Funds in place?

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The risk of financial burden deters many from applying to foreign colleges. Fortunately, there are many ways to fund your study abroad plans. Here are some options:

Scholarships: These are grants awarded to a student based on different factors such as merit, sports, and others. Consider it as your first port of call for funding, as it does not come with the obligation to pay the money back.

Student loans: Generally, loans are taken from banks and money lenders but this may require collateral or a guarantor. While some new platforms have come up that follow other models, student loans involve a substantial amount. Therefore, one needs to research and evaluate various options keeping in mind the pros and cons of each.

Part-time employment: While studying abroad, a part-time job can help pay extra bills. Students can easily spare a few hours/week from their university schedules and work various jobs (teaching/research assistants under university professors) to cover their living expenses or tuition fees.

Student prizes: Many universities have awards for best academic performer, best dissertation paper, and for other such criteria. Depending on the university and the currency, the amount may vary but it will help provide some financial relief.

Internships: Higher education programmes such as an MBA allow students to pursue internships between the first and second years. These often are well-paid and will help take care of a substantial part of the second year’s living/tuition expenses. A good performance in the internship could also lead to a job offer.

Avoid pitfalls

While the above points will help you plan your finances, you also need to ensure that you do not fall victim to scams. Here are a few tips:

Undisclosed additional cost: A respected loan lender will include only interest and principal in the repayment conditions. However, a fraudster will add unnecessary costs or services into the process.

Talk to the enrollment officer: Many loan lenders proudly list the schools they work with on their websites. Confirm this with the enrollment officer of the school you are applying to.

Speak to others: Lenders will have customer reviews on their websites. But connect with seniors or other students to find out more and to confirm the authenticity.

Money flow: With money laundering cases on the rise, a student may need transparency from a lender to understand their loan process. Ideally, the money should be disbursed directly to the school, which will retain the tuition fee and pass the balance to the student for living and other expenses.

The writer is Country head of India, Prodigy Finance

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 9:02:54 PM |

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