Parents of those who are already pursuing courses abroad are feeling the pain of shelling down more

The plummeting rupee value has severely hit the students who have begun the processing of higher education abroad this year while parents of those who are already pursuing courses abroad are bearing the pain of shelling out more.

The variation in the additional burden due to the falling rupee value ranges from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh per annum depending on the tuition fee structure. The amount is quite huge for the Indian middle class, which dreams of foreign education for their children. “I am just shocked as my plans have gone haywire,” says a student who has got admission in the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.

She initiated the process in August last when the rupee value was 48 per US dollar. The course fee cost Rs. 27.84 lakh then. By the present rate of Rs. 56 per US dollar, she would have to shell out Rs. 32.48 lakh. By the time she actually pays the fee in a few months, she may have to shell out about Rs. 34.80 lakh if the rupee value depreciates further to Rs. 60 per US dollar.

Students who are already in US too are worried. Arun, a student of computer science at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, feels that his second and third semesters will cost more now with the depreciation of rupee. His parents have to spend from their personal savings to fund the shortfall.

Fewer scholarships

“The US dollar has appreciated by 25 per cent in one year and this would mean that the education has become 25 per cent more expensive. Overall, there is 30 to 35 per cent increase in expense for an Indian parent in the last 12 months. What is worst is that the number of scholarships has come down too,” says Ravilochan Singh, Managing Director of Globalreach.

“It's a concern for parents,” agrees Sai Manohar Rudramaina, CEO of US Grads, an educational consultancy. Mr. Sai, who is also a US varsity alumnus, says Indian students are smart and they will manage their expenses better to ward off the effect.

However, he says its also good news for those who have completed their MS now and started working as they get more rupees per dollar. Ramya, who just finished MS at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas is elated that she would spend a few dollars less while repaying her loan.

Mr. Ravilochan says the maximum loan limit of Rs. 20 lakh was fixed by Indian banks a decade ago. There is a need to increase the maximum limit as the costs have become higher. In short term, this is the only solution that can be offered to the students and their parents.

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