As one of the world’s largest groups of study-abroaders, Indian students are often able to benefit from scholarship schemes aimed specifically at them.
While many of these are for master's or PhD programs only, there are also a growing number of grants and scholarships offered specifically for Indian undergraduate students.
The following is not an exhaustive list, but should provide some starting points and inspiration for Indian students looking to complete an undergraduate degree abroad:
1. Tata Scholarships at Cornell (US)
Thanks to a US$25 million endowment from the Tata Education and Development Trust, around 20 scholarships are available every year for Indian undergraduate students at Cornell University. To be eligible, it’s necessary to first be accepted onto an undergraduate course at Cornell, and then apply for need-based financial aid.
2. Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships (UK)
Named for India’s current prime minister, these scholarships aim to help top Indian students follow in Manmohan Singh’s footsteps, by studying at the UK’s Cambridge University. Available for all courses except medicine and veterinary science, the scholarships cover all undergraduate tuition and college fees, as well as a grant for living and travel expenses. Applicants must first receive an offer of a place at a Cambridge college, and scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.
3. Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (UK)
Sticking with the Oxbridge theme, the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India offers a selection of scholarships for Indian students – most specifying a particular college within one of the universities. However, while scholarships are available at both undergraduate and graduate level, applicants must have already completed (or be completing) a degree from an Indian university.
4. Edinburgh Napier University (UK)
While a growing number of UK universities offer scholarships for Indian students at graduate level, relatively few do the same for undergraduate Indian students. An exception is Scotland’s Edinburgh Napier University, which offers a merit-based fee reduction of £2,000 (about US$3,000) for students from the Indian subcontinent, at both undergraduate and graduate level.
5. University of Sheffield (UK)
The University of Sheffield likewise offers scholarships for Indian students at undergraduate as well as postgraduate level. These include some scholarships for specific subject areas, as well as three merit-based scholarships available across all subjects, worth £7,000 (about US$10,650) per year.
6. Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Moving across the Irish Sea to the UK’s neighbor, Ireland, a number of universities here also offer scholarships for Indian undergraduates. These include the nation’s highest ranking institution, Trinity College Dublin, which offers scholarships worth €9,000 (about US$11,700) per year for Indian students applying for undergraduate courses in arts, humanities, social sciences, science, computer science or engineering.
7. University College Dublin (Ireland)
Ireland’s second ranked institution, University College Dublin, also has specific scholarships for Indian undergraduates. The UCD Global Undergraduate Scholarship scheme offers five tuition fee scholarships worth €5,000 (about US$6,500) for science programs, and four worth €2,500 (US$3,250) for business, social sciences and arts. There’s also one UCD Global Excellence Undergraduate Scholarship, which offers a 50% fee reduction, available in all subjects except medicine, veterinary medicine and radiography.
8. University of Wollongong (Australia)
Heading to the southern hemisphere, some Australian universities also offer dedicated scholarships for Indian students at undergraduate level. At the University of Wollongong, one successful Indian applicant each year is selected for the UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship, which means a 50% fee reduction.
9. Huawai Maitree Scholarships (China)
Back in Asia, the Huawai Maitree Scholarship program offers scholarships for Indian students, both undergraduates and graduates, to study in China. Ten scholarships are available in 2013, with preference given to those applying for courses in science and technology, social studies, culture and development. Each award covers full tuition fees as well as living expenses.
10. India 4EU II (Europe)
This EU initiative provides scholarships for Indian nationals to spend time studying and working in Europe, from undergraduate up to postdoctoral level. Scholarships are available for full undergraduate degrees, as well as shorter periods of study as part of exchange schemes. Awards cover tuition fees, travel expenses, insurance and a monthly allowance. The scheme has partner universities in France, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Germany and Spain.
As mentioned above, there are even more scholarships for Indian students at the master’s and PhD levels. And of course, there are many more scholarships for which Indian students may be eligible – some open to students from a particular group of countries, some for all international students, and some for everyone regardless of nationality.