With the onset of my second year of engineering, I told my mom – Maa, I want to go to Harvard for my masters.
She smiled and said that was great but there was no way we could’ve afforded the fees and expenses.
To be honest, I was dejected at that point. How can a student with a good academic profile who wants to learn more about something be stopped by the hindrance of the high fees? I started thinking about it and I found a solution.
I just paid my first year’s tuition for attending a masters’ program at Boston University. So, I can tell you from personal experience that this plan works.
If you are wondering how you will pay the fees for your dream Of Overseas Education, this one is for you. Here is how I did it:
There are a whole lot of bank loans available in India. I personally researched the loans offered by SBI and HDFC Credila. The problem with most of the student loans available in India is that they ask for heavy collateral and have a maximum cap of somewhere around ₹25 lakhs. Many banks have changed the rules around the cap since the time I researched on these. But even then, getting a student loan does not cover your entire funding needs.
You can get a little creative and go for a personal loan, with some option of student discount attached to it. That said, this will still be an expensive source. I would suggest you go through this option only to bridge the gap left by your other funding sources. Whatever happens, do not use your international card to fund any part of your global education.
I have two remarkable options for you – MPOWER Finance and Prodigy Finance. Both of them are lenders who help international students like you and me in funding our studies. They have tied up with a ton of programs, don’t ask for collateral and don’t ask for a foreign local as your co-signer either. They also run their own scholarship programs. I took a loan from MPOWER Finance since they provided a fixed rate instead of a floating rate, like the one offered by Prodigy.
When I landed at Boston University, I was shocked to know that a student had used a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for her education. She came from Tanzania, an East African country and was the first one in her family to even go to college. She posted a video pitch on her profile and was able to raise almost one-third of the funds she needed. This may sound outlandish but if you have an inspiring story – it is totally worth a shot.
There are a ton of scholarship programs available to Indian students. If you are highly meritorious you should apply for scholarship programs like Fullbright Scholars. Many such programs give you full or partial funding. Some of them also have a monthly stipend component to help you with your monthly expenses.
In addition to this, you should definitely check out the funding options provided by the university you want to go to. They might have interest free or low-interest education loans and may even consider you for a need-based scholarship. I used university funding along with student debt to pay for my tuition at Boston University.
There’s one more way for you to think about this. I got this idea from my elder sister’s husband who just finished an Executive Program in Management from INSEAD Singapore. He could’ve gone to INSEAD right after his graduation, but he did not have any way to fund his education back then. So, he worked hard for five years in the first job he got out of his graduation. He got promotions, made a few investments and saved a lot. He was also able to build a good credit score at this time. Finally, all of that culminated and helped him pay for his fees at the INSEAD Singapore executive program.
You can use a combination of these sources to fund your global education – bank loans, student loans, crowd-funding, university funding, scholarships and savings. What you choose will depend on your circumstances and motivation.
All I will say is this – if you really want it, the sky is the limit!