As the year 2018 draws to a close, the value of the Indian Rupee continues to plummet. Losing more than 60% of its value since 2010, it has been continuously depreciating against the US dollar for nine consecutive years. This persistent trend makes the practice of pre-booking dollars in advance at fixed prices a handy tool to save money on foreign currency spending. In this regard, options and forwards are two financial contracts that enable individuals to reserve foreign currency. To gain a clear understanding of the specifics of these contracts, let’s consider a small example:

Mr. A has to spend $10,000 to pay for his child’s education after six months in July. Currently, in the month of February, the dollar is trading at INR70. Following the current trend, Mr. A expects it to reach to INR 75 by July. According to Mr. A, his child’s education, which currently (in February) costs INR 700,000, will cost INR 750,000 (in July) when his son actually starts his studies abroad and requires the money.

In a bid to make a diligent financial decision, Mr. A wants to buy $10,000 at the current price of INR70 (in February) but wishes to receive and use it after six months (in July). Talking to his bank representative, he learns about forwards and options contract and now compares the two to see how they may benefit him.


In February: Mr. A makes an agreement with Bank B in February to purchase $10,000 dollars at a price of INR 71 in July. Although the current price is INR 70, Mr. A would still profit at buying them at INR 71 as he expects the price to jump to INR 75.

The Bank asks Mr. A to pay an initial margin of INR 50,000 to finalize the contract and ensure that Mr. A does not backtrack from it later.

Between February to July: If the price of the dollar remains at 70, or increases to 75, things will be smooth. However, if it uncharacteristically drops to 65, and the contract goes against Mr. A, he will be required to pay a margin i.e. the money to ensure that he would not back down from the contract. This margin would be deducted from INR 710,000 that he will pay in July.

In July: Mr. A has to honor his agreement and purchase $10,000 at INR 71 from Bank B. The margin paid by him would be deducted from INR 710,000 that he is liable to pay. It does not matter whether the price of the dollar has increased or decreased.

A forward will obligate a buyer to buy the currency at a preset price at a predefined date. The buyer of an option will have to purchase the currency, irrespective of its price in that period. The buyer of a forward needs to post a small initial margin and, if the contract moves against the buyer, he may have to post extra margin as well.


In February: Mr. A buys a ‘Call’ option (right to buy at maturity) worth $10,000 at a price of INR 71, which matures in July. To secure this option, the issuing Bank B asks the buyer to pay a premium of INR 15,000. The paid premium will not be deducted from the final payment if Mr. A choses to use his contract.

Between February to July: No activity expected from the buyer.

In July: The buyer can now choose to purchase the dollars depending on whether it is profitable for him or not. Considering the two scenarios that Mr. A may face the below-mentioned scenarios:

If the price of a dollar goes below INR 71: Although Mr. A expected the rupee to devalue, it didn’t. It is therefore not profitable for Mr. A to buy $10,000 dollars at a price of $71 from the option as he can buy it at a cheaper rate in the market. Therefore, the buyer can choose to not exercise the option. In this case, he loses his premium but protects himself from a possibly larger loss.

If the price of a dollar goes above INR 71: Mr. A would want to exercise the contract and, therefore, buys $10,000 at 710,000. The INR 15,000 is not deducted from the total price.

An option contract would give a buyer a choice of buying the currency at a preset price on a predefined date for a small premium price. An option contract becomes profitable only when the fluctuation in the currency is high enough to offset the premium.

Forward v/s Option v/s No Contract

Consider the three scenarios where the future price may alter, understanding the utility of engaging in these contracts for Mr. A. assuming that Mr. A wants to buys $10,000 at a future price of INR 71.

If the price of a dollar becomes 65 at maturity:

Forward: Mr. A has to purchase $10,000 at INR 710,000, thus sustaining a loss of INR 60,000.

Option: Mr. A can choose to not exercise the option and purchase $10,000 at a market price of 65 at INR 650,000; and incurs a loss of only INR 15,000 premium.

No Contract: Mr. A can purchase $10,000 at INR 650,000 i.e. the market price.

If the price of a dollar becomes 75 at maturity:

Forward: Mr. A purchases $10,000 at INR 710,000; thus, saving INR 40,000.

Option: Mr. A can choose to exercise the option and purchase $10,000 at the decided price of INR 71 at INR 710,000. As Mr. A has paid a premium of INR 15,000 initially (to secure the contract), he saves INR 25,000.

No Contract: Mr. A can purchase $10,000 at 750,000 i.e. the market price.


Using an options, forward or no contract would depend on one’s assessment related to currency forecast. For buyers who want to hedge against the risk of the appreciating currency, options may be a costlier but better alternative. On the other hand, buyers who are confident that the currency will devalue can opt for forward as it may save them the cost of paying the premium. If one feels that there may be only small devaluations in the rupee, a forward may be a better choice as one is not required to pay a premium or an extra charge on the contract. To conclude, both option and forward contracts have their own benefits and can be used as powerful tools to hedge against uncertain fluctuations in currency.

Are you looking to enhance your career prospects? Well then, the simplest and the most effective solution is to pursue higher education in a foreign country and subsequently, secure a job in that country. Whether it is the US, Canada, Australia or Germany, all these countries provide a facility to secure a work visa upon graduation as long as you get a job, which is not a very difficult proposition provided you network and identify the right school to pursue your higher education at.

The prospect of studying abroad is expensive, costing anywhere between 20-25 lakhs per year, on an average, and also depends on the chosen destination, program and University. Therefore, it is important for students and the families concerned to explore funding opportunities like loans and scholarships, well in advance.

Fortunately, the market for study loans has expanded considerably over the years with quite a few players entering the fray. There are two types of loans, namely secured and unsecured loans. As secured loans require collateral in the form of real property or other assets, many students prefer unsecured loans. Though the rates vary by as much as 1.5 – 2% between the two loans, the process is virtually the same namely,in-principle sanction, sanction, and disbursement.

  • In-Principle Sanction: A few banks, especially public sector banks, are reluctant on confirming loan grants until one receives the I-20 from the USA University. While you need to show your financial competence to the University to get the I-20, the Bank requires you to show the university I-20 to confirm the loan offer. In case you wish to avail of loan from such banks, you can be in a bit of catch-22 situation.

At times, the bank offers you what is called an ‘In-Principle Loan Sanction Letter’ wherein the bank states that a particular amount of loan shall be sanctioned to the student in case his admission to a particular University is confirmed. However, one must remember that such an ‘In-Principle Loan Sanction Letter’ is not accepted by majority of the Universities, and therefore, if you plan to show loan as proof of financial capability to the University, you need to necessarily obtain the loan from a provider who is willing to sanction the loan without the i-20.

  • Sanctioned Loan : If you choose to avail of education loans from dedicated education loan providers, most of which fall in the non-banking financial corporation (NBFC) category, such as HDFC Credila or Auxilo Finserve, you will be able to obtain a ‘Loan Sanction Letter’ even before the confirmation of admission. Even banks for that matter, upon confirming your loan after you provide a proof of admission, readily offer you the Loan Sanction Letter. By sanctioning the loan, the bank confirms that the loan of specified amount has been granted to the student. The Loan Sanction Letter also specifies the terms and conditions of the loan, such as the repayment period, rate of interest, moratorium period if any, any loan pre-payment clauses, etc. For getting the loan sanctioned, students are typically required to pay a processing fee of as a percentage of the sanctioned loan amount, along with cooperating with the bank for the KYC process involving offering information such as their residential address, employment place, employer credentials, telephone numbers, family income details, past credit history, etc. to the bank officials. The process is subject to scrutiny in case the paperwork does not conform to the requirement. In case of any discrepancy, the loan can be rejected by the bank. Hence applying for CIBIL ratings to assess one’s creditworthiness becomes very important.

The sanctioned amount is sufficient proof for the student to show to the universities and get their I-20. Over 98% of the U.S. universities accept this sanctioned amount.

  • Disbursement: Once a loan is sanctioned, depending on your requirement, you are offered the flexibility of utilizing a part of the sanctioned amount or the entire sanctioned amount. You cannot avail of loan beyond the sanctioned amount. Loan disbursement is a process where you ask the bank to transfer the requested amount into your account or make a payment to the University directly. A student can choose to get the loan disbursed in parts at different points of time during his education tenure, or in full at once. The interest component and the repayment of loan (EMI/ partial EMI/etc) only begins after the disbursement of the specified amount. If the student decides not to avail of any disbursement, all he would end up paying is the initial processing fees.

Collegepond offers loan assistance and guidance to various students through their associations with various banks and NBFCs. To avail of these services feel free to email services@collegepond.com

Are you an overseas-bound student applying for admission to foreign universities? Whatever maybe be the level and stream of the program you are applying for, studying abroad can be an expensive proposition. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have the financial wherewithal to support and see you through your study abroad endeavor, as the cost of the program requires budgeting beyond tuition fees to include your lodging, travel and day-to-day living expenses. This is where grants and scholarships can help you secure your study abroad funding process.

Before you can avail of the financial aid, it is important to understand the process of scholarships and grants and evaluate them to determine your suitability for the same.

Here is a look at the various types of financial aids that you can benefit from to enliven your study abroad dream.
Scholarships – Most of the scholarships are merit-based financial aid given to students with proven academic credentials, notable extracurricular or sporting achievements, community achievements, leadership qualities, character, etc.
Grants – These are need-based financial aids given on the basis of your family background, financial status, etc.

So what’s the difference here?

Need-based scholarships are usually provided to local students, for example, universities in the US prefer to grant scholarships to American nationals on a priority basis. This is the case with most countries, with each country giving preference to its own student community.

Merit-based scholarships, on the other hand, adopt the following approach:

The judges of the universities you are applying for will evaluate your entire profile which includes your overall academic grades and test scores like GRE and IELTS/TOEFL, your internships and jobs, personal accomplishments, community service, etc. So, it is important to make a list of all your achievements – both academic and extra-curricular. Mention if you have received any scholarships during your college or any awards during your professional work or internship.
Point out the leadership experiences and involvements in social and cultural activities that can distinguish you from the thousands of equally merited applicants.

Further, the university may offer scholarships along the following lines :

1. First-In-First-Out: This process follows the ascending order of application and the profile suitability of students. For example, NY Tandon and RIT in USA
2. While applying: Some universities provide you with the option of applying for scholarships online, during the course of your admission process. For example, TU Delft in Netherlands
3. Along with Admit: Some universities grant scholarships at the time of admission. For example, UIC, CMU, Ny Tandon, etc in USA
4. Apply at Admit: Some universities offer you the option to apply for a scholarship after you are admitted. For example, UT Dallas (USA)
5. Upon Checking-In: You can also apply for a scholarship once you are at the university and have cleared the personal interview rounds. This applies to majority of the universities ranging from GaTech to ETH to Stonybrook to University of Melbourne, etc

Most of the universities offer scholarships after you have cleared interviews with the admission panel and professors. You have to prove your worth at a holistic level, your skills and abilities to keep up with the coursework at the University will be duly tested. Most importantly, you have to convince your suitability for the grant by convincing the panel of contributing to the applying university and the host country as an international ambassador.

Sometimes, during the first semester, the professors may ask you to work on a minor project relevant to the course you are applying for on the basis of which he/she would consider you for a scholarship in the form of RA / TA which would commence from your second semester onwards. This gives you ample time to converse with the professors, discuss your interest in the course, work on your project and prove that you are worthy of the intended Assistantship and convey your serious intent to contribute to the ongoing research.

Furthermore, if you are looking for financial help through private funding, associations in India provide loans and scholarships.

You can apply for an interest-free loan ranging from INR 20,000 to 20,00,000, which you will have to repay as soon as you start earning. You can also apply for a scholarship ranging from INR 20,000 to 10,00,000.

If you are looking for interest-free loans and scholarships in India, you will have to do the following:

Essay & Letter of Recommendation :

You will be required to write an essay stating your goals and talk about how you intend to acquire knowledge and obtain a degree from a foreign university, come back to India and make a difference to the society by putting your learning and knowledge to best use. Ensure that your career goals India-centric. Also, make sure to talk about the social benefits that would accrue out of your professional work. How you intend to contribute to the economic development of India through your work?

You can also stress on how obtaining the scholarship would ease the financial constraints your family is likely to be subjected to in the event of self-funding. You also need to convince the donor about how being self-sufficient would enable you to pursue the program with poise, security, and confidence and motivate you to excel academically.

Your letters of recommendation should highlight your zealousness to acquire quality education from a foreign country and demonstrate your capability to contribute to the progress of India. It is a good idea to include how your learning at the university can help you in contributing to the benefit of the Indian society at large.


Here, you will have to interact face-to-face interaction with the panel responsible for granting you the loan or scholarship, and explain your position of wanting to be self-sufficient. Most importantly, you have to convince the panel of your overall worthiness to avail of the financial aid, and your desire to make a difference to your country and society upon completing your education.

Here is the list of scholarships we have collated. We will keep on updating this excel sheet.

Securing an H-1B visa may be a lottery drawn process, but the prospect of winning the lottery looks more promising for applicants holding a master’s degree from US-based universities. In keeping with the current political regime’s diktat of ‘Buy American and Hire American’, the existing visa processing rules are likely to be tweaked, literally flipped, in the ensuing year (April 2019).

The H-1B visa, which acts as the calling card for Indian software engineers to pursue their American dream, with the Indian IT workforce comprising 60% of the overall allocation of 85,000 H-1B visas, is likely to undergo the following administrative and procedural changes.

  1. Mandatory electronic preregistration with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) –for all H-1B visa applicants
  2. Reversion of the visa selection process (general quota, additional quota)

Though the impending changes in the visa processing rules are aimed at promoting local employment, the proposed changes are likely to tilt the scale in favor of applicants holding graduate degrees from US universities. All online registrants will be eligible to be a part of the lottery based visa selection process. Bringing cheer to US qualified graduates, the major thrust of the change is the reversal of the visa selection process.

The current selection comprises processing through two lottery quotas: the additional quota (25,000 H1-B visas), where all graduates and other advanced degree holders are considered, followed by the general quota (65,000), where those graduates and advanced degree holders who failed to make the cut in the additional quota are reconsidered along with undergrads. This type of selection process meant that graduates had a small window to compete (25,000) in the first run, followed by competing with undergrads in the second run (65,000), tilting the odds in favor of the undergrad.

The proposed reversal of selection process is aimed at benefitting graduate students significantly, by increasing their probability of getting the much coveted H-1B visas. Under the revised selection process, all online registrants (undergrads, grads etc.) are scheduled to be a part of the general quota (65,000). Those graduates missing out on selection in the general quota will have the option of being considered for selection through the additional quota.

In spite of there not being any raise in the visa cap per se, the proposed new rule augurs well for graduates, by providing them with a golden opportunity to be significant beneficiaries of the change in processing rules of H-1B visas.

For those undergrads desirous of pursuing a career in the land of Silicon Valley, this is the most opportune time to pursue and complete their graduate studies from US-based universities. Collegepond, one of the leading study abroad consultants with a track record of 97% admit rates, including Ivy League schools, is a pioneer in counseling, grooming and preparing aspiring graduates to embark on the most decisive phase of their academic journeys.

Aiming for an H-1B may be a tall order for undergrads, but Collegepond with its counselling and mentoring abilities has always ensured that the prospect of acquiring the much-coveted visa is always -within striking distance!

The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section comprises two essay tasks: the Issue essay and the Argument essay. Test takers are allotted 30 minutes for each essay. The Issue essay asks you to respond to a statement or a claim that relates to politics, education, technology, or culture. Essentially, you have to take stance on the given claim and defend your stance. The Argument essay asks you to find the flaw in the logic behind an author’s position. The position is provided in a paragraph or “the argument” and thus requires a thorough reading of the given argument.

How are the essays scored?

Each essay receives a score by a human grader and an e-rater score on a scale of 0 to 6. If these scores differ by less than 0.5, the human score stands. If they differ by more than 0.5, a second human scores the essay, and the two human scores are averaged to get a final score. The e-rater score won’t supplant the human score(s).

What do the graders look for?

Your essay needs to be clear, coherent, and cogent.

You must express your stance and ideas in a clear manner. If you jumble your words or simply throw in unnecessary words or your ideas are ambiguous, you will get a low score. Your essay should have a set of ideas [ideally 3 arguments that will make up the 3 main body paragraphs] that logically connect to one another. That is when your essay is coherent.

Secondly, you should provide convincing evidence to back up your thesis/claim. You can throw in some vague, hypothetical example, but doing so won’t make your essay cogent. Give an example that is a verifiable fact or a relevant personal anecdote.

The other factors that the human grader assesses are:

Style – an essay, albeit with good arguments and examples, with broken or run-on sentences and unsophisticated vocabulary will be scored lower than an essay with proper syntax and GRE-level vocabulary. However, make sure you do not make ill-use of the diction. Use a word only if you are sure of its actual and/or contextual meaning.

Grammar & Spelling – Even though the graders won’t nit-pick at grammar, grave grammatical errors will cost you points. Incorrect subject-verb agreement, improper use of pronouns, and misspelled common words can negatively impact your score. However, one or two minor grammatical mistakes won’t stop an essay from getting a perfect score, as long as everything else about the essay is perfect.

Note that the graders take around 30 seconds to grade an essay. They scan to make sure that you have clearly organized your information and that your paragraphs begin with a topic sentence, explain your argument, and flow into examples that support your argument. The graders make sure you have written a conclusion that summarises and re-iterates what you’ve already stated.

How long do my essays have to be?

Believe it or not, of two essays that are identical, except for the length, the longer one will receive the higher score. That doesn’t mean you should scribble away, giving unnecessary, irrelevant information, hoping that a 1000 word essay will automatically give you a 6. Substance matters. Ideally, you should write a five-paragraph essay with an introduction para, three main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The ideal word limit for Issue essays in between 550 and 650 words and for Argument essays is between 500 and 600 words.

Note that six short paragraphs of 4 sentences each do not mean a long essay. The length of the paragraph matters. Each paragraph should be of approximately 100 words, and each of those paragraphs has to flow logically and defend your thesis.

The E-rater

The e-rater evaluates how you write, not what you think. It will, primarily, asses and score you on the following criteria:

  1. Grammar (subject–verb agreement, etc.)
  2. Usage (then vs. than, etc.)
  3. Mechanics (spelling and capitalization, etc.)
  4. Style (redundancy and passive voice)
  5. Organization (thesis statement, main points, supporting details, examples, conclusions)
  6. Development (main points precede details and examples)
  7. The use of vocabulary

However, the e-rater doesn’t understand the meaning of your essay nor does it make a reasonable judgment about the essay’s overall quality. Hence, to get a higher score from an e-rater, make sure your grammar and diction are proper. For instance, in the Argument essay, instead of writing “The manager says that…”, write “The author of the argument concludes that…”. Use words such as author, conclusion, premise, reasoning, justification, assumption, insufficient evidence, etc. to boost your scores.

No matter how your name is printed on your certificates or mark sheets, how your name appears in your passport matters the most when you want to register for the GRE.

Let’s consider the following:

Your name is Priti Maneklal Shah.

Your name is Priti.

Your father’s name is Maneklal.

Your last name or surname is Shah.

But, in many Indian passports, people have their father’s name in their first/given name.

So, if your passport says:

Surname: Shah.

Given Name: Priti Maneklal

then, in your GRE account, you will enter Priti Maneklal as the first/given name and NOT

First name – Priti

Middle name – M

Last name – Shah

To summarise:

  • The first/given and last name/surname you use when you register — and the spelling of that name — must EXACTLY match (excluding accents) the name printed on the identification (ID) documents [ONLY a valid passport to be carried in original for Indians] that you will present on the day of the test. If it does not, you may be prohibited from taking the test or your test scores may be cancelled after you take the test.
  • Do not register under a nickname and do not register with only an initial as your first name.
  • You have the option to include your middle initial, but it is not a requirement.

If you have already created an account and have made an error while entering your name, don’t fret. Just write an email to GRESupport4India@ets.org. Please have the following information available when sending the email:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Test date
  • Registration number

You can also call ETS on 91-1244517127 or 000-800-100-4072 between Monday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. IST (except for local holidays)

For detailed information on the same, refer to the following page:


Undergraduate Programs: Scholarships for International Students in Singapore

Just about a decade back, the US and the UK were the most sought after study abroad destinations for international students. But, given the visa policies in both these countries- some of the Asian countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are fast emerging as desirable study abroad destinations for international students, especially Indians.

Fee Structure and Intakes for Undergraduates in Singapore

Studying in Singapore can be quite expensive. While the average tuition fees for an undergraduate program in Singapore works out to around 12-20 lakhs per year, it can considerably go down in case you opt for serving the Singapore government (service years may vary from three to six), post course completion. In this case, the fees can be revised up to 7 lakhs per year. Nevertheless, the cost of education is comparatively less, as compared to the US and the UK. Please note that the fees vary from program to program.

Students with a strong academic background, excellence in standardized tests and extra-curricular activities, are entitled to various scholarships, grants and financial aid-to support their study abroad education.

Undergraduate courses in Singapore take 3-4 years to complete, depending upon the university. Nanyang Technological University (NTYU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Singapore Management University (SMU) are some of the globally acclaimed universities of Singapore.

While government universities in Singapore have two intakes (August, February), private universities have multiple intakes (January, February, July, August, September, October).

With a globally recognized educational system, varied fee structure, merit and need-based fee waivers, and availability of a wide spectrum of scholarships and funding opportunities, Singapore ranks as a prominent study abroad destination today.

Cost of Living in Singapore

Singapore is moderately expensive as a study abroad destination. As a result, living expense including food, travel, and accommodation would work out to around 50,000 to 95,000 per month.

Singapore: Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Undergraduates

Funding and financing your study abroad program in Singapore is a lot easier as both the federal government and private institutions offer competitive and rewarding scholarships to international students.

Here is a list of university specific and global scholarships available to need-based and meritorious students.

Scholarships Available for International Students in Singapore at the Undergraduate Level

University Scholarship Scholarship Award Duration
National University of Singapore NUS Global Merit Scholarship


There is no bond involved

Full tuition fees

$6000 annual living allowance

$200 one time settling allowance

Annual accommodation allowance

(lowest double room)

To and fro  air ticket


Nanyang Technological University Nanyang Scholarship


Three year bond applicable

Full tuition fees

$6000 annual living allowance

$500 book allowance per year

$2000 accommodation per year

$1500 one-time computer allowance

$250 one-time settling allowance


  College Scholarship


Three year bond applicable

Full tuition fees

$3600 annual living allowance



  Humanities Arts and Social Science


Three year bond applicable

Full tuition fees

$3000 travel grant



  Renaissance Engineering Program


Three year bond applicable

Full coverage of subsidized tuition fees

$6000 living allowance per year-for three years

$500 book allowance per year

$2000 accommodation allowance per year

$1500 computer allowance – one off

$250 settling in allowance-one time


  NTU Science and Engineering Scholarship


Six year bond applicable

Full coverage of subsidized tuition fees

$6000 living allowance per year

Annual accommodation allowance (lowest)

$200 settling in allowance

To and for air fare

  NTU University Scholar’s Program


Three year bond applicable

Full coverage of subsidized tuition fees

$6000 living allowance per year

$500 book allowance per year

$2000 accommodation allowance per year

$1500 computer allowance one-time


ALL UNIVERSITIES ACROSS SINGAPORE Global Study Awards (GSA) Rs 8,98,400 one-time award

In all; two students are selected

ALL UNIVERSITIES ACROSS SINGAPORE Go Clean Scholarship Rs 2,39,925 one-time award

For 100 students

ALL UNIVERSITIES ACROSS SINGAPORE The Financial Sumo Educational Scholarship Rs 68,550 one-time award

For 1 student only

ALL UNIVERSITIES ACROSS SINGAPORE Brokerfish International Student Scholarship Rs 68,550
ALL UNIVERSITIES ACROSS SINGAPORE Richie Jennings Memorial Scholarship Rs 6,85,500

For 30 students

  Scholarships for Women 2018-2019 Free tuition and books
Management Development Institute Singapore MDIS Merit Scholarship $3200 one time
Singapore Institute of Management Sim Global Education Scholarships Covers tuition fees, examination fees, book allowance


Singapore University  of Technology Design SUTD Merit Based Scholarship Covers subsidized tuition fees
  SUTD Undergraduate Scholarship Covers subsidized tuition fees for the first year
  Far East Engineering Architecture Scholarship Covers subsidized tuition fees

Covers annual expenses for study related expenses

  AC Toh Scholarship Covers subsidized tuition fees
  Wilmar Scholarship Rs 12,28,198 per year
  Rock Scholarship Rs 7,67,624 per year

Please note that most of the scholarships listed are academic year based and have varying deadlines. You need to check for the availability of these scholarships at the time of application.

Being one of the fastest growing economies of Asia, Singapore has more than 7000 MNCs, providing exciting job prospects and growth opportunities to young and talented fresh graduates.

Are you planning for a bachelor’s in Singapore? If so, you can contact us, so that we can identify programs and courses better suited to your career goals. Additionally, we can provide you with valuable guidance for obtaining scholarships, grants and financial aid to fund your study abroad program. Meet us now to evaluate your eligibility for a scholarship and get started with pursuing your overseas education from the global centre of excellence-Singapore!

The US may be the most popular study abroad destination for international students, but it is also one of the most expensive places to study. Are you planning to pursue an undergraduate program in the US? Does the overall cost of education deter you from taking the next step considering the four-year duration of undergraduate programs? Well, this is a common dilemma faced by international students given the high cost of US education.

There is no need to get disheartened though. Universities across the US maybe charging international students three times the tuition cost of domestic students, but US universities prioritize internationalization. As a result, more than 600 American universities offer scholarships worth $20,000 or more per year to international students. The scholarship eligibility is determined on the basis of academic merit, financial need and extracurricular contribution of applicants.

US Scholarships can be broadly classified as follows:

  • University Scholarships: Most universities offer some kind of a scholarship to its international students
  • Financial Scholarships: Though this is reserved for US students, some institutions may give out need-based scholarships to international students
  • Merit Scholarships: This is for students with excellence in either of the following: academic, sports or community work
  • Country-based Scholarships: This is specifically awarded to students from developing countries
  • Private Scholarships: Some private businesses sponsor deserving students from the developing world.


Various UndergraduateScholarships Offered by Some of the US Universities

University/World Ranking Scholarship Annual Scholarship Validity
Agnes Scott College (61)* Marvin B. Perry Presidential Scholarships Full tuition, room and board
American University (351) Applicable for one international student only  -covers total cost of undergraduate program
American University (351) Merit Award (partial) Up to $25000 Renewable upto 4 years
Arcadia University* Merit Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Barry University* Stamps Scholars Program Full tuition, books, room, transportation, $6,000 study abroad.
Berea College * Cent percent funding for all students First year only Valid for 1 year only
Clark University (251) Presidential LEEP Scholarship Free tuition and board 4 years based on merit
Clark University (251) Global Scholar’s Program $5000 Renewable upto 4 years
Clark University (251) International Achievement Scholarship $15000 Renewable upto 4 years
Clark University (251) International Jonas Clark Scholarship $10000 Renewable upto 4 years
Darmouth College (89) Need based aid $46770 Full course
Davidson College* William Holt Terry Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Davidson College* John M. Belk Scholarship Full tuition, fees, room, board, and two $3,000 special study stipends
Denison University* Merit Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Drake University*     National Alumni Scholarship Full tuition fees, room, board
Duke University (17) Karsh International Scholarship Full tuition, room, board, $7,000-  research and service opportunities
Emory University (98) Need based aid * Select few students only
Fordham University* Presidential Scholarship Full tuition and room Full course
George Washington University (201) Presidential International Scholarship Full tuition fees Full course
Hendrix College* Full tuition, room, board for students with excellence in academics ,leadership skills
Illinois Wesleyan University * Merit based $10000-25000 (2 students only) Renewable upto 4 years
Iowa State University (350) Merit based $2000-10000 Renewable upto 4 years
Louisiana State University (401) Stamps Scholarship Full tuition, room, board, and $14,000 enrichment funds
Loyola Marymount University* Full tuition fees $12500 Full course
Miami University (601) Merit Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Michigan State University (83) Global Spartan Leadership Program $8000 On completion of program
New York University (27) Wagner Scholarship $25000-47000 (Limited students) Full course
Providence College* Merit Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Rollins College* Academic Scholarship $5000 Full course
Soka University of America (121) Global Merit Scholarship Full tuition fees, room, board, airfare, personal expenses, books
Southern Methodist University (351) Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program – Full tuition, fees, study abroad
Southwestern University* Brown Scholar Award Full tuition Full course
Syracuse University (251) The Full Tuition 1870 Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Texas Christian University* Scholarships-First Year Students Full tuition Full course
Tulane University(351) Global Scholarship Full tuition Full course
Tulane University(351) Stamps Leadership Award Full tuition, room, board, and enrichment funds
University of Alabama (351-400) Presidential Scholarship $25000 Full course
University of Arkansas (501) Chancellor’s Scholarship $8000 Renewable upto 4 years
University of Arkansas (501) Chancellor’s Community Scholarship $5000 Renewable upto 4 years
University of Arkansas (501) Silas Hunt Scholarship Up to $8000 Renewable upto 4 years
University of Arkansas (501) Leadership Scholarship $2000 Renewable upto 4 years
University at Buffalo (251-300) International Admissions Scholarship Full tuition Full course
University of Chicago (9) Stamps Scholarship Full tuition, fees, room, board, and $10,000 enrichment funds
University of Georgia (351-400) Foundation Fellowship Full tuition, three fully funded travel study program
University of Miami (186) IssacBashevis Singer Scholarship Full tuition fees Full course
University of Minnesota (56) Global Excellence Scholarships $5000-1000 Renewable upto 4 years
University of Nebraska (301) $2000-$14500 Per year Based on qualification
University of Richmond* Richmond Scholars Full tuition, room and board Full course
University of Winconsin (501) Non Resident Tuition Waver  Fee reduction upto $7000 Annual reduction
Vanderbilt University (105)                Ingram Scholars Full tuition + Stipends for study abroad, research or service projects
Vanderbilt University (105) Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholars Full tuition + Stipends for study abroad or research experience
Vanderbilt University (105) Chancellor’s Scholars Full tuition + Stipends
Washington and Lee University* Johnson Scholarship Full tuition, room, board, and $7,000 for summer experience
Wesleyan University * Freeman Asian Scholars Program Full tuition fees (11 Asian students) Full  course
·         * Information not available

   Please check universities’ websites for eligibility requirements


With a host of full and partial funding opportunities available, you can see that studying in the US has become a lot easier and affordable now. The destination for the brightest of students beckons you. So, choose the university best suiting your academic pursuits; and embark on your American dream!

We at Collegepond will be glad to assist you with any destination, university or program information that you may need.

Now that you have taken admission to your desired program in a top university, it is time to decide on your accommodation before you fly off to study abroad. Student halls, living out and staying at home options abound and each one of these has their pros and cons.

Living on your own

You could play music as loudly as you want, keep your own hours, for you’ve left the chaperones and curfews back home with your overly protective parents. You would be forgiven for living it up king size for the first time until the novelty wears off. The first sign of independence becoming a drag are the realisations that – the dustbins do not empty themselves, drainage plugs do not self-unclog, and the fridge does not self-replicate delicious take-out food, which becomes obvious within the first month itself.

The state of affairs, with the rent being foremost

It’s true that many houses are let to students because they have clear flaws that would be intolerable to older tenants with jobs. These include, but not exclusively, leaking ceilings, running water that fluctuates in temperature, exposed wiring, nightmare neighbours and the list goes on. However, these houses should also mean that you get a better deal on rent and you must negotiate.

Check what amenities are paid for and the extras you need to shell out for

For those leaving home for the first time, halls can be a pleasant halfway house between full independence and the strict rules imposed by parents. Advantages include reliable broadband and kitchens that must comply with basic health-and-safety standards. If the apartment has a heater system that’s included in the rent, then weigh the slightly higher rent with compensation for a warm cosy nest to return to on wintry days, without the penury inducing bills. But if you do end up living out, it is crucial to keep an inviolable emergency fund, of at least three hundred dollars. Furnished or unfurnished, the laundry does not do itself so ensure that the complex has a laundromat on site or you would have to lug it to the nearest one either by car or walk. Also, be certain that there is a food place in walking distance so you can either make your own coffee or get take out. You don’t want to be stuck at home with no grounds and the nearest bistro charges 3 dollars for delivery. The caffeine goes a long way when deadlines loom.

Pick your neighbours carefully

Chances are that this will be the first time you get to choose who you live with. There are various things to bear in mind when choosing your housemates. Also, under no circumstances should you agree to live with anyone until the second term, or better still the second year. Shared habits and preferences are great where you have equally good standards in hygiene, but if both are untidy and unhygienic, it would be an unhealthy environment to live in. In other words, pick someone who you would relate to without ‘twinning’ on all parameters. Also, rooming with the roommate from Hell means picking up after him/her, while also shelling out his rent so it would be nice to ascertain gently their source of income (legal) so you know the deal squarely.

The distance between university and your home, with the nearest transit stop being a mile away

Running late on a class is a no for sure, imagine sprinting a mile like an athlete and then making it to Science 101 with a sweaty shirt and grimy face. Be certain that your apartment has easy access to all the transit stops. Find out the bus route of your university’s transit system and see if you could get a deal on an apartment in the area. Shelling out a couple of extra dollars is way better than losing out on a perfect 4 pointer, just cause you came late for the last minute extra credit quiz.

Keeping it legal, always.

Lastly, be sure to ink all agreements in the name of all roommates for equal deposits and rent liabilities, let the apartment manager know that they need to include all the utilities/amenities in the main body and list them out, fine-print won’t cut it. Also, just to be certain, ensure you have your seniors in college or the University Housing section give the rental agreement a once over and enquire whether it needs to be stamped, notarised or registered with the county office. Also, make sure that you clearly mention the due date for the rent and the absolute last date for utilities to be paid up. Few realise that delayed or non-payment of the same has an impact on the credit score, which is also reported to the university.

With this comprehensive check list in hand, you are empowered to finally explore your independence as a young varsity student.

Applying to a university abroad, especially to the United States can be a daunting task. Every year, over 800, 000 graduate applications are received on an average for seats in the American universities, mostly covering STEM disciplines, pure sciences, and the humanities. Given that the United States is a global education destination for international graduates, globally; there is intense competition among the best of students as well as students with unique distinctions and contributions in their profile. Malala Yousafzai gained an admit to the prestigious Oxford university, as much for her excellence in her ‘O’ levels, as for being the ‘torchbearer of gender parity’ for Afghan women and other people, across the globe.

Academic profile

It is a well-known fact that students, who have consistently excelled in their academic curriculum also stand a better chance to gain admits to the choicest universities abroad and in the United States. However, it would be unfair to say that schools in the U.S only want great scholars as students. In fact, there is much emphasis on excellence as an all-rounder, be it sports, music, art,

An academic profile is not limited to only the grades and scholastic performance of a student. It also speaks of the integration of the student as a vibrant and active member of the student body as a member of the college as well as a member/citizen of the civic body, citizenry etc.

This can well be demonstrated through volunteer work in NGO’s, student forums, citizen bodies etc. which amply demonstrates the independence and individual nature of the student, which is given equal weightage with the academic prowess of the student, while evaluating the application. One must ensure that when building their profile, students should pay due attention to these aspects of the application process in order to ensure a good admit. As a matter of fact, at Collegepond, we see many students with excellent overall profiles gaining acceptance to the crème de la crème universities like Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, University of California, Berkeley, GeorgiaTech, Vanderbilt University, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Virginia Tech etc. To know more on how to build your profile and gain admission to the best universities in the U.S, click here and fix a free counseling session at the nearest Collegepond office.


Another important aspect which plays a key role in evaluating a student application is the student’s self- affirmation of his eligibility for admittance to the program, which is called the Statement of Purpose (SOP). This is read in tandem with the Letters of Recommendation (LOR) by eminent persons like professors, eminent persons in the field of science, art, culture etc., which vouchsafe the student’s profile, contributions etc.  so that he can impress the committee about the suitability of the student for the proposed program. Failure to do so or dissonance between the student’s profile and the credentials offered could well result in a limited acceptance of the application or even, a unanimous rejection. These third-party credentials play a vital role in underlining the candidature of the student and attesting the veracity of the student’s own recommendation letter or SOP.

Cultural Diversity factor

Most US universities use the “holistic review” process while evaluating college applications. This means admissions officer’s place emphasis on the applicant as a whole person, not just his or her academic achievements, so soft factors may be given just as much consideration as the empirical data present in hard factors. As has already been mentioned, the university considers its campus to provide an overall interaction which has a multi-leveled impact in terms of enrichment through stellar cultural, social, scholastic interactions that serve to educate holistically, beyond the standard education paradigm in most countries. It is for this reason that the universities in the United States offer well over twice the number of programs, in myriad disciplines, as compared to any other single country, across the globe. In fact, the American education system is uniquely built to offer a concierge service in terms of education where students learn only what they would be interested in, thereby offering course flexibility as well as diversity in the curriculum.

Admissions officers want to get to know students and admit those applicants who they think will excel at the institution and make a positive impact on the campus community. The holistic review approach benefits applicants who may have not had the best academic marks, but can contribute to the college community in other ways.

For further information on how Collegepond can help you gain admission to the University of your dreams, visit any of our nearest offices across India, for a free counseling session.

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