BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese college students can apply for higher loans because of an increase in tuition fees over the last decade, according to a government circular on Friday.
Students can apply for a maximum of 8,000 yuan (about 1,291 U.S. dollars) in loans per person each year, according to the circular released by the ministries of finance and education, the People's Bank of China and China Banking Regulatory Commission.
The new limit is an increase of 2,000 yuan from the previous ceiling, which was set in 2002.
Officials said the raised ceiling would better help college students as fees had risen in some provinces over the past ten years.
The circular also said students in graduate schools will be allowed to apply for up to 12,000 yuan each year.
According to government data, Chinese authorities issued 103.2 billion yuan (16.66 billion U.S. dollars) worth of student loans by the end of 2013, benefiting about 10 million students across the country.
Student loans are part of China's financial aid package to help college pupils. Other means include scholarships, stipends, as well as tuition waivers.