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National Student Aid in Korea
Grants & Scholarships
Types of Grants & Scholarships
Process and Support
KOSAF Scholars Overseas
Student Loans
Types of Student Loans
Process and Support
Sharing & Volunteering
Types of Voluntary Programs
Government, Public & Private Organizations
Financial Supporters
Students and Parents
Cheong Wa Dae, Office of the President
Government of the Republic of Korea
Ministry of Education
Education, Culture, Sports & Tourism Committee
The National Assembly of the Republic Korea
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Ministry of Strategy and Finance
Download relevant legal texts
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National Student Aid in Korea

As the only organization in Korea that administers all the national government-based scholarships and student loans for higher education, KOSAF is unique among institutions that provide student aid support in the country. The establishment of KOSAF in and of itself was a direct policy result of the national governmental framework guiding Korea towards continual advancement.


To gain an understanding of national student aid policy in Korea, it may be useful to consider the context in which the student aid policy currently in effect was developed and is being executed. The national government policy, strategy, and legal guidelines in accordance with which KOSAF was established may show how student aid fits into the national governmental agenda.

The policy goal, strategy, and task specified below are from the official English translation of the Tasks of the Administration. (The original source is Document No. 11-1101000-000004-10, Government of the Republic of Korea, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism: published October 2008.)

National policy strategy: Objective 14. “To expand educational benefits”
As one of the 20 national policy strategies, this government objective comes under the fourth national policy goal for economic growth.

“For a Country Rich in Talent”
National Policy Goal 04
Highlighting the priority placed on national talent, Goal 04 is one of five overarching national policy goals for economic growth in the government’s efforts to fulfill the vision of leading Korea towards “Advancement on a New Dimension.”

“To expand educational benefits”
National Policy Objective 14
This objective is one of the 20 national policy strategies that fall under the national policy goal “For a Country Rich in Talent.”

“Enabling every person to pursue a formal education regardless [of] income level”
National Policy Task 66
Among the national policy tasks designed to meet Objective 14 “[t]o expand education benefits,” this governmental task focuses on individuals being given the ability to pursue a formal education without respect to financial means. This task is one of the 100 national policy tasks formulated by the Lee Myung-bak Administration. The action plan for Task 66 consists of:
  • Establishment of the Korea Student Aid Foundation;
    Completion in 2009 by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
  • Expansion of the national government-based customized financial aid system; and
    Completion in 2012 by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
  • Increase in financial aid support provided through the national budget.
    Completion in 2012 by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
    (in cooperation with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance).

Legal business activities of KOSAF
This excerpt is taken from the official English translation of Article 16 in the Act on the Establishment of the Korea Scholarship Foundation (Act No. 9415 of February 6, 2009; note that the English translation is from the Act on the Establishment of the Korea Scholarship Foundation, Act No. 9617 of April 1, 2009).

“Article 16 (Business)
  • "(1) The Foundation shall run the businesses of the following subparagraphs to achieve the
    purpose of its establishment:
    1. School expenses support business and effectiveness analysis
    2. Customized school expenses support program development
    3. Providing consultation and information relating to school expenses support
    4. Research and analysis for the statistical state of university registration [fees and] school
      expenses support
    5. Management of school expenses support business as entrusted by the central
      administrative agency, local governments, public institutions, corporations, or an individual
    6. Management of financial support business for human resource development including
      school expenses support
    7. Establishment/operation of student welfare facilities, such as dormitories, etc[.]
    8. Management of the university student working scholarship business and support for the
      operation of related cooperation programs; and
    9. The other businesses relating to the school expenses support required to achieve the
      purpose of the establishment of the Foundation.
  • (2) The foundation may run profit-making business activities except activities as prescribed by
       Paragraph [(1) to] achieve the purpose of establishment with the approval of the Minister
       [of Education, Science and Technology].”


Most of the KOSAF student aid programs require Korean citizenship. For non-Koreans studying in colleges or universities in Korea, support is available through other government-sponsored sources. A selection of these is highlighted below.

For current and detailed information, KOSAF recommends checking the website of the Ministry of Education. Please note that KOSAF does not administer these scholarships. Any and all questions about non-KOSAF scholarships should be directed to the organizations that manage them.

According to the Ministry of Education, government scholarships are available to foreign students.