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Financial aid for studies abroad!
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June 10, 2005

For your questions about education abroad, international education expert Rituparna Roy Chowdhury has the answers!

I have just completed my BA in economics from Hindu College, New Delhi.

I want to pursue a graduate course in International Economics from a good university in the UK or the US.

I have been a topper all through school. I am now waiting for my final year results. I believe I will score well in GRE and manage good recommendations from my professors.

What are my chances of getting into a good university? What kind of financial assistance can I hope to get?

- Pratyasha Rath

With a good GRE score, excellent past academics, strong recommendations and an all-round personal profile as spelt out through the Statement of Purpose and resume, you stand a good chance of securing admission at a good university.

Most US universities ask for 16 years of formal study, which may stand in your way, as in India except for medical and engineering graduates we have 15 years of education. Again, universities at times may waive off this condition at their discretion if the applicant can show some good work experience or participation in some prestigious projects.

As for Financial Aid, it varies from university to university. You have to individually check with university websites in this regard. While much aid is not available at the time of admission, students do get a good deal of waiver of part or even full tuition fees on the basis of their performance from the first semester onwards. Moreover, Teaching and Research Assistantships and work available within the campus do fetch good money to the students to sustain themselves.

I have done my Masters in Chemical Engineering from IITB. I graduated in 2004 and have been working since with a reputable foreign natural gas company in an offshore location.

I plan to take GMAT this september and apply for US B-Schools.

With just 1.5 years of workexperience, what are the business schools I should aim at?

Are there good B-Schools to target in Europe too?


Yes, work experience is a factor in the admissions decision.

The basic tenure they look at is 1.5 years (over two years when you apply). And the average work experience should preferably be about five years.

You could apply to the top 20 B-Schools. Your background says you are very academically inclined with excellent past results.

You must try to portray yourself as a person with extremely varied inclinations and come up with different personal experiences to prove you can live in the desert or sell ice to the Eskimos through your essays!

Such characteristics would negate the effect of your seemingly bookish nature.

Yes, there are many good B-schools in Europe, too. IMD, Insead and London [Images] Business School are some of the top-rung ones.

Many students who make it to universities abroad have the resources to pay, or have relatives -- brothers, sisters -- or friends abroad.

Also, one often hears of contacting professors. But that again does not seem to be a very easy exercise.

I want to pursue studies abroad related to social policy and development studies. My only criteria is, the university must provide good education. I also need financial assistance through scholarships, etc.

- Nandita Bhan

One need not have brothers and sisters abroad to pursue their studies in foreign lands, although there is the initial cost factor.

Financial aid varies from university to university. Please check with the university web sites.

Aid may not be available at the time of admission, but students do get a good deal of waiver of part or even full tuition fees based on their performance from the first semester onwards.

Moreover, Teaching and Research Assistantships and work available within the campus do fetch good money to the students to sustain themselves.

Yes, getting in touch with professors is a good practice for students to know the university, educational opportunities and whether the specialisations you are looking for exist or not.

You may look at the research being carried out at various universities to find out whether the level of education satisfies you or not.

What are the courses availabe in real estate in US? I have four years of experience in real estate. I need to know:

1. How much will it cost?
2. When do sessions start?
3. Which universities in North America offer these courses?
4. Which books do you recommend for preparation?
5. What are the propects if I do an MBA?

- Ranjeeta Sondhi

Please check for universities that offer your subject.

Fall courses start in August. As for preparation of GRE/ GMAT, you may study from Kaplan's or Barron's Guide.

Costs differ from university to university, so please check individual universities to ascertain the expenditure levels.

The best possible option would be to do an MBA which gives you a specialisation in real estate.

I am a software developer in a hospital at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I hold an MCA in Distance Education from Madhurai Kamraj University. I want to pursue my studies in Application Development in a UK or American University.

How do I apply?


You have to take the GRE. Surf through the web sites of leading universities and find out where you have such courses and take a decision accordingly.

Got a question for Rituparna? Write to us!

Rituparna Roy Chowdhury specialises in helping students frame essays/ SOP and edits thesis for PhD students, conveying their themes with better communication skills. He is currently working on a short-term project for Kaplan, a Washington Post Company, and a leading Test Preparation Company in the US, to edit content for their simulated Tests on SAT, TOEFL, GRE and GMAT. He has worked with The Princeton Review, a leading MNC in the GRE/ GMAT/ SAT training segment. He can be contacted at

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