When shortlisting colleges to pursue International Education, costs incurred for the studies become an obvious point of research. These costs could be broadly categorized as Tuition Fees & Cost of Living.
Tuition Fees will include all expenses incurred as part of the study process. Example: Course Fees, College Administrative costs, Visa fees, Air tickets and many more.
Whereas, Cost of Living includes expenses incurred relative to one’s stay during the studies. These would include Rent, City Travel, Daily Food, Health & Lifestyle expenses and many more.
While Course Fee structure remains static during the studies, Cost of Living depends a lot on the individual choices of the student.
As for modes of saving money, students’ options are limited to Scholarships and Part-time jobs. Quiet often, students think they will take up part-time opportunities to fund their stay. However, this decision depends on a string of uncertainties - like labor rules, stipend offered, availability of time, safety and most importantly, how soon would one get a part-time job! One can never know how much expenses they can fund through this route. Whereas, opportunities to apply for Scholarship are abundant.
Over the past decade, tuition costs in institutions worldwide have tripled. Today, an average student is graduating with a higher loan debt. For first timers, Debt brings along a sense of helplessness and students may not make a free choice while taking up job opportunities post-studies. Research related studies require students to pursue non-professional mediums post their studies. Students may not necessarily earn directly out of college. In fact, there have been many instances of students dropping out midways owing to lack of funds. Scholarships lower the burden for students by making education affordable. A Scholarship is a mechanism wherein a certain party decides to bear the costs incurred by the student. The magnitude of these costs could vary. Scholarships offer a financial flexibility, allowing students to concentrate on studies rather than worrying about unnecessary costs. This financial assistance can either be a full-tuition scholarship or a percentage of the tuition fees. Of course, nothing comes free. In return, students are expected to graduate with highest grades, build a career. Thus, becoming Ambassadors of the college.
“A Scholarship is a mechanism wherein a certain party decides to bear the costs incurred by the student”
Note, not all student applicants are awarded a Scholarship. In fact, there is a healthy competition among students to win the more prestigious scholarships. The shortlisting and final decision itself is a highly selective process. Awardees are judged not only on basis of Academic Excellence, Scores in Entrance exam but also Extra-curricular achievements.
Scholarships can be merit-based or need-based. Top ranking institutions tend to offer scholarships based on merit. Some of the most prestigious scholarships, like Eiffel Scholarship awarded by French Government – in addition to the jaw-dropping monetary benefits, offers a few added advantages. Graduate Recruiters know the premium this scholarship holds. A job application from an Eiffel Scholar usually gets more attention. Additionally, one gets to be part of a premium network of previous scholars. Remember this word – PRESTIGE! For anyone who dreams of pursuing International Education, Networking is the most essential element to remain relevant.
Scholarships have a multiplier effect. If an applicant has been receiving scholarships throughout the student life, probabilities of winning future scholarships are high. Scholarships are an essential attention seeker of potential recruiters. While there is a lot of information on a student’s CV, the easiest way for a recruiter to judge a profile is by looking at the quantum of scholarships a student may have received in the past. They know the challenges overcome by the student to get the scholarship. It displays the student’s ability to be an ambitious decision-maker who has been consistently performing better than the rest of the crowd. In a system where grades alone cannot force a decision, Scholarships help the recruiters decide on a prospective employee.
Finally, the money one saves on Scholarships can be utilized to travel around. Students are expected to explore the rich culture and subtle nuances across the regions. For some it can be a once in a lifetime opportunity before they settle into their professional lives. These life experiences help maturing the students faster.
Scholarships can help alleviate student’s stay in a foreign land. It is essential that students take out time to prepare and apply for as many scholarships as possible. After all, it is your money to save!
Nilesh Gaikwad, Country Manager, EDHEC Business School
Currently working as Country Manager in India for EDHEC Business School, Nilesh Gaikwad is an experienced professional within the Education Industry. In addition, he holds honorary positions as member of the International Steering Committee at EDHEC Business School and ViceChairman Higher Education Committee at Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI).