Higher Education

Rupee falls turning foreign degree into a distant dream

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For those students looking to pursue a degree in the US this fall, the depreciation of the rupee could not have been more ill-timed. The rupee has depreciated by almost a third since last year. While the rise in application process cost was itself a drain, higher outgo as fees has added to students' woes. Simply put, the outgo in rupee terms for those without a scholarship will not be easy to come to terms with. Starting from reworking their budgets to, in some cases, deferring their plans to study abroad, a lot of hard decisions are being taken by students with respect to their higher education. If that was not enough, a 10-15% increase in tuition fees in the US universities, and the decision to prune budgets has merely amplified the issue.

An interesting case is that of Aditya Deshpande, who is all set to fly out to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business for a masters program commencing this fall. He chose to defer his 2008 admission to the fall of 2009 which has cost him dearly. “The entire aid of $7,500, which the university awarded me last year, has now been wiped out on account of the rupee not holding out,” he said quite despondently. 'So far, there has been no drop in the number of students interested in pursuing education abroad,' said Saraswati Vishwanathan, chief counsellor at the Mumbai-based Gyan Foundation. Importantly, the US remains a preferred destination since the chance of obtaining financial assistance in some form is greater as compared to studying in the UK or Australia. That explains the relentless surge in the number of applications to the US.

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