146,612) annually for the subsidies.

Some students from poor families, due to various reasons, are reluctant to apply for financial aid, said Liang Hongjun, deputy director of the university's logistics department. So the university chose to hand out the subsidy discreetly, hoping to provide real help to students in need and at the same time protect their self-esteem, he said.

The university analyzed cafeteria expenditure of over 40,000 students and selected those eligible for the meal subsidy using indicators including cafeteria visit frequency for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively and average spending per meal.

Liang said that the statistics they have at hand show some students have all meals at the canteens but spend less than 11 yuan daily.

The financial aid office of the student affairs department will check whether the shortlisted students are financially disadvantaged. For those who are from poor families, 200 yuan will be credited to their meal cards. Those who are not disadvantaged students but have a lower spending average per meal will receive the same amount of subsidy.

The university said it will carry out irregular checks on the situation of the subsidy recipients to ensure the money goes to those in need. For those who are suspected of facing great financial hardship, the university will offer targeted additional aid after verification.

According to information published by the official WeChat account of the university, the first batch of eligible students will get the subsidy by the end of March.

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