In some scholarships, factors like extracurricular activities and volunteering can also be used to gain advantage.
Higher studies abroad is a dream for many Indian students, to fulfil which scholarships play a major role. The colleges and universities of the US top the list of scholarship programmes. While studying in the US can become quite an expensive affair, you can apply to and avail of these scholarships, if you plan well in advance.
Open to meritorious international students to help them fund their studies, these scholarships can be partial or fully paid, depending on the criteria, course and the institution. Many scholarships and bursaries are also offered by the US government, and various private and public establishments as well. There are many scholarships especially available for Indian students. When applying to any of these scholarships, make sure you check the criteria carefully, along with the application closing date.
Criteria for applying to scholarships:
The most important criterion for most scholarships is a good academic score, however, it also depends on factors such as your chosen destination, subject and level. In some scholarships, factors like extracurricular activities, and volunteering can also be used to gain advantage. Keep in mind that every scholarship has its own eligibility criteria. While in some, a mere application may suffice, for others, you may have to fulfil several other conditions. For instance, in research centric programs, you may have to submit written assignments. Do not hesitate to contact the university admission centre in case of any doubt.
Availability of money:
The amount of money available and the type of award varies across the institutions. Certain research programs may provide up to 100% of the tuition fee besides covering a part of your living expenditures. You may see higher competition when you apply for government scholarships, in comparison to the university ones. So, it is advisable to start with the procedure about 8-12 months before your preferred intake begins.
Here is an overview of the top scholarships for Indian students:
This scholarship is especially for Indian students who are looking to study in the US. This opportunity creates a tremendous amount of potential for Indian students to secure scholarships.
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships – This fellowship is for highly motivated graduates and postgraduates from India, who wish to pursue their post-graduate studies in the United States. Applicants must demonstrate leadership skills and a track record of community services, along with a good command over the English language. Selected scholars receive visa support, airfare, tuition fee, living costs, and accident and sickness coverage, as parts of the award for the scholarship.
Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships – This Fulbright Fellowship, funded by the United States India Educational Foundation, is specifically for PhD Scholars from India. Selected scholars are invited to the United States for a 6 to 9-month fellowship, where they carry out pre-doctoral level research at a US institution. Apart from the travel costs, the award also includes a monthly stipend for the Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellows.
Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships – Similar to the fellowship for pre-doctoral research, this Fulbright Fellowship selects Indian PhD scholars for post-doctoral research at US institutes during the period of the award. Applicants must already hold a PhD degree and demonstrate evidence of superior academic and professional achievement. Selected scholars receive J1 Visa support, round trip economy class airfare from India to the US, accident and sickness cover, monthly stipend, settling-in allowance, and professional allowance.
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship – The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship is meant for PhD Scholars with relevant research in the field, especially in relation to identifying resources in the US and India. The applicants must be registered for a PhD Program at an Indian institution, for doctoral research, or must have already obtained their PhD, for post-doctoral research. Under this fellowship, J-1 visa support, round-trip economy class air travel between India and the U.S., a monthly stipend, Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges per U.S. Government guidelines, a modest settling-in allowance, and a professional allowance will be provided. A dependent allowance and international travel may be provided in case of postdoctoral research grantees, and subject to availability of funds, for the one accompanying the eligible dependent.
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program – The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program selects English teachers teaching at Indian colleges for a 9-month Fellowship program in the US. The selected teachers will teach Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu at select US universities. Successful applicants must have a master’s degree in English language, English/American Literature, American Studies, Linguistics, Comparative Literature and related areas, and possess a good academic record. Selected fellows receive airfare, insurance and a monthly stipend for the duration of the fellowship.
For undergraduates and graduates:
Tata Scholarship-Cornell University – This undergraduate US Scholarship offered by the Tata Education and Development Trust is for Indian students, who have passed the class 12th exam and wish to pursue their undergraduate studies at Cornell University in the US. Applicants must already have received an admission offer from Cornell University. The scholarship supports financially about 20 scholars through the course of their studies at Cornell University.
RD Sethna Loan Scholarship – Set up in memory of Mr. R.D. Sethna, an Indian Philanthropist, the R.D. Sethna Scholarship Fund offers the RD Sethna Loan Scholarship to meritorious Indian students looking to pursue technical, scientific, commercial or industrial studies in India or abroad. The loan scholarship offers an amount of INR 10000 to each selected scholar.
JN Tata Endowment Fund – The JN Tata Endowment for Higher Education of Indians provides another useful resource for financing your education at a US university, in the form of the JN Tata Endowment Fund. Indian students who are below the age of 45 and are willing to pursue full-time Postgraduate/Ph.D./Postdoctoral studies abroad in any field are eligible to apply. The Endowment Fund offers a scholarship loan of INR 10 Lakhs at a nominal interest rate of 2%, which can also be waived off, if the student repays the loan timely.
KC Mahindra Scholarships for Post-Graduate Studies Abroad – C. Mahindra Education Trust organizes the KC Mahindra Scholarships for Post-Graduate Studies Abroad for students in India who wish to pursue their post-graduation overseas in any field. The objective of this scholarship is to transform lives of the people of India by providing education and knowledge. The scholarship offers interest free loans of up to INR 8 lakh to the top 3 selected scholars, and up to INR 4 Lakh for the remaining scholars.
National Overseas Scholarship – The National Overseas Scholarship is organized under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, and caters exclusively to SC/ST students. Meritorious graduate and post graduate students from India belonging to the scheduled castes or tribes can avail of this scholarship to receive financial assistance in pursuing a post graduate or Ph.D. degree in the United States.
Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Scholarship – Set up by the Tata Education Trust, one of India’s oldest philanthropic organizations, the Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Scholarship caters exclusively to Indian women and provides them with financial support for pursuing their higher education abroad in the US, UK, or Europe. The applicants must be admitted to a course in one of the fields of study included under the program, viz, social work, social sciences, education, gender studies, child health, public health, rural development work, and communication of development. Applicants need to hold a graduate degree from a renowned institution with an excellent academic track record, and have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in the field of study.
Microsoft Corporation Graduate Scholarships – Similar to the above two, the Microsoft Corporation Graduate Scholarships are also awarded to women who wish to pursue a course in engineering. 10 awards of USD 1000 each are given out under this program.
AAUW International Fellowship – The American Association of University Women (AAUW), a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research, offers an international fellowship exclusively for women studying in the US who are non-citizens or permanent residents. The program provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the US. As a part of the scholarship, women pursuing a master’s course or a first professional degree receive a one-time award of USD 18000, women pursuing doctoral studies receive USD 20000 and those pursuing post-doctoral studies receive USD 30000. Preference is given to the women who show prior commitment to the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, or professional work.
Anne Maureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship – Open to citizens of all countries studying in the US, the scholarship awards one scholar each year with a prize of USD 5000.
Chevron Scholarships – Awarded to women engineering students studying in the US, the scholarship offers 2 annual awards of USD 2000 each to deserving scholars.
For MBA Aspirants:
Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship – Funded by an endowment established by Guru Ramakrishnan, and Anupama Ramakrishnan, this scholarship gives preference to candidates who are Indian nationals. The scholarship is supported by a USD 3 million gift by the Ramakrishnan Family. The fund thus created, supports the annual tuition fees for 3 Indian students admitted to the full-time MBA program at Chicago Booth.
Indian Trust Fellowship – This merit-based fellowship to the Full-Time MBA Program is awarded to incoming students who live and work in India at the time of admission, and are committed to advancing the interests of women in business. This award recognizes students with outstanding leadership, academic, and extracurricular achievements. There are 2 awards in total under this program, and each of the selected fellows is awarded USD 10000 towards the tuition of their MBA Program.
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship – This prestigious fellowship is offered by Reliance Industries in the name of its founder. The fellowship is solely for Indian nationals residing in India who have been admitted to the MBA program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, one of the most reputed MBA programs in the world. Under this fellowship, 80 percent of tuition and associated fees of the selected fellows is covered.
Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship – Established by a Chicago Booth alumnus and business leader, Rishad Tobaccowala, in memory of his father, this fellowship is awarded to Indian students who have been admitted to the full-time MBA at Chicago Booth. The scholarships are given from the interest accrued on a USD 1 million donation to the school.
Chicago Booth MBA Scholarships – The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, also known as simply Chicago Booth, is the graduate business school of the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and hosts one of the most acclaimed MBA programs in the world. The school has produced more Nobel Laureates in the Economic Sciences than any other school, and is second only to the University of Cambridge in total. The school offers many scholarship opportunities for students from all across the world.
These scholarships not only help an Indian student to reach his/her dreams but also creates a sense of belongingness among the youth.
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