Loans, Fellowships & Scholarships for Students Studying Abroad

For the Indian student planning to study abroad, there are various sources to consider for financial aid apart from your/parent's savings. The following are some of the major alternative options for financial assistance:
  • Bank Loans
  • Trust Loans
  • Fellowships
  • Support From The Universities
  • Scholarships For Undergraduate Students
  • Scholarships For postgraduate Students

Bank Loans:

Several banks such as Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Canara Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HSBC Bank, Indian Bank etc. are offering education loans for the students willing to study abroad. Based on the loan amount, certain percentage of security (such as NSE shares, house mortgage etc.) is required and interest is charged accordingly. The interest rates would generally not exceed the Prime Lending Rates (PLR). Certain banks also accept a third party guarantee instead of security. To avail of bank loans, the candidate needs to fulfill certain conditions such as they must be an Indian resident, confirmation of admission and requirement of minimum annual income. The repayment of loan generally starts after six months of course completion or one-month of job (if employed immediately after course completion) and the entire amount has to be repaid in 5 to 7 years (from the first payment).

Trust Loans:

Trust loans are either interest-free or charge a lower interest rate (2 to 4 %). The loan amount is variable and is usually up to Rs. 1.5 lacs. However, they generally have a deadline by which you must submit the loan application forms. The following are some of the renowned trusts in India: • J.N. Tata Endowment (soft loans between Rs. 50,000 and Rs.1.5 lacs), • Sahu Jain Trust, Mariwala Trust, • K.C. Mahindra Education Trust and • R.D. Sethna Scholarship Fund.


Fellowships are comparatively difficult to acquire due to stiff competition. The popular ones are- • Inlaks Scholarships • Aga Khan Foundation • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships and • AT & T Leadership Awards (only for U.S.) Despite of the above sources, students can also acquire financial support from the University Funding - Scholarship/Fellowships/Assistantships, U.S. Banks Student Loans (for US) and other sources.

Support From The Universities:

Students have to consider that most universities provide financial aid to international students on merit and not on need. It is easier to avail monetary assistance for graduate programs than undergraduate courses. The aid amount varies for different universities and fields of specialization. Also note that it is easier to receive financial assistance from U.S. and U.K. universities than those in Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

For Undergraduate Students:

In case of undergraduates, Aid forms from the institute as well as the Foreign Student's Financial Aid Form has to be submitted along with a bank statement. Forms may ask details about your personal and total (family) annual income, average living expenses, asset details etc.

For Postgraduate Students:

Postgraduate students must mention about financial aid requirement in their application forms. Meritorious students receive financial assistance most commonly in the form of tuition waivers, scholarship or fellowship and assistant-ships (a cash stipend to take care of their expenses and in return they work for certain hours a week- either teaching or research based).

Notes: • Indians usually are able to manage some funding after one or two semesters. • Ensure that you go through the university information thoroughly and understand the terms and conditions properly.
Author: Sandeep Das

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