No doubt foreign education is expensive. While some countries are more affordable in tuition fees (like the UK) than others, there are many expenses that need catering when one wishes to study abroad. Luckily, there are ways around in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans that subdue those hefty amounts for the students & make their stay a little affordable.

Let’s take a better understanding of various financial aids available for students: what they are, how they are different from each other & how to apply for them.

What are scholarships, grants & student loans, and how do they differ from each other?

A scholarship is a form of non-repayable financial aid awarded (by a school, college, university, & groups) to selected individuals based on predetermined criteria, such as academic achievement, departmental and society work, job experience, areas of study, and financial need. These financial aids can be partial or fully paid, depending on the criteria, course, and institution.

Grants again are non-repayable financial aid but given to students who meet specific financial eligibility criteria. Grants are also known as Bursary.

When we talk about a student loan, it is a kind of financial aid, but unlike scholarships & grants, it needs to be paid back, customarily with interest.

How to find study abroad scholarships?

The official website of your chosen universities is the best place to enquire about the scholarships. If you don’t find anything relevant, visit the official UK scholarship page, or you can seek the help of UK education consultants. They can guide you about what scholarships suit you the best & how to apply for them. Do not rely on the internet for scholarships as you might get misleading & out of date information & can lose the opportunity.

How to apply for a UK scholarship & grants?

Once you know for which study abroad scholarship you can apply, you need to start with document preparation. Remember, scholarships are limited in number, so you have to be quick & clever in your approach to avail the benefits of it. Besides, the application process might differ from other scholarships awarded to students. To ease the process of getting a scholarship for study in the UK, counselors can be a great help as they know every aspect asked by the funder & ensure you cover them all in time.

A typical application process looks somewhat like this:

  • The process starts with the registration, usually by filling up an online application form.
  • Once you apply, you receive a confirmation mail indicating that your application is received & in consideration.
  • Then you have to write a personal statement or essay. Make sure it is genuine & reflects your unique experiences and ideas.
  • Gather all the original proofs of your academic, athletic, or artistic achievements. You may need to get them translated too.
  • Official proof of income
  • For region-based scholarships, you would need official proof of nationality
  • Proofread all the required documents for errors and send them to the scholarship provider.
  • Submit the acceptance letter from your chosen university.
  • Once you get selected, the university or college automatically receives the money to cover the entire or some part of your tuition fee.

*Grants are more straightforward and may be awarded automatically based on your application.

How to apply for a student loan for UK studies?

Students wishing to apply for an education loan for studying a program in the UK can avail of the following types of loans through Public Banks, Private Banks & NBFCs.

  • Secured Loan: An applicant would require to attach collateral (tangible or intangible assets like immovable property, FD.) for a loan.
  • Unsecured Loans: The applicant doesn’t need to attach collateral for a loan.

You can also take an education loan from an international lender based in the UK who offers loans for their enlisted colleges. To get detailed information about the same, you can talk to Vision International. They partnered with all the major lenders including, Public Banks, Private Banks, private lenders such as NBFCs, and international lenders, making it easier for you to secure funds for your dream college/university.

Here is how you apply for an education loan.

  • Check the loan eligibility.
  • A dedicated loan counselor is assigned to you, who recommend the best loan options based on your case.
  • Once you finalize a lender, the loan counselor will guide you on the steps for loan approval. 
  • Submission of the documents.
  • The bank reviews the applications & may ask for additional documents. If the application seems suitable, it approves the loan request.
  • The bank sends a sanction letter that you & the co-applicant would be required to sign within 2-6 months upon receiving it. Once the letter is signed, you can ask for loan disbursement.

Documents Required for an Education Loan

Each bank and financial institutions have their documentation requirements and procedure, here are some of the essential documents a student must be ready with beforehand:

  • Proof of age of the student
  • Proof of identity and current address of the student & co-applicant
  • Two passport-sized photographs of the student & co-applicant
  • For working individuals, proof of income, latest & other salary slips or Form 16, etc. & Income tax assessment order of the last two years
  • Financial supporting documents
  • Student’s (if working professional) last 6-month bank account statement
  • Co-applicant’s brief statement of assets and liabilities
  • Mark sheets of the student.
  • Offer letter from the university
  • Copy of Scholarship letter, if you have been granted.

The cost of studying in the UK may be higher than in your home country but, with scholarships & education loans, you no longer need to put off your plans of studying in a foreign country because of financial issues. For further assistance, get in touch with Vision International. Your trusted partner in realizing your dreams of studying abroad to reality!