A post about a college student who had the stipend he received for being from an impoverished family canceled has triggered heated debate online.
The student, whose name was not disclosed, was disqualified from receiving financial support by his college because he wore a pair of Nike sneakers, which was taken as proof of him not being poor.
However, according to the student, the 500 yuan () sneakers were a gift from his mother, who had saved up for months and bought them at a 60 percent discount.
He said she had bought him the sneakers to make him happy, because she knew he enjoyed playing basketball but he only had one pair of worn-out shoes.
Was the college justified in canceling the student's financial support? Are expensive shoes proof of a person's financial situation? People's views differed.
"I agree with the college taking away the student's financial support because these stipends are scarce and should only be given to those who need them most. Being able to purchase a pair of 500 yuan shoes with months of savings indicates that the young man's family is not in such financial difficulties. I know that there are a lot of college students who can barely afford good food for their three meals a day and could not save 500 yuan even through months of efforts."
Li Li, a graduate of Dezhou University, Shandong province
"I think it's reasonable for the college to remove the student's financial support, because by desiring expensive shoes when his family's financial situation is not so good, he is acting ostentatiously in my eyes. We cannot say for sure that the student would not spend the money on other expensive things if he continues to get the stipend."
Liang Xin, an employee of a culture and media company in Shanxi province
"It's not justified for the college to cancel the student's financial support, because he didn't lie about being in financial difficulties. He does come from an impoverished family and needs the college's support. The pair of shoes represents the love of a mother who is trying her best to provide for her child. It shouldn't become an excuse people can use to accuse the student of having luxurious tastes."
Liu Hua, a junior middle school teacher in Weinan, Shaanxi province
"Everybody has desires, so the poor young man should not be criticized for wanting a pair of decent shoes. That's not fair. Neither should his mother be blamed for making efforts to fulfill her child's wishes. What's more, the student should not be deprived of financial support because in essence he's still a young man who needs financial assistance."
Xie Miao, a resident of Cangzhou, Hebei province, who has a 15-year-old daughter.