Higher education is the goal of millions of Indians. After going through various stages of education comprising primary school, middle school, high school, pre-university college and college, students aspire to pursue higher education leading to a post-graduate degree.
There are many opportunities in India and abroad for students to pursue post-graduate courses. While there are world renowned post-graduate institutions in India, some students aspire to pursue higher studies in foreign countries.
Whether you are applying for a post-graduate degree course in India or abroad, you need to plan early. You also need to realize that the costs of undergoing post-graduate studies abroad are much higher than the costs for studies in India. However, even if you don’t have the means to fund your studies you can avail a personal loan for education offered by various financial institutions and NBFCs such as banks and Tata Capital.
In order to help you plan your post-graduate studies abroad, we present you the following step by step guide.
1. Plan early
You must plan at least one year in advance to pursue your postgraduate studies to maintain continuity in your studies. This means that you begin your preparations at the beginning of your final year’s study in your present college.
2. Check out the universities you want to apply for
You must decide on the course you want to pursue and search for universities that offer these courses and shortlist the ones that meet your requirements. You can search online and supplement by attending seminars conducted by various universities or their representatives in your city.
3. Study the application process of the short-listed universities
You must study the application process of the shortlisted universities carefully as you may have to meet different requirements of each university.
4. Prepare for the application requirements
Most universities seek scores of various tests such as
- GMAT – for MBA courses
- GRE – for science and engineering courses
- TOEFL – for admission to US universities
You need to take these tests well before the application process and do well in these tests to qualify for admission and become eligible for scholarships if any.
Most universities accept applications online and call for applications one year before the commencement of studies. You must be vigilant and ensure you do not miss the deadlines for applications.
5. Keep all relevant documents ready
Most universities seek the following documents
- Letters of recommendation from professors in your college and prominent citizens
- Results of various tests you have taken – GMAT, GRE, TOEFL
- Statement of purpose – why you should be given admission
- Transcripts from your present college
- Proof of financial ability – net worth statements or proof of loan
These documents take time and therefore you must follow up and keep them ready for submission at the time of application.
6. Evaluate the costs
The costs of post-graduate studies abroad comprises
- GMAT, GRE and TOEFL test costs
- Application process costs
- Tuition costs
- Accommodation and living costs
- Incidental costs – computer time, books, library, research
- Airfare to the place of study from your hometown
- Visa costs
These costs add up to a sizeable sum and hence you must be sure of what you must provide. In fact, even the cost of the application itself is high and therefore you must choose colleges prudently.
7. Prove your Financial Ability
Ability to finance your studies is vital for your admission. If your family finances your education, then the university may require documents such as bank statements, net worth statements or sponsor’s backing as proof. Keep them ready.
Thankfully, the governments, banks and NBFCs provide education loans for post-graduation studies with liberal terms. If you need to take an education loan, you can apply for the same and obtain sanction from the funder and submit the same at the time of application.
You can also search the education space to look for scholarships.
8. How to apply for an education loan
Banks and NBFCs such as Tata Capital offer education loans for post-graduation abroad. Typically, they seek
- The academic record of student
- The reputation of the Institute chosen for higher studies
- Admission letter from the Institute
- Chances of landing a job after studies and estimated salary
- The credit history of co-applicants
- Availability of collateral security
You can visit the website of the lender such as Tata Capital and seek information from the section under ‘How to apply for education loan’ and proceed to comply with their requirements to secure an education loan.
From the above, it is clear that the road to post-graduation studies abroad is possible provided you plan early and prepare for all the requirements as outlined by the universities, governments and lenders.