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With more and more Indians keen on pursuing academic or professional degrees abroad, it becomes apparent that foreign degrees are an extremely expensive proposition, one that all prospective students are aware of. Universities all over the world offer sources of funding in terms of need based grants, merit based grants, scholarships or assistantships to help students finance their education.

Different countries employ different criteria for offering financial aid.  In comparison to Canada, UK, Germany and Singapore, the United States encourages international applicants to apply for a multitude of financial aid opportunities. This is obviously a main motivating factor behind high number of international applications to American Universities. However, in a bid to attract students from all over the world, more countries are adopting a flexible attitude towards providing financial assistance to such students.

Provided below is a list of Banks and Financial Institutes that provide loans to students.


Such financial aid is provided to students almost entirely on merit basis. At the Undergraduate (UG) level, it is relatively more difficult to be awarded assistantships. For master’s courses, an assistantship is the preferred mode of funding a student’s education. All PhD students in engineering colleges, with few exceptions, are offered some form of assistantships. It is important to understand that most universities do not offer financial assistance to international students for a program like MBA. The idea is that professional students will eventually earn more and be better able to pay off loans. However, some business schools mayoffer MBA scholarships based on either merit, such as demonstrated high level of academic or professional ability or high GMAT scores, or need. Take a peek into other important points of consideration that the Comprehensive Educational Loans Scheme entails:

There are different types of assistantships:

  Graduate Assistantships: These are specifically for graduate students. Students work with the admission’s office or other department offices in administrative jobs.

  Research Assistantships: The students work with professors and engage in laboratory work and research projects. Students selected for RA usually need to show research aptitude through projects, publications etc.

Teaching Assistantships: The student (master’s level) helps the professor teach other students. Jobs involve taking tutorials, classes, conducting laboratory experiments etc. For TA positions, some form of a spoken language test has to be taken either during admission or after enrolling into the university. 

A student may obtain a Tuition Waiver where the student does not have to pay the tuition fees at the university. However, general fees (for the use of university facilities like the library, computers, and sports and health services) usually have to be born by the student.

There are also some assistantships like project assistantship, sports or club’s assistantships, etc, which is very specific to the universities.


The University provides these to only distinguished students, who are exceptionally outstanding in their academics. It is expected of the awardees to score exceptionally well in their program to renew the fellowship/scholarship in the following academic year. The amount of scholarship offered differs according to the strength of the profile of the student. The University scholarship option is more available at the Undergraduate level than at Master’s level.

Some trusts offer scholarships specifically to Indian students planning to study abroad. The scholarships provided by these trusts are very course specific. Students will be required to get in touch with the below mentioned institutes to confirm if they are eligible for the scholarship program offered by them.

Indian Organizations:

  K C Mahindra Scholarship

  Nehru Trust for Cambridge University and Trinity CollegeThe loan is disbursed in stages as

  Singapore International Airlines – Youth Scholarships

  J N Tata Endowment

  ITC Scholarships

  Inlaks Foundation

  Rhodes Scholarship

  Mariwala Trust

  Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships

International Organizations:

  Fullbright Commission

  The United Nations


  World Health Organization


Due to scholarship options being extremely competitive, banks have very readily started offering loans to students who plan to study abroad. For International students, there are numerous options offered by Indian banks, Foreign Banks and Non-Cosigner Loans. Generally, it is noticed that if students get admission offers from top Universities, the loan may be sanctioned without the requirement of a co-signer based in the country where the University is established. In other situations, the financial institutions and banks, require a home country based co-signer or a co-signer residing in the country where you intend to go.

Provided below is a list of Banks and Financial Institutes that provide loans to students.

Indian Banks & Financial Institutes: Most Indian banks now offer educational loans for overseas education. The loan amount is usually INR 15 lacks for most banks like PNB, SBI etc and if the loan amount is up to 8 lacks, then collateral is not a prerequisite. Few banks like Indian Bank give up to INR 25 lacks as loan and even PNB offers loans up to INR 60 lacks for overseas education. However, in these situations the applicant has to furnish a collateral of either equal amount or higher.

  Bank of Punjab
  Punjab National Bank (PNB)
  State Bank of India (SBI)
  Oriental Bank of Commerce
  Indian Bank
  Union Bank of India
  Paras Loan Foundation, Bombay

Foreign Banks (US-based banks):

  International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC)
  Sallie Mae
  Access Bank
  Bank of America
  Guaranteed Access to Education Loan Program (GATE)
  Global Student Loan Corporation (GSLC)

Very few banks give educational loans to international students without a co-signer. This happens only if the banks have an understanding with the University the student has been admitted to. Needless to say, that these universities are the best of universities and high in rankings.

For further bank-specific information pertaining to their educational loan schemes, contact us.