A significant number of students are enrolled in top universities around the world each year. So there is no shortage of brilliant students in India. However, without a scholarship, many deserving students from not-so-affluent families cannot afford to be admitted to even the best Indian universities – forget about taking the opportunity abroad.
Aside from the fact that the degree is internationally accredited, Indian students choose to study medicine in Ukraine because the fees there are half of what they would pay at the private medical colleges in India.
Due to the lack of proper scholarship institutions in India, they now want to get government admissions to state medical colleges after returning from the war-torn country. If students knew about the scholarships available in India – many students would have made different choices.
While the US has $100 billion earmarked for student funding, the government here just isn’t pushing for scholarships in India.
Where Do Students Go When They Want Scholarship In India? Where can you find what is available?
Career Advisor and Higher Education Planner Charushilla Narula Bajpai, Founder and Key Mentor of UniversityConnection, writes on the need for scholarship platforms.
The Need for Scholarship Platforms in India
Counselors, teachers and parents often advise students – that the best way to predict the future is to create it. That’s great, but what if that future requires more than getting good grades, creating superstar profiles, or getting admitted to a dream college or university? What if that future needs real, tangible support in the form of resources, funds, and an opportunity to realize your true potential?
Get to know Kavita. She comes from a single-earner household stationed in a small town and has limited access to careers counseling at her school. When Kavita said she wanted to study fashion design, everyone (even her friends) laughed at her. She didn’t want to give up and wanted to learn from the best in places like London, Italy or France. Many scoffed at her boldness. She didn’t know much about applying abroad, but did her best to get accepted into a top fashion college in the country. But where were the funds for this? The university did not have a financial aid system, nor were there many searches that could lead it to where it wanted to be.
Let’s get to know Ritika. Pursuing her love of math and economics, she aspires to study in the United States. Her mother is a housewife and her father works in an organization. Her family of five also includes her grandmother and younger brother. They all depend on their father’s income. Her parents’ mission was clear to her: If you want to study abroad, get a scholarship. Ritika researched myscholly.com and university websites and found a #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship. She applied through a joint portal and not only made it to some great universities with scholarships, but she even applied for additional need-based and merit-based financial aid and received more than 80 percent of her tuition waivers.
Honestly, Ritika could have ended up just like Kavita, with limited funds and nowhere to go. Both were looking for funds, but one found it easy to get scholarships for students and the other kept looking. Of course, advisors can argue that Kavita should have done better research. She would have found the National Scholarship Portal (NSP), launched in 2020, which brings together hundreds of scholarships offered by central and state government agencies, as well as the UGC (University Grants Commission).
Let us explore different types of scholarships currently available in India just to name a few:
- State grants such as
National Means Cum Merit Scholarship
Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for College Graduates
Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme and more.
- Merit-based scholarships where academic marks/grades are prioritised
- Women’s Scholarships specially designed for the female students to encourage them
- Needy scholarships to help those seeking financial assistance to pursue higher education
- Merit and means-based scholarships that support students who are not only seeking financial aid but are meritorious in their academic journey
- Talent-based scholarships that focus on the student’s achievements in extracurricular/extracurricular activities at various levels
- Community-based grants for specific communities or minority communities
- Private Scholarships and more!
Scholarships in India
NSP is considered one of the many Mission Mode projects under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), similar to a sustainable development goal leading to nation building. It’s a great start towards digitization and one that deserves applause. However, when one (as a consultant or higher education planner) needs to refer and suggest options to someone who is pursuing, for example, international relations or psychology or undergraduate or postgraduate scholarships in India, it becomes important to be able to find this information easily. The portal requires student orientation along with scholarship orientation and the creators need to ask themselves: “What is a student or a consultant looking for?” As an example, try this search: “Scholarships to study fashion design in India”. You will most likely be directed to International Scholarships along with paid results.
Scholarship requirements vary from public scholarships to private institutions offering scholarships that may be fully or partially funded by them. However, it is important that students carefully review their scholarship application while researching the websites and scholarship portals to understand them better.
Here are 4 main requirements:
- Academic grades / certificates
- Declaration of family income
- Additional exams
- Additional essays explaining the need for grants
Encouraging students to explore multiple scholarship opportunities must be a priority. It makes them believe in their own abilities and plan their dream university along with a scholarship. A well-researched and comprehensive Complete Application Admission Schedule (CAAS) of ours has helped students earn more than $50 million in scholarships in the last three years alone, including the Holland Scholarship, multiple Global Scholar Awards and even presidential and other merit and needs awards at various universities. It is encouraging to see that many private universities in India are incorporating financial aid and scholarships into their offerings and neatly fleshing out this information on their website with a defined mandate. Symbiosis, OP Jindal, Ashoka, KREA, Plaksha and many more often have more than 50 percent of their students studying on one scholarship or another, and one wonders if those same students would have chosen a public university if they did had access to better research.
A scholarship isn’t just money on the table; it’s a value proposition. It means someone believes in an individual’s future, in their ability to create change, and therefore makes sense to invest in it!