Tanvi has been a full-time personal finance journalist and now leads a multi-faceted existence as a wife & mum, and now a Certified Financial Planner and wine sommelier.

Funding Your Higher Education

Going abroad to study this fall? Follow a list of To-Dos to make financing your study easy

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Now that you have been accepted into the university of your dreams, the next step is to make this dream come true! Surely you’ve burnt the midnight oil studying hard for your GMAT, shut your friends out completely, stayed glued to your desk endlessly for hours and this acceptance is perhaps the biggest accomplishment to validate that. However, your struggle doesn’t end here. Many a foreign education dreams are quashed because of lack of finances. Let’s make sure that you aren’t in that spot. Here are a few simple must-dos to ease the financial burden of your higher education…

First things first, identify all your costs!

The tuition fee is a no-brainer, as it is listed in the application form. Also, include the cost of your course books, etc. What you also must account for, is the cost of your stay, which includes rent, as well as food. If you are someone who likes to eat out often, make sure you account for that, too. Keep in mind that travel and transportation costs, cost of utilities like your phone, clothing expenses (as you move into winter), personal expenses, recreation costs, must be added to your list, as well. When you add all this up, the total may be a lot more than what you had initially thought of.

Already have some money to fund your expenses? Make a list.

Let’s say that you’ve been putting some money aside from your salary to save up for a special occasion, now is the time to use it. Take into account all the savings you had set aside for your education abroad, this could be mutual funds, fixed deposits, equity investments, etc. It may also be wise to approach your parents to find out if they’ve kept some money aside just for your higher education, that you never knew about. Make a total of all these funds and see where you stand.

Take note of scholarships and other aids.

One of the most important things you need to figure out is whether you have to meet only your initial expenses and that of your first trimester, or for the entire duration of your higher education course? This means that you must account for any income that you are expected to receive as a part of a scholarship or assistantship from your school. Scholarships and assistantships are extended to all international students, which is a direct cut in the tuition cost, and is based on some academic merit. Scholarships could range from $500 per year to sometimes the entire tuition cost itself. However, these are taxed by the local country’s governments. Some schools also charge one-time-fees like an orientation fee or health fees, which may go unaccounted. Then there are also assistantships, which require you to assist in research and teaching, and will pay you a stipend. Make sure you are in the loop about this.

Meet the shortfall with the help of a student loan.

Any shortfall between your financial savings and the cost of your higher education (including all expenses), can be fulfilled by taking a student loan. How much can you take? As a standard, the quantum of loan is capped at ₹10 lakhs for studies in India and ₹20 lakhs for studies abroad, which covers tuition, hostel charges (if any), cost of books, etc. This amount can be higher, but it is subject to how well you are able to convince the financial institution that you need it, and an assurance that it will be repaid.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are for informational purposes only. The authors and publishers are not responsible or liable in any manner for any actions you might take relying on the contents of this article.


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