Under the new military participation welfare policy, Beijing college students may receive 186,000 yuan as a military allowance. The Beijing People’s Armed Police said as many as half of the city’s college students joined the army this year, up from 37.8 percent in 2015.

The new policy stipulates that at least 28,100 yuan will be distributed to the students’ families each year. Every undergraduate student who joins the army will receive an 8,000 yuan allowance each year. The standard for graduate student is 12,000 yuan per year.

When discharged from military service, students may also receive a job-hunting subsidy of 52,600 yuan. Wang Tianyue, a newly joined soldier, told Beijing Youth Daily he made the decision because of the policy’s financial appeal.

“I found joining the army could earn a considerable subsidy to help my family with college tuition,” Wang said.

Du Kai, a junior college student In Shijiazhuang, Hebei, said he joined the army to avoid competition in the job market. Half of his classmates made the same choice, he said. Du said he hopes to start his own business when he gets his discharge.

Others joined the army to earn bonus points on the national graduate school entrance exam, build self-control, enrich their lives or improve their resume when the time comes to search for a job.

The employment concerns seem to be reflected by the high military participation rate among junior college students.

Kuang Jinyu, a martial arts trainee before joining the army, said he and his classmates joined the army because it would be impossible to depend on martial arts to earn a living.

“Only several people can ever become contest-oriented martial arts professionals. The remainder are left to fight for their livelihoods,” Kuang said.

Karena Hu

About Karena Hu

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Karena was born with the English name Karen but decided to add an “a.” She dreamed of a career in astronomy, but bad scores in physics kept her out of the science department. She seeks other worlds in reading and writing and is a super fan of the Hunger Games trilogy.

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