The rupee value has hit an all time low this week and the trend is giving jitters to students planning to study in the U.S.A. and their parents who have to shell out more than they expected initially.
As students pay fees in dollars, they have to shell out more money for not only their course but also for other expenses like lodging and travel. August and September are the favourite months for most Indian students to join U.S. varsities and June and July are the months when students complete the admission process in the varsities apart from making arrangements for boarding and travel. Unfortunately for them, the value of the rupee has plummeted now.
“The impact of the falling rupee will directly affect students considering U.S. as a destination for their studies as their education becomes at least 10 per cent more expensive,” says Ravi Lochan Singh, Managing Director of Global Reach, an education consultancy. “Further, if you consider that there is a 10 per cent increase in tuition costs since last year, education has become about 20 per cent more expensive, Mr. Singh feels.
The worrying factor for parents is the fall of the rupee since the last 40 days that was crucial in their financial calendar. Compared to last year, parents have to spend Rs. 7 to Rs. 8 more per dollar. It means those paying a fee of Rs. 5 lakh initially in an average university have to shell out Rs. 60,000 more apart from other expenses. Those opting for good universities have to take a much higher load.
“The rupee fall may not force students to opt out of higher education but they certainly have to take some additional burden,” says Balasubramanyam, General Manager, Visu Academy Ltd. “Enquiries with us have not reduced due to this factor,” he says. But people like Ravi Lochan Singh feel the U.S. numbers could fall. He says the fall in the value of rupee coupled with decreased scholarships in U.S. varsities may see a dip.
Parents agree that the additional money is an unexpected burden on them. “We all depend on bank loans. Now, seeking an additional lakh looks imminent. If they don’t agree, we have to raise money from other sources,” says Varaprasad, whose daughter is admitted into the M.S. course of a university in Virginia. Students who are already admitted and waiting for release of bank loans for their second and third semesters are also affected.
However, the lucky ones are those who have just completed the course and entered their first job. The burden on them would reduce as they pay back their bank loans here.