A recent survey found that students indicated high cost was the greatest deterrent to studying overseas, followed by the lack of scholarship opportunities. However, with proper information and planning, hopefully, no student aspiring to go abroad will face this predicament and compromise on their academic endeavours.
There are a number of scholarships offered by schools, universities, and external agencies that can help make studying abroad affordable for Indians. Let’s probe into the various available options:
One of the best sources of financial aid can be the college you attend. Universities provide aid through grants and scholarships which do not have to be repaid, and can be offered based on need or merit.
For example, there is a US $25 million endowment from the Tata Education and Development Trust that supports around 20 Indian scholars at Cornell. To be eligible, it’s necessary to first be accepted into an undergraduate course at Cornell, and then apply for need-based financial aid. The British Council also recently announced the single largest number of scholarships ever launched in a year in India, by offering around 370 scholarships, worth almost 1 million pounds. There are 36 UK institutions participating in this programme, and scholarships will be offered for 260 undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Current Learning Institutes
The institution you currently attend could be a resource for financial aid. It’s important to speak to your school and department heads to understand if any scholarships are available, and what their admission criteria are. For example, all graduates of UWC schools who gain admission on their own merit to selected U.S. Colleges or universities qualify for need-based scholarship support through the Davis United World Colleges Scholars Program. The program currently supports over 2,700 scholars at 94 partner colleges and universities throughout the United States.
It is quite common for community groups to encourage and support exceptional members of the community in their academic endeavours. For example, the Mustard Seed Foundation (The Harvey Fellows Program) provides scholarships to Christian students pursuing graduate studies at premier universities in fields considered to be underrepresented by Christians, and who possess a unique vision to impact society through their vocations.
There are a number of trusts, foundations and private groups that look to aid exceptional candidates. The criterion varies depending on the ethos of the institution, but you will have to provide adequate justification for why you are the right candidate. For example, the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship Program supports international study at the graduate level and funds graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. It is a partnership between the district/club in the study location and the district/club in the scholar’s home country.The minimum grant amount is US $30,000.
Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation provides scholarships up to US $100,000 for exceptional Indian students to study in North America or Europe. The scholarship covers tuition fees, adequate living expenses, and one-way travel. Applicants must be under 30 and residing in India at the time of application.
The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation awards interest-free loan scholarships to Indian students with a consistent and strong academic record. The scholarship amount can be up to Rs. 20 lakhs. The Foundation awards students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies at prestigious Indian and international universities.
The Indian Government
The Indian Central and State Governments have launched scholarships to help finance proficient students looking to study outside of India. For example, the Government of Telangana introduced the “Overseas Study Scheme for Minorities” to help students from minority communities. 500 minority students/graduates per year will get financial assistance for Post Graduate/Doctoral studies abroad, as per the guidelines.
The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships help outstanding Indians wanting to pursue a Master’s degree in selected U.S. colleges and universities. Selected fellows must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, have at least three years of work experience, and be committed to return and contribute to their communities.
There are a number of resources Indian applicants can utilize to fund their study abroad. Conduct research, connect with targeted colleges, probe into Government schemes, reach out to external agencies, and speak to successful students. Start early, and thoroughly explore all the options available before making your final decision.
About the Author: Grishma Nanavaty is a Partner and Lead Counselor at ReachIvy.com.
Find out more about scholarship options, as well as how to craft a scholarship application letter, on ReachIvy’s website.