Chinese colleges and universities admitted 100,000 students from rural and underdeveloped areas in 2017, a 9.3 percent increase from those in 2016, according to the Ministry of Education.
China has implemented favorable college entrance policies, including enrollment programs at national, regional and university levels, to enable more students from rural and poor areas to go to university.
In the national program, the requirements to be accepted at key colleges and universities, those affiliated to central ministries and provincial governments, have been lowered for students from impoverished counties.
The regional program helps students receive higher quality education in their own provinces and regions, while outstanding high school graduates from rural areas can be admitted to top-level universities under the Ministry of Education through the university-level program.
In 2017, nearly 64,000 students from poverty-stricken counties were enrolled in universities thanks to assistance from the national program.
The regional program admitted 16.2 percent more rural students than those in 2016 and an additional 9,500 exceptional rural students were accepted through the university-level program, the ministry said.
"Going to university is the best way for children from poor families to lift themselves out of poverty," said the principal of a high school in an impoverished county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
"We need to improve the enrollment rate for rural students," said Xie Huanzhong, an official with the Ministry of Education.
In 2016, Chinese higher education institutions admitted 7.48 million students for undergraduate study, according to the ministry.