LoT’s Seminar on “Financing Higher Education”
Throughout the 12 years of schooling, the path for a student is well laid out and established. Study hard, ace your boards, and get accepted into the college you want. The problem arises when one actually reaches the “college” part. The four years spent here are practically uncharted territory. There’s no well-established protocol, and there’s just so many options to choose and paths to try, that one ends up overwhelmed by all the choice available. It is precisely for this very reason, that The Leaders of Tomorrow’s Lecture Series is such a boon to the students of Manipal University. On 18 January, NLH-102 saw an incredible turnout from students belonging to every year of study. Here are a few snippets of what the guest speaker Aman Jain from ‘Gyandhan’, had to offer to the curious minds during LoT’s seminar on “Financing Higher Education”.
In today’s day and age, a bachelor’s degree seldom seems to suffice, and so the majority of students opt to study further, and more often than not, they want to study abroad. The way the Indian education system is laid out, it is almost never the case that a student is not competent enough to study abroad, or is not able to adapt. The difficulty for Indians seems to always arise in financing their dreams of studying more.
Aman Jain pointed out that our Indian financial system is not very student-friendly. Almost the entire burden of funding one’s higher education, falls on the shoulders of his/her parents. In a country like ours with people residing in every region of the economic spectrum, this may seem slightly unfair. To tackle this very obstacle, he and a few of his colleagues have come up with their start-up, ‘Gyandhan’ – India’s first and only education-focused financing platform.
According to Aman, at this point, there are only 3 primary way to finance one’s further studies:
- Working part-time: Students work as interns/minor assistants in order to fund their studies. The biggest con about this mode is that they are also to be studying side-by-side. In most cases, trying to balance work and academics leads to one not being able to excel at either.
- Scholarships/Grants: One can always apply for subsidies offered by the educational institute. Though available to everyone, these are very few in number. Thus, the fraction of students who actually reap the benefits of these is very small.
- Student Loans: This was Aman’s most preferred method of funding. He stressed on the fact that even though money may be at hand, taking a student load is always the more prudent thing to do.
He presented a predictor which showed an approximate correlation of GRE scores and the institutes possible to get admitted into with them. Even though their expanding database mainly pertained to American colleges, ‘Gyandhan’ showed a lot of promise in becoming a one stop shop solution to the troubles of millions of students nationwide.
“A student’s worth should be measured on his capacity to learn, and ability to apply that towards the betterment of the society. Not by the amount of money he/she can dish out when asked to do so. In the coming years, with the growing consciousness about the plight of ordinary students, things are definitely set to change for the better,” he further added.
In the meantime, at least we – the students of Manipal University, can breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that while we just set an aim to work hard, LoT through its Lecture Series, will always have the rest of the nitty-gritties covered. Maybe a student’s life isn’t so obscure after all.