Under Graduation: Foundation to a Successful Future

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Indian students prepare for various entrance examinations in an attempt to gain admission into a reputed college for a Bachelor's Degree course.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Indian students prepare for various entrance examinations in an attempt to gain admission into a reputed college for a Bachelor's Degree course.

While most Indian students typically aspire and prepare for entry into an engineering or medical course, Commerce, Business, Arts, Humanities and other novel courses are gaining increasing attention of students. Competition has thus become stiff across courses, especially if the student is trying to gain entry into category A institutions. There is a huge mismatch in the number of such institutions offering Undergraduate programmes, and the increasing number of students aspiring to get admission into them.

A good undergraduate programme is the launch pad to a student's career plans. The lack of quality institutes in India offering such courses and the limited seats offered by them makes life really hard for prospective undergraduate students. Thus, there is an increasing number of students pursuing undergraduate education overseas.

With outstanding infrastructure, cutting-edge course curriculums and comparatively less competition for admission, countries like the US, Australia, Canada and UK are excellent options for UG courses.

Undergraduate courses in the US are generally of a 4 year duration while UK offers undergraduate courses of 3 year duration. Streams ranging from engineering, medical, business & commerce to fashion, design, architecture and general or liberal studies are offered. The entrance requirement may vary from college to college, but largely it is based on the student's academic performance till the Higher Secondary level, interviews & aptitude test scores such as TOEFL, IELTS and SAT and performance in extra-curricular activities.

Particularly in the US, many colleges and universities offer undergraduate courses in Liberal Arts & Sciences. Liberal Arts & Sciences based curriculum is designed to expose the students to a variety of courses from diverse streams, laying emphasis on different modes of inquiry, interdisciplinary connections and independent thinking. Such courses are meant to ignite student curiosity and help them decide on their future course options. Students can opt for either 2 years of foundation programmes in liberal studies and specialize in a stream of their choice in the final 2 years or they can study liberal arts & sciences for 4 years and graduate with a degree in it. Some of the more famous institutes offering such courses are Colgate University, Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, etc.

Students also have a choice of pursuing regular stream programmes such as engineering or humanities or business. The US has numerous public as well as private institutes offering undergraduate courses; countries like UK, Australia and Canada also have such courses on offer. It is to be noted that students who complete their undergraduation overseas generally find it easier to enrol in a master's or graduate level program in the same country.

While the benefits of attending an undergraduate course in the US or another country are several and offer a great route to more advanced degrees, research and employment opportunities, the cost of pursuing those programmes may pose an insurmountable challenge to most Indian students.

The cost can range from Rs 20-30 lacs all the way to Rs 1 crore or more at premier institutes. Considering that most Indian households do not have access to funds of such proportions, a popular alternative is to opt for an education loan. Education loans for undergraduate courses were difficult to come by due to high costs and an acute lack of understanding of such courses and their future prospects by lending institutions. However, in recent times, due to the emergence of specialized and dedicated education loan companies, finance option for undergraduate courses are readily available in the Indian market today.

Avanse Education Loans, a new age education finance company is an Associate Company of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), India's second largest private housing finance company. Loans covering the full cost of the undergraduate education are available through Avanse - sometimes the amount being as high as Rs 1 crore or more. The loan covers the entire cost of education for 3 or 4 years. The student is required to bring a parent as a co-obligator to the loan and a collateral security is also required to guarantee the loan. Avanse provides repayment of the loans for a period upto 10 years.

Avanse does not only provide education loans but much more. Avanse has come up with state-of-the-art loan programs to increase financial effectiveness by covering pre admission loans, lexible repayment plans as well as numerous value-added services to its customers.

With globally reputed institutes like Carnegie Mellon, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Michigan, Cal Tech, etc in the US, Monash University, University of Western Australia, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, etc in Australia and University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Warwick and Cambridge University in the UK significantly increasing their undergraduate student enrolment from India, the need for education loans to fund undergraduate courses has sharply increased in recent times.

Avanse Education Loans has recently tied up with two global educational partners namely Frankfurt School of Finance and Management & Hult Business School. In India, Avanse already has associations with over 700 educational institutions and consultants across cities offering academic programmes ranging from arts, science, engineering, management, medicine, music etc. All this within Avanse's first year of operations!

Choose an undergraduate programme without financial factors impeding your aspirations. It is important to pursue your interest and gain a great foundation to a resounding career.