Introduction Studying abroad and getting a foreign degree is the dream project of many of the aspiring Indian students. After clearing most of the rounds like getting a high score in TOEFL, IELTS, GATE etc, financial aid for studying abroad would be a great concern for many Indian students.
Studying abroad in Western countries like UK, U.S.A, Australia and other European countries would be a very costly affair. The cost involved in studying abroad not only involves the expenses related to your studies like university fees etc. but it also involves the expenses of your living in the foreign countries which includes the house / room rent, food, clothing and other essentials.
So when you are applying to a particular university in the foreign country, you should give equal attention to your finances for studying abroad, otherwise you would find it too difficult to meet with expenses.
How to get financial assistance for studying abroad When you think of the expenditure for your education abroad, you might be wondering how to cope up with the finances and how to get financial help for the same. During such a situation many questions crop up in your mind and you might be thinking who all are eligible to get the financial help and why to get financial aid?
Well, it is simple. As mentioned earlier, studying abroad in developed nations would be a costly affair and it is difficult to do without a financial aid. So every student irrespective of his financial status need financial help for studying abroad. In fact, at the time of applying for a visa, the students willing to study abroad need to provide necessary evidences of their funds / property / assets in India so that they / their parents can meet with the expenses at least in the first year of their college / university education.
However, there are various other options for getting financial aids for studying abroad. If you want to get financial aid from the university funding, then you need to note the point that such an aid from the university is available only in the U.S and the universities in other countries like the U.K, Australia, Canada etc. do not offer financial aid or scholarships to the foreign students. However in the countries where the universities do not offer financial aid, you can pursuing higher studies with your own expenses or with the student loans from the banks of your country.
As more and more Indian students are showing interest in studying abroad, there is a increase in the flexibility in providing loans and financial assistance to the students going abroad for higher studies.
Different types of financial aid As mentioned earlier, the type of financial assistance mainly depends on the country you wish to study. Most of the universities in the United States of America offer scholarships, aids, fellowships and assistant-ships based on the course that you are applying. Broadly financially assistance for studying abroad is categorized into three ways. These are (i)Assistant-ship (ii) Fellowship or scholarship and (iii) student loan.
About assistant-ship Students with merit get the eligibility for assistant-ship which is provided by the specific university. For the under-graduate courses it is near impossible to get financial assistance in the foreign universities.
For the graduate level M.S courses, getting an assistant-ship is the best way of funding your education. However, most of the universities do not offer assistance for doing MBA as the students can easily earn high income and will be in position to clear all their loans. There are some business schools which offer assistant-ship to merit students.
And at the Ph.D level, there is no fees but the students are given stipend which would be helpful in covering their expenses. However, they are required to teach the under-graduate classes depending on the course and help in the teaching process.
There are different types of assistant-ships based on the course. These are:
About fellowships and scholarships The university aid for offering scholarship / fellowship is mostly available at the graduate level only and not in the under graduate level. The students who are willing to apply for this type of financial aid from the universities need to have exceptionally outstanding profile in academics. In case the students who are awarded with this financial aid are willing to renew their financial aid, they need to score high in their courses in the following year. The amount of scholarship / fellowship offered to the students depends on the academic profile of the student.
There are some Indian organisations / trusts that offer scholarships to the Indian students who are willing to study abroad. Some of these are:
The aspiring students need to gather the required information like eligibility criteria for applying for these scholarships from these organizations.
There are even certain international organizations which offer scholarships like the Fulbright Commission, AMIDEAST and World Health Organisation. Students can get all the required information including the eligibility criteria for applying and obtaining these scholarships.
About student loans There is high level of competition for availing the scholarships / fellowships and financial assistance-ships. As it is evident that all the aspiring students cannot stand in the competition, however they need to get disappointed but they can apply for an education loan in any one of the banks or financial institutions offering the same.
If you are getting admission in one of the top universities of the country, you need no require the signature of a co-signer for loan sanctioning. Otherwise, the institutions sanctioning education loan require a co-signer in your loan application. The co-signer can be from the country where you reside or he can be from the country where you intend to go.
There are some terms and conditions and a set scheme of interest for applying and getting the education loans from the financial institutions. In general, the public sector banks in India offer loans to the Indian students who have a confirmed admission to a full-time course in the foreign universities. Before sanctioning the loan, the banks in India look into the academic record of the student and sanction the loan only if they find it satisfactory. Though the conditions are nearly same for all the banks and financial institutions yet these have their own schemes.
Besides these, there are certain foreign banks particularly the U.S based banks like the Bank of America which offer educational loans to the international students.
Procedure for bank loan A comprehensive educational loan scheme has been framed by the Govt of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banker's Association. According to this scheme a loan of up to Rs.7,50,000/- is offered to eligible students for education in India. While for the aspiring students who intend to study abroad, as per their eligibility criteria a loan of Rs.15,00,000 is sanctioned to them. However there might be variations in the figures provided. And you need to fulfill the eligibility criteria of the sanctioning bank in order to obtain the loan from the bank. Following is the eligibility criteria for getting loan from a bank in India:
Other important points to note The rate of interest of education loans up to Rs.4,00,000 is 10.75% and it does not exceed the Prime Lending Rates while the rate of interest is calculated at 11.75% for a loan above Rs.4,00,000 which is subject to changes as per the guidelines of RBI or the loan sanctioning bank.
Most of the banks in India do not charge any processing fee / upfront charges for education loans while the State Bank of India accepts a deposit of Rs.5000 for the sanction of education loan which is adjusted in the margin money. The loan can be obtained from the branch which is nearest to place of your permanent residence. You need to submit the following documents when you are applying for a bank loan:
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at IndiaStudyChannel.com for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.
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