カテゴリーのアイコン Life in Japan
College Tuition Free in Japan!
Apr 08, 2024
5 min read
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The Japanese government is aiming to make college tuition free by 2025, in order to curb the declining birth rates. Details are not yet clear, but this is must-see information for those who live in Japan.

Let's take a look at the current situation of college costs in Japan and future trends!

Free College Tuition in Japan

Now, the government's goal is to provide free college tuition to all children in families with three or more children. Institutions include universities, junior colleges, public and private technical schools, and medical schools.

Currently, families with a combined household income of 3,800,000 yen are eligible for tuition waiver, but the plan is to remove this limit in the future.

The goal is to make tuition waiver eligibility more accessible. But if this is implemented, there may be a limit to how much tuition could be waived.

Concerns of Free College Tuition

Due to the limited information presented, there are several questions. For example, are foreigners or foreign residents eligible? If so, do they have to be residents or permanent residents to apply?

The tuition waiver for households with more than one child does not simply mean that there must be three children in the home. It means that all children must be under the care of one parent.

For example, if there are three children, each spaced one year apart, all enrolled in college, all are exempt. However, once the oldest child graduates and begins his/her career, he/she is no longer under the care of a parent and therefore the other two children are no longer exempt.

All Three Children’s Tuition Being Waved

With this new change, it is rare that all three children will be completely exempt from college tuition. This is because, as mentioned earlier, once one child enters the workforce, the remaining children will no longer be eligible for the tuition waiver.

However, let's briefly look at a few possible scenarios.


If triplets are born, they will all graduate at the same time. Therefore, they are all fully exempt.

・2-year age difference

If there is a 2-year age difference between the children and the oldest son is going to a 6-year college, the second son to a 4-year college, and the third son to a 2-year junior college, all three may receive a full tuition waiver.

How to Apply for Free College Tuition?

There are two types of application procedures for the free college tuition : "Reserved Adoption," which is notified prior to enrollment, and "Enrollment Adoption," which is applied for while the student is enrolled in university.

What procedures must be followed to be eligible for it? Let's check the process!

・Reserved Adoption

In order to receive financial support from the time you enroll, you must apply in late April of your senior year of high school. This is a reserved adoption.

Apply online to the JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization ), mail the documents related to your number to JASSO, and submit the application documents to your high school. You will be notified of the results in the fall.

If your application is successfully approved, submit the "Notice of Determination of Candidate for Adoption" to your school of higher education and apply for tuition fee reduction or exemption, and the process is complete! Assistance begins in April for the benefit scholarship; money will be transferred to the student's own bank account every month starting in April or May.

・Enrollment Adoption

The enrollment adoption should be supported by the free college program after the student enrolls in the program.

Even if you fail because you do not meet the requirements for a reserved adoption, you can still try for an enrollment position.

There are two chances to apply for the scholarship every year: the first semester (April) and the second semester (September).The first semester is around July, and the second semester is around December. If selected, the first semester payment will be made in April and the second semester payment will be made in October.

Also, some universities are not eligible to use the free university system, so be sure to check if your school of choice is eligible for the system!

Childcare Allowance

With regard to free college tuition, the Japanese government is also trying to improve its policies regarding child care allowances.

Currently, a family with three children receives a maximum allowance of 6,250 yen from the government. With possible changes, the government is considering providing a monthly allowance of 10,630 yen for a family with three children.

Lets use Free College Tuition!

Although still in the process of creating a policy of free college tuition, the Japanese government has shown a positive attitude toward financial support for academic studies.

This information is a must-see not only for Japanese, but also for foreign residents and students in Japan, so keep checking back!

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