Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Indian students in US are fighting a losing battle against rising expenses

“The rupee has hit its lowest level at 80and many students have been thinking of topping-up their loans or increase their education loan amount to enable them to counter the rising cost of living in the US.”

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

Most Indian students who have taken hefty loans – sometimes upto Rs 30 lakhs – are finding it difficult to sustain themselves. Pitted against the weakening Indian rupee and soaring inflation in the US have forced many to take more loans to keep themselves afloat.

The rupee has hit its lowest level at 80and many students have been thinking of topping-up their loans or increase their education loan amount to enable them to counter the rising cost of living in the US, according to Ankit Mehra, CEO and co-founder of GyanDhan, an education financing marketplace, reported by CNBCTV18.com. Mehra said that students were keen to top-up loans of up to 10 per cent of the principal. In absolute terms, he pointed out, they need an extra Rs 2 to Rs 10 lakh, averaging at about Rs 5 to Rs 6 lakh for most students, he said.

The rising costs notwithstanding, Indian scholars have signed up for US colleges this year, according to education consultant Athena Education, quoted in the CNBCTV18 report. Poshak Agrawal, Athena’s co-founder said that financial cycles were not new but the quest for knowledge was a constant. “On the one hand, the dollar’s value with respect to the rupee increases the cost of education marginally for the parents paying for their child’s tuition fee, living expenditures, food costs, etc. However, on the other, for so many scholars who have graduated and have jobs in the US or are interning, their purchasing power has risen. They can support their Indian family more with the same dollars earned. Their salaries and stipends have greater power now,” Agarwal said, explaining the proof of return on investment.

“To add to the students’ woes, students have to pay their second instalments on the rent and the rupee depreciation could create challenges. It was the same with loans and their interest rates.”
— Saurabh Arora, CEO & founder of University Living

Another education consultant, GyanDhan voiced similar sentiments. “We have seen a significant increase in the number of students targeting studies in the US. The COVID-year saw a contraction, but since then volumes have picked up dramatically,” GyanDhan’s CEO was quoted saying in the report.

Meanwhile, parents who have been financing Indian students abroad have been troubled with the rising financial load. Overseas education costs have increased by 25 percent in the last six years, according to Roopali Birman, Head of Counseling, iSchoolConnect. She also said tht “high-interest rates on education loans coupled with hiked spending due to the sinking rupee value are adding to their financial woes”. She also pointed out that “many aspirants are turning to domestic colleges” due to these high costs.

To add to the students’ woes, students have to pay their second instalments on the rent and the rupee depreciation could create challenges. It was the same with loans and their interest rates, according to Saurabh Arora, CEO & founder of University Living, a global student accommodation marketplace.

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