All About Finance Options for Higher Education for Students of All Backgrounds

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John Dewey had very rightly put it in simple words, “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” These words rightly describe the vital role of education in our lives and for the upliftment of the world we live in. It not only moulds our thoughts and actions and helps us navigate towards the right direction, but it also helps in shaping our future. All employers seek qualified, highly educated and skilled individuals to work for them, which is why, the demand for quality education is always on the rise. The fast-growing competition and the even faster growing global population have added to this frenzy.

For individuals who have just graduated from college, the next step constitutes further honing of their skills by looking for relevant opportunities for higher education. From writing SOPs, finding teachers to write a good recommendation letter to arranging for ways to pay the fees- the efforts required in the initial stages before an individual takes off for higher education, either in his/her native country or overseas are quite enormous. While SOPs and LORs are taken care of with the help and suggestions of acquaintances who have previously gone through this stage, the hunt for the right funding option for higher education is often faced alone and unadvised for most of us.

Understanding that a practical financial solution is more than welcome at this stage, here are the best options to arrange funds for your higher education:

Grants and Scholarships-First and foremost are grants and scholarships which have come to be the most sought-after solution for students who go abroad for their masters or their Ph.D. There are course-specific grants, grants for bright students from economically backward families, government scholarships, college/university-specific scholarships based on the score obtained in qualifying tests like IELTS, GRE, or GMAT to name a few. The internet is the best resource for this option.

Moreover, some colleges and universities provide partial or complete fee waivers based on merit to students when they apply.

Loans- Among loans, there are education loans and personal loans for higher education to choose from- these are provided by banks as well as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). You can apply for them after checking your eligibility for the same and going through the interest rates and terms of lending.

Borrowing from Known Acquaintances- If you are comfortable borrowing a part of your college/university fees (or the entire fees) from a known acquaintance, you can definitely go ahead with it. Here, make sure to consider all worst-case scenarios such as a delay in repayment as it can end up affecting your relationship with your friend or relative.

Crowdfunding- This too has become a popular finance option of late as the internet helps in connecting students looking for funds and educational sponsors with willing investors who wish to pay for the fees or loan money to students.

Jobs and Internships- A majority of the students who go abroad for higher education often take up simple jobs (full-time or part-time, depending on their schedule) to pay for their living expenses or for paying their college/university fees.