I sometimes see news articles about people having to work a long time to pay off their student loans. According to the Japan Student Services Organization, about 1.32 million students have a total of more than ¥1 trillion in outstanding loans. I also have taken out a student loan because I am in a fatherless family and I have two brothers, so it’s hard for my family to come up with enough money.

I have tried to get a grant-type scholarship from my university since enrolling but without success. Even though I don’t have a father, I am screened out of the application process because my family finances don’t meet the criteria. Recently, grant-type scholarships have been increasing, but the requirements are extremely strict and not friendly to middle-income earners like my family.

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