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High tuition fees drive mother to suicide
By Yu Zhong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-22 06:21

The first day at college was a sorrowful one for Deng Xin, 18, whose mother committed suicide the day before she received her admission notice.

It was the pressure of Kunming Medical College's exorbitant tuition fees that caused the suicide, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

Deng, not her real name, was born into a poor family in Daxing village in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. She learned in June that she had secured a place to study at the medical college.

But what should have been good news became a huge weight on the mind of Deng's mother, Li Fenxiang, who was the only breadwinner for her family of five.

The girl's father was paralyzed by a cerebral thrombus three years ago. She also has a 70-year-old grandmother and a 15-year-old sister, who is in her third year of junior middle school.

The family, with an annual income of only several hundred yuan, have run up debts of more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,235) since Deng's father became disabled.

"Mum was troubled all day about the cost of the tuition fees, which amount to several thousand yuan per year," Deng was quoted by Xinhua as saying. "My younger sister also needs money to complete her junior middle school education."

On the morning of August 1, Li could not handle the pressure any longer and resorted to hanging herself.
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