FROM Rs. 6,000 per annum at Pondicherry Engineering College to nearly 3.7 lakhs per annum at NIIT University, the cost of engineering education varies substantially across the country. Since nearly 0.8 million of the 1.01 million seats are in the unaided category, the average cost of pursuing a BTech is at least Rs. 4 -6 lakhs for a full programme, a figure beyond the reach of a majority of the aspirants.
Bank loans mitigate the impact to some extent but institutes too offer a range of scholarships and fellowships to enable deserving candidates to pursue the education. Here’s a look at the kind of assistance one can get from the 70-plus Deemed Universities that offer engineering education in the country. Of the 130 Deemed Universities, about 70 offer BE/BTech programmes and nearly 29 of them offer some type of scholarship. Scholarships usually fit in within the following categories.
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Types of scholarships
Merit scholarships: These are prestigious scholarships that fund fully or partially your entire education. They only consider your merit, either in the qualifying examination, or in the previous year’s exam if it is for an in-course fellowship. They do not require any return commitment on the part of the students and hence are exceptionally competitive.
Merit-cum-Means Scholarships: These are more common and do consider the economic conditions of the recipients in addition to their academic merit. Some colleges have an absolute minimum, while some others give preference to those with the lowest income.
Earn-while-you-learn scheme: The student is expected to provide 15-20 hours of work in terms of tutoring juniors, research assistance etc., in lieu of the scholarship he or she receives. Very few colleges in the country offer programmes of this nature which are lucrative.
Merit awards: These are lump-sum awards which students get, especially during the second year. These could be for a specific subject or a domain or even a project.