Dreams of US colleges slipping out of reach as the rupee falls

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Aspirants will now have to raise more funds for their studies, and some will have to change their dream destination; very few projects give up completely, consultants say

The weakening of the rupee against the dollar will have a profound impact on overseas education plans and increase the financial burden, students say.

Indian students who want to study abroad fear their American university dream remains just a fantasy, with the rupee hitting a new high every other day. Aspirants will now have to raise more funds for their studies. Others will have to change their dream destination.

Financial institutions believe the concerns are real and that student loan requirements will increase. Study abroad consultants, on the other hand, believe that students don’t really need to worry, especially those planning to work in the United States after graduation.

Read also : The rupee at its lowest: here’s how it affects the common man

What do the students have to say?

“As the rupee falls to a new record high against the US dollar, it spills over into concerns among study abroad applicants. The weakening of the Indian currency against the US dollar will have a profound impact on students’ education plans abroad and increase the financial burden,” Pushpender Kumar, who plans to study law in United States..

“For my other friends, a change of choice of country may work but for me it is not possible, given the long-term plans. Each country has a different legal system and it takes different knowledge to practice as a lawyer. I do not have a choice. However, I think the ultimate cost will increase further until I land there and finally graduate,” he added.

The Rupee hit a new all-time low last week, touching the 80 mark against the US Dollar.
According to official statistics, more than 13.24 lakh Indian students went abroad for higher education, with most heading to the United States (4.65 lakh), followed by Canada (1.83 lakh), United Arab Emirates (1.64 lakh) and Australia (1.09 lakh) among others. .

Lenders’ perspective

Arijit Sanyal, MD and CEO, HDFC Credila believes that a depreciated rupee would indicate an increase in the cost of education for an Indian student aspiring to study abroad. “From the perspective of education lenders, this would translate into larger tickets, as a borrower would need to have a larger amount available to cover overall expenses, including tuition and incidentals. However, a borrower who is in the loan repayment stage during this period might find it easier to raise funds if he earns in dollars,” Sanyal said.

Tuition fees and living expenses are the two main components of student expenses while studying abroad. The rupee in the face of a losing streak translates into higher fees and cost of living, as a dollar would cost more in rupee than before.

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According to Prashant A Bhonsle, founder of Kuhoo Fintech, an online student loan platform, the costs are much higher for students planning to study in the United States as they have to pay tuition and living expenses in dollars. The Euro and British Pound have appreciated against the Rupee and as a result have reduced the cost of education for Indian students in the UK and Europe.

“This is good news for Indian students who passed out and started working and earning money and sending the money back to India to pay their loans or expenses in India,” he said. he declares.

Comparison of historical data can grasp the significant increase in the charge propelled by the depreciation of the rupee. An Indian student who paid fees at an exchange rate of around 65 rupees per dollar in 2017 could end up paying 77-80 rupees per dollar today.

Avinash Kumar, founder of Credenc.com, said the cost of everything from tuition to living expenses to travel tickets rises every time the rupee drops certain points.
According to the most recent fall, the Rupee touched 79.83 against the US Dollar. So, a student whose semester fee was $40,000 paid Rs. 29.52 lakh in January 2022, when the rupee was at 73.8 to the dollar. Today, she has to pay Rs 31.92 lakh.

Read also : The Rupee drops 9 paise to an all-time low of 79.90 against the US Dollar

With living expenses of around $9,000 per semester (Rs 7,18,000) and travel expenses (Rs 90,000-1,00,000), you are looking at a huge outlay of Rs 41 lakh for one semester, a- he explained.

The foreign university always attracts

Higher education consultants believe that studying abroad is a well-considered decision and is unlikely to change quickly with the volatility of the rupee.

“Most students take out loans based on the institute fees. Thus, if the charges increase in rupees, the lenders take this into account and increase the sanctioned amount. In fact, students who took out a loan 2 or 3 years ago can now repay it easily with their dollar earnings,” said Sumeet Jain, co-founder of Yocket, a platform for college applicants. foreign.

Similarly, Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO of University Living, a global student accommodation marketplace, said students are still choosing to study abroad. It’s just that they now prefer new destinations where tuition fees and living costs are a bit cheaper, such as France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Spain.

Read also : The rupee hits an all-time low of 79.60 against the US dollar, down 15 paise

Vibha Kagzy, Founder and CEO of ReachIvy.com, said, “Changes in the global economy are the norm. The United States has been a study abroad choice due to the ease of communication in English and the abundance of opportunities. European countries have also caught up and are at par. Arguably, their tuition fees are more attractive, as are their financial support options,” she said.

(With agency contributions)

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