Financing foreign education is one of the top challenges students face, given the escalating cost of education. Apart from the tuition fees that increase every year, students need to account for forex charges, accommodation, books and supplies, interest rate hikes, and the falling value of the rupee.
While there are quite a few options available to finance higher education, including education loans, scholarships, personal funds, and loan scholarships, students often miss out on concessions provided by their state governments, making abroad education more affordable. Let’s look at a few of the schemes of the state governments for education abroad.
The Director, Developing Castes Welfare Department sanctions education loans for abroad education under the aegis of the Gujarat government. Students can get an education loan of up to Rs 15 lakh at a mere interest rate of 4 per cent.
The Gujarat Unreserved Educational Educational and Economical Development Corporation also offers education loans for higher education overseas. Students who have got admission to a foreign university in an MBBS, Bachelor’s, or Master’s course are eligible for a loan of Rs 13 lakh. The interest rate given to the unreserved category students is 5 per cent. However, to be eligible under this scheme, the annual family income must be less than Rs 3 lakh.
The Gujarat government also has a scheme — Interest Subsidy Scheme on Education Loans — that provides 100 per cent interest subsidy on a loan of up to Rs 10 lakh, wherein the government pays the interest amount during the moratorium period.
The Haryana Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation provides education loan under the NSFDC/NSKFDC scheme. Students can apply for an education loan for foreign education of up to Rs 20 lakh. To be eligible under the scheme, students should belong to scheduled castes with an annual family income of up to Rs 3 lakh. They must be a permanent resident of Haryana and should be between the age of 18 to 44 years.
There are a few other Haryana government education loan schemes for minority communities and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), and students with disabilities, namely Haryana Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections Kalyan Nigam and Education Loans for Persons with Disabilities respectively.
The government of Goa provides interest-free education loans to students to pursue overseas higher education. Students can apply for an education loan of up to Rs 16 lakh. However, to be eligible under this scheme, the annual family income should not exceed Rs 12 lakh. The loan can be availed for pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate level courses in the fields of Engineering, Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Architecture, Finance, Law, Fine Arts, Home Science, Management, Environment, and Computer Science.
Himachal Pradesh government provides education loans to students belonging to weaker sections of society. The National Minority Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, provides these loans to help students fund job-oriented and professional/technical courses. Students can apply for an education loan of up to Rs 20 lakh for abroad studies at an interest rate of 3 per cent.
The HP government also offers an educational loan scheme under the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation for students with disabilities. Students can apply for an education loan of up to Rs 20 lakh at an interest rate of 4 per cent. There is a 1 per cent interest rebate for women students.
To be eligible under the scheme, students need to furnish documents proving they are Himachali along with other documents. Students with disabilities who may possess disabilities to the extent of 40 per cent or above, will have to furnish a medical certificate.
Rajasthan Minority Finance and Development Co-operative Corporation offers education loan schemes to pursue higher education in India and abroad to facilitate job-oriented education for students belonging to minority communities.
— Students can apply for an education loan of up to Rs 30 lakh for courses abroad with a maximum duration of 5 years @ Rs 6.00 lakh per annum.
— The ceiling for family income is Rs 81,000 in rural areas and Rs 1,03,000 in urban areas. The interest rate offered is 3 per cent.
— As a special initiative of NMDFC, the ‘Creamy Layer’ criterion followed amongst the OBC community was adopted, under which the ceiling for family income was kept at Rs 6 lakh annually. The interest rate offered for male candidates under this initiative is 8 per cent and 5 per cent for female candidates.
These are some of the schemes offered by state governments. Apart from these states, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala offer similar loan schemes. Some state governments also provide overseas scholarships, such as the Andhra Pradesh government. Students should check out these schemes and read the eligibility criteria before applying for an education loan to study abroad.
Courtesy : The Indian Express