Education Loan for the USA

✓ Up to 1.5 Cr Education Loan

✓ At a starting interest rate of 8.50% P.A.

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Students can avail of an education loan of up to Rs 1.5 Cr or even more at interest rates starting from 8.50% to study in the USA. The cost of study in the USA is generally higher than in the rest of the countries. Moreover, the living expenses in the USA are also around Rs 10 -12 lacs annually. To bear the total cost of studies, students have the option to take:

  • Unsecured Education Loans
  • Secured Education Loans

Unsecured or without collateral loan for the USA



Loan Limit

  • Upto Rs 75 lacs
  • A higher amount can also be offered on the basis of students loan profile and co-applicants income

Expenses covered

- Tuition Fees

- Living Expenses

- Health Insurance Premiums

All the expenses mentioned in your i20 will be covered under an education loan

Eligible courses

- Bachelor’s in STEM and Management Programs
- PG  and UG Certification courses
- Masters courses in business management and law studies

Interest rate

Starts from 10.50%

Effective interest rate can be reduced depending on applicants loan profile and co-applicant income details 

Moratorium Period

Course duration + maximum upto 1 year

Repayment Duration

Maximum upto 10 years

Repayment policies

- Applicants may need to pay interest on the loan during the moratorium period
- Students can opt to add their payable interest amount during moratorium period, with the total loan amount and pay later with EMIs
- In some cases, EMI may start immediately after the disbursement

Eligibility Criteria

- Student should be an Indian national
- Applicant must have secured admission in their preferred college or university in the USA
- Co-applicant’s income should be more than Rs 4.5 LPA


Banks that offer unsecured loans for the USA

Here is the list of banks and NBFCs that offer education loan without collateral, to students planning to pursue their higher education from the US:

- Axis Bank
- ICICI Bank
- IDFC Bank
- HDFC Credila
- Auxilo
- Avanse
- Incred

Note: Public banks like State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda etc also offer unsecured loans but only upto Rs 7.5 lacs, under the VidyaLoans scheme

EliteScholars funding to study in the USA

EliteScholars is a special education loan funding initiative of WeMakeScholars. No financial co-applicant is required to apply for a loan from EliteScholars. Students planning to pursue higher education in STEM courses in countries like the USA, Canada, Germany, and the UK can take loans as per the following criteria:



Loan Amount

Upto Rs 75 lacs

Rate of Interest

11% - 11.5%

Moratorium Period

Course Duration + 1 years

Processing fees

0.75% - 1% of the loan amount

Loan Insurance

2% or more, it is mandatory

Repayment Tenure

Upto 10 years


How to get an unsecured loan for the USA?

Step 1 Request a callback or fill out the common application form online to speak to your financial officer at WeMakeScholars

Step 2 Give your loan requirements and profile details to your assigned financial officer, over a call

Step 3 After your loan profile analysis, upload your documents on WeMakeScholars documents portal as per the documents checklist shared by your financial officer

Step 4 You will be informed about the progress of your loan file at every step, if required you can contact  your financial officer to take updates

Step 5 Sign the necessary formalities and collect your loan sanction letter from the bank/ lender within 2-6 days of submitting the required documents as per documents checklist.

Disadvantages of going directly through banks for an Unsecured Education Loan

If you approach the banks directly to start your education loan process without collateral, then you are sure to face the following disadvantages:

- A higher rate of interest
- No documents checklist
- Lots of documentation
- Delay in the processing
- Improper customer support

To avoid the hassle and complete your unsecured education loan process smoothly, choose WeMakeScholars as your loan processing partner.

Why Choose WeMakeScholars for an Unsecured Education Loan?

WeMakeScholars is funded and supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under the ‘Digital India Campaign’. We have experience handling thousands of loan files every day. Here are the reasons why you should choose WeMakeScholars to apply for your unsecured education loan:

Lesser Rate of Interest - When processed through us, you will get a 0.5%-2% discount on the effective interest rate on your education loan.

Negotiation support - Your financial officer has the authority and will negotiate on your behalf to further bring down your effective rate of interest or ease out the policies.

Faster processing - With WeMakeScholars your unsecured education loan will get sanctioned within 2-6 days of submitting the documents.

Free-of-cost service - WeMakeScholars, a government-funded initiative, offers all its education loan sanctioning services free to all students.

Documents required for a loan without collateral for USA

To start your loan process from any lender, you will need to submit the following documents:

Education Loan Application form 

Hard copy of loan application form filled on WeMakeScholars Website along with 2 passport-size photographs

Documents of applicant, co-applicant and if required guarantor

- Address proof -  Aadhar card, Voter ID card, Bank passbook front page copy, Passport, Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill (any 2 if current and permanent address are different)
- Proof of  Identity - PAN Card, Aadhar card, Passport of the applicant, Election Commission ID card, Ration card with photo, for the person whose photo is affixed
- Statement of assets and liabilities, verified by the lenders team
- Salary and personal bank account statement of the co-applicant of the last 6 months. If self employed, then statement should reflect business transactions of last 1 year 

Academic documents of the applicant

- Fees details and payment deadlines as given by the college or university.
- Proof of admission into the course (showing the course duration)
- Certificates and marksheets of class 10th, 12th and degree certificates.
- Scorecard of qualifying examinations like GRE, TOEFL, IELTS etc (whichever required)

Income documents of Co-applicant

If Self-employed

- Proof of address of the business
- Last 3 years Income Tax Returns
- Profit & loss statement and balance sheet of last 3 years

If Salaried

- Last 2 years Income Tax Returns
- Form 16 details of last 2 years
- Office ID card
- Last 3 month’s salary slip

Miscellaneous Documents

- Statement in written that any other expense apart from those covered in loan will be taken care of by the co-applicant only.
- Agreement from the applicant and co-applicants side in the standard format given by WeMakeScholars financial officer.

Additional docs (if required)

- Past 1 year’s loan account statement of the pending loan
- A Certificate of the gap on Rs 100 stamp paper for students who have had a break in their studies. (as per the format given to you by your financial officer)
- Receipts of payment (done in last 6 months)

You can skip the hassle of visiting the bank, again and again, to submit your documents by directly uploading them on WeMakeScholars documents portal as per the documents checklist that your financial officer will be sending you after your loan profile analysis. To get your loan profile analyzed, speak to your financial officer.

Note: Only self-attested documents will be acceptable.

Repayment plan for unsecured loans in USA

If you get an unsecured education loan of Rs 60 lacs to pursue a 2 years masters course in the USA from a private bank at interest rate of 11% and choose the repayment period to be 10 years then your loan repayment plan will be as per the following table:

Repayment Cycle


Interest portion

Principal portion

Loan Outstanding

End of Year 1





End of Year 2





End of Year 3





End of Year 4





End of Year 5





End of Year 6





End of Year 7





End of Year 8





End of Year 9





End of Year 10





If your loan conditions are different from those given above, use WeMakeScholars Education Loan EMI Calculator to get your own amortization table as per your loan parameters.

Secured or with collateral loan for the USA



Loan Limit

Upto Rs 1.5 Cr

Students can get a higher amount, as per their eligibility and loan profile analysis

Expenses covered

All the expenses mentioned in the i20 will be covered in the education loan

Eligible courses

- Bachelor’s degree programs in STEM courses
- Masters degree programs in Management courses and MBA
PG and UG Certification courses

Interest rate

Starts from 8.50%

Moratorium Period

Course duration + maximum upto 1 year

Repayment Duration

Maximum upto 15 years

Repayment policies

- Interest during the moratorium period is also charged and required to be paid
- Students can opt to add their payable interest amount during moratorium period, with the total loan amount and pay later with EMIs

  Eligibility Criteria

- Student should be an Indian national
- Applicant must have secured admission in their preferred college or university in the USA

  Types of Collateral

- Immovable properties - House, flat, non-agricultural land, commercial properties
- Liquid Securities - Fixed deposit, LIC Policies, Government Bonds

  Value of collateral 

The value of collateral should be at least half of the asked loan amount (Maximum loan amount = collateral value X 2)

Banks that offer secured loans for USA

The public and private banks that offer secured education loan or education loan with collateral to students to study in the US are listed below:

- State Bank of India
- Bank of Baroda
- Union Bank of India
- Karur Vysya Bank
- Axis Bank
- IDFC Bank

How to get a Secured loan for the USA?

Step 1 Request a callback or fill out the common loan application form to start your loan process with WeMakeScholars.

Step 2 On receiving a callback from your assigned financial officer, give your loan requirement and co-applicant details.

Step 3  As per your loan profile analysis, choose your lender from the lenders suggested by your financial officer, also ask for the documents checklist from them. 

Step 4 Upload your documents on the WeMakeScholars documents portal as per the documents checklist to start your loan process at the earliest

Step 5 Collect your education loan sanction letter from your chosen lender within 15-20 days after signing the loan agreement documents

Disadvantages of going directly through banks for a Secured Education Loan

If you are planning to go to the banks directly and apply for a secured loan, then you will face the following disadvantages:

- Partiality in legal and valuation reports
- Delay in the process
- Incomplete information about a loan product
- Unnecessary documents requirement
- Pay more in the name of processing fees

Why Choose WeMakeScholars for a Secured Education Loan?

Save your time, money and efforts by choosing WeMakeScholars as we are partnered with 14+ public and private banks in India, we are familiar with every step of the loan sanction process, and here are the other reasons why you should choose WeMakeScholars to get your secured education loan:

Tax saving plans - Your financial officer will let you know about the various income tax benefit schemes under section 80E, 80C and also about the tax collected at source to help you save more.

Online application process - You can not just apply online for an education loan but also can complete your loan sanctioning process online, this saves time.

Documents checklist - You will have a proper documents checklist specially customized for your loan profile and sent to you by your financial officer, this will reduce your burden of collecting and submitting a range of documents in the bank

Cashback - You can win a cashback of up to 3k from our side when your loan is disbursed.

You will get all these benefits and even more, all at absolutely no cost because all our services are totally FREE of COST for all the students. To start your loan process with WeMakeScholars, request a callback or fill out the common application form.

Documents required for loan with collateral for the USA

You will have to submit all the above-mentioned applicant, co-applicant and guarantors documents along with the below-listed Collateral Documents:

- Registered sale agreement / Gift Deed
- Registration receipt of the agreement
- Property title deed
- Building plan or plot’s layout copy approved by the municipality
- Latest property tax receipt and an electricity bill
- Previous sale deed chain of last 30 years is necessary
- Property allotment letter by municipality corporation or authorized government authority like MHADA, HUDA, DDA, CIDCO, etc    

The above-given documents checklist is general, but if you want to get your personalized documents checklist, ask your financial officer over the call and upload all your documents on WeMakeScholars documents portal online.

Repayment plan for Secured loans in the USA

If you have to repay a secured education loan of Rs 40 lacs, in 10 years after the moratorium period, which you have taken at 10% rate of interest, then your repayment plan will be as follows:

Repayment Cycle


Interest portion

Principal portion

Loan Outstanding

End of year 1





End of Year 2





End of Year 3





End of Year 4





End of Year 5





End of Year 6





End of Year 7





End of Year 8





End of Year 9





End of Year 10






Use WeMakeScholars Education loan EMI Calculator to know your education loan repayment plan and schedule and also tips to save money while repaying the loan. Request a callback or fill the common application form.

Expenses covered for education loans in the USA

Education loan in the USA covers all the expenses mentioned in the immigration letter, i20, refer the table below:



Tuition fees

As given by the university

Cost of Living

Rs 10 - 12 lacs annually (Given by the embassy)

Health Insurance 

As required for the loan

Mostly all the necessary expenses will be covered in the above-mentioned purposes only, but if still there is any study-related expenses like study tours, thesis or projects, laptop, uniform, instrument or study equipment purchasing cost, everything will be covered in the education loan itself.

For more clarity on this, ask your financial officer in WeMakeScholars.

Special Education loan scheme to Study in the USA

SBI Education loan for MS in the USA
State Bank of India offers secured education loans with special interest rates starting from 9%, to study in the USA under its Global Ed-vantage Scheme.

Education loans for MS 
Indian students also apply for an education loan for MS in the USA without collateral. SBI education loan for MS in USA is also available, however to get the best education loan for MS in the USA, process your loan with WeMakeScholars.

Education loan for MBA 
Student loan for MBA in the USA for Indian students is provided by public and private lenders in India, at interest rates starting from 8.5%

HDFC Credila education loan for USA 
HDFC Credila is the largest education loan lending NBFC that provides need-based education loans at interest rates starting from 12% and depending on students' loan profile.

Scholarships for studying in the USA

Pursuing a 2 years course in the United States of America would at least cost around Rs 50 lacs on average. Of Course, taking an education loan to arrange funds is a safe option, but if you are a meritorious student who has excelled in every exam with flying colors, or fallen under any other eligibility criteria, then you have another option, that is partially funded or fully funded scholarships. 

Here is the list of the top 9 scholarships to study in the USA:

- Education Future International Scholarship
- University Of Tulsa International Student Scholarships
- University Of California, Berkeley - Conference Travel Grants
- IGlobal University Academic Merit Scholarship 2022
- University Of Wisconsin Scholarships For Incoming Students
- Community College International Student Scholarships 2022
- Robertson Scholars Leadership Program 2022
- Women In STEM Scholarship Program
- Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Program 
Choose and apply for the scholarship to study in the USA, that best fits your educational requirements and eligibility through WeMakeScholars Scholarship portal

Universities recognized for Education loan in USA

Banks have a list of colleges and universities labeled as category A, B, and sometimes C or prime and non-prime universities list. Each bank might have different universities in their list of institutes, and they offer loans accordingly.

WeMakeScholars being a government of India-funded start-up and the largest education loan partner of 14+ public and private banks in India has access to all the prime institutes list for all the banks. To know if your preferred university falls in the list or not, get in touch with your financial officer at WeMakeScholars by requesting a callback or filling up the common application form.

Education Loan FAQs

  • Which bank is best to get an education loan for the United States of America?

    Most banks provide education loans to study in the USA due to good scope of employment after graduation. But, usually public banks are preferred as they provide education loans at interest rates starting from 8.50% on education loans to study in the USA. You can apply for your education loan for free through WeMakeScholars.

  • What is the USA education loan interest rate?

    The secured education loan interest rate for the United States of America starts from 8.50% while the unsecured education loan starts at 10.5%. However, the interest rate depends on the bank/ lender, the loan scheme under which the loan is being taken. To get the best interest rate deal process your loan with WeMakeScholars.

  • From where can I get an unsecured education loan to study in the USA?

    You can get an education loan of upto Rs 60 lacs, without collateral to study in the USA from private banks and NBFCs as per their different loan schemes and products. To apply for an unsecured education loan, visit WeMakeScholars website and apply online for an education loan.

  • How to apply for an education loan to study in the USA as an Indian student?

    The process of education loan application to arrange funds to study in the USA can be completed online, with WeMakeScholars, by requesting a callback or filling up the loan application form online. Moreover you get complete support from your assigned financial officer throughout your education loan sanctioning process.

  • Which bank is best for education loans for the USA?

    Public banks offer lower rates of interest, starting from 8.50% and high credibility, but, if the applicant lacks any collateral but needs the loan on an urgent basis then private banks and NBFCs are the best option. The loan process from private banks and NBFCs can be completed in 2-6 working days after your documents are uploaded on WeMakeScholars documents portal.

  • How much student loan can I get in the USA?

    You can get a secured education loan of upto Rs 1.5 crore or even higher, from public banks in India by pledging any acceptable collateral. If not, then you can get an unsecured education loan of amount upto Rs 60 lacs or even higher depending on your loan profile, to study in the USA

  • How much bank balance is required for a USA student VISA?

    You will need to have a bank balance of 1.5 times the i20 amount for a 2 years course, while applying for a VISA. If the amount is beyond your bearing capacity approach WeMakeScholars to apply online for secured or unsecured education loan at cheaper rate of interest.

  • Is it better to take an education loan in India or the USA?

    It is better to take education loans from Indian lenders because US lenders generally charge higher processing fees, students cannot take benefit of interest subsidy schemes and tax benefits. Moreover, even though their interest rates may appear less numerically but due to currency change rates, the interest amount charged by foreign lenders is much higher than charged by Indian lenders.

  • Can I get an education loan to pursue my bachelors in the United States of America?

    Yes, you can get an education loan to pursue your bachelors in the US, provided your stream falls in the category of acceptable bachelor courses and you clear all other eligibility criterias to get an education loan. Fill the eligibility check form or talk to your financial officer at WeMakeScholars regarding your loan process.

  • What documents are required to get the i20 for the USA?

    You will be required to show proof of funds to get the i20 for the USA. Proof of fund can be either a bank's attested fixed deposit certificate or papers of the property to be pledged as collateral or bank’s savings statement or balance certificate attested by bank or PF/PPF- bank statement or account passbook, or if arranging funds by education loan, loan sanction letter will be required to get the i20.

  • When to apply for an education loan?

    The best time to apply for an education loan is as early as possible, once when you are sure that you will get admission in the university of your choice in the USA then you should simultaneously start your loan process.


Report Finds Study-Abroad Applicants Uninformed About Education Loan Process; US Most Popular Choice

A recent report by upGrad, an ed-tech platform, shows that a significant number of working professionals, about 64%, want to pursue master's degrees in foreign countries. These professionals are attracted to these programs because they provide a curriculum that is focused on the job market and offer better employment prospects. Another factor that makes these master's programs appealing is their shorter duration, which means lower costs compared to bachelor's programs.

The report also reveals a growing preference for education loans among aspiring students. Approximately 31.2% of respondents rely on education loans to finance their studies abroad. Additionally, 27.6% of respondents are actively seeking scholarships, while 21.9% are exploring alternative sources of funding.

Despite the strong interest in studying abroad, the report highlights that 51.8% of respondents are unsure about the application process, including requirements for exams, visa procedures, and other related details.

These findings indicate a rising trend among working professionals who are interested in pursuing master's degrees overseas, mainly due to the program's focus on the job market and the potential for better career opportunities. However, the report also emphasizes the need for improved guidance and support to assist individuals in navigating the application and visa processes.

Last Update - 05/07/2023

Study Highlights Vital Role of International Students in US AI Leadership

A groundbreaking analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) emphasizes the crucial importance of international students in America's pursuit of AI leadership. These students, from diverse backgrounds, significantly contribute to AI research and entrepreneurship, driving innovation in technology.

NFAP's research reveals that a considerable number of top AI companies in the US have founders who arrived as international students. Additionally, a significant proportion of leading US-based AI companies were established or co-founded by immigrants or their children. This underscores the profound impact of international students on the US AI industry's growth and success.

However, challenges in obtaining visas and permanent residency may lead talented international students to seek opportunities elsewhere, potentially jeopardizing America's AI leadership. To maintain its competitive edge in AI, the US must retain and support these students, fostering continued innovation in the field.

Last Updated - 20/07/2023

US Embassy in India Upgrades Customer Service Platform, Temporarily Suspends Services

The US Embassy in India is upgrading its customer service platform, resulting in temporary service suspensions from July 25 to July 28. During this period, customer calls, appointment bookings, and fee payment services will be unavailable, with operations resuming on July 29.

To facilitate the transition, applicants were advised to ensure accurate data in their profiles and make fee payments before July 24. US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, mentioned substantial progress in visa processing, with first-time tourist visa interview wait times reduced by over 50 percent. 

The embassy aims to process at least one million visas in 2023 and plans to expand visa operations and streamline the process. Starting July 29, the embassy's customer service center can be reached at

Last Updated - 23/07/2023

Biden Administration Introduces SAVE Plan to Ease Student Loan Burden After Court Rejects Debt Forgiveness

The Biden administration is introducing the "Saving on a Valuable Education" (SAVE) student loan repayment plan to ease the burden of student loan debt. This comes after a US court rejected Biden's broader student debt forgiveness proposal in June. 

The SAVE plan aims to reduce monthly payments and total repayment amounts for borrowers, and a beta website will be available for applications before federal student loan payments resume in October. Borrowers will only need to apply once, making it more user-friendly. Those already enrolled in the "Revised Pay As You Earn" (REPAYE) repayment plan will be automatically switched to the new SAVE plan. 

The full website launch is set for August, and it is estimated that over 1 million additional borrowers will qualify for zero-dollar payments under this plan. The SAVE plan seeks to provide relief and a smoother pathway for managing student loan debt.

Last Updated - 01/08/2023

Harvard Shifts Admission Essay Requirements in Response to Legal Ruling

Harvard College has adjusted its admission essay requirements in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in college admissions. Instead of a single optional essay, applicants must now answer five questions.

The new essay prompts ask students to reflect on how life experiences, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities have shaped them and to describe their future aspirations. This change aligns with the Supreme Court's decision that universities can still consider an applicant's perspective on how race has influenced their life, provided it's directly tied to their character or unique abilities.

In June, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that universities couldn't establish race-based admissions through essays or other means, reaffirming equal opportunity principles.

Harvard isn't alone in revising its admissions. The University of Virginia lets applicants explain how their backgrounds will enrich the institution, emphasizing diversity's value in academia. Sarah Lawrence College incorporates Chief Justice Roberts's words into an essay prompt, encouraging students to contemplate how the court's decision may affect their educational goals.

In this evolving college admissions landscape, U.S. universities aim to balance diversity promotion with Supreme Court guidelines, valuing each applicant's distinct experiences and potential contributions.

Last updated- 21/08/2023

US Launches 1-Year STEM Master's Program for Indian Students

The US State Department has introduced a groundbreaking one-year professional master's degree program, catering to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students. This initiative, developed by Akhlesh Lakhtatia, a Jefferson Science Fellow and Evan Pugh University professor, aligns with India's National Education Policy 2020.

Indian students, during the fourth year of their four-year bachelor's program, can apply for this 12-month professional master's program in the USA. To qualify, they must maintain a GPA above 3.0, complete two on-campus elective courses in their fourth year, and promptly apply for an F-1 visa through a US Consulate in India.

Upon acceptance, students undertake a year of intensive studies in the US, encompassing lectures, hands-on laboratory work, and industry-specific projects. Graduates have the option to extend their stay for three years via Optional Practical Training (OPT), gaining both experience and remuneration from US industrial facilities.

This program addresses the rising demand for skilled high-tech workers in the United States, offering an opportunity for Indian STEM students to hone their skills and support the high-tech industry. However, students are responsible for tuition fees at both their Indian institution's fourth year and the US university, as well as living, medical, and travel expenses.

Last updated - 29/08/2023

US Facilitates Visa Process for Indian Students

The US Department of State has enacted a pivotal change, permitting student visas (F and M) to be granted up to a year before the program's commencement, effective January 26, 2023.

This aims to expedite visa processing for Indian students, addressing extended wait times. In FY 2022, US diplomatic missions in India set a record by issuing over 125,000 student and exchange visitor visas, positioning India as the second-largest source of US international students. China leads in sending students to higher education. International students contribute over $32 billion and 300,000 jobs to the US yearly, with higher education ranking as a top 10 service-sector export. 

The Department of State foresees issuing the highest number of student visas since FY 2016 this year. Secretary Blinken underscores the crucial role of international student mobility in diplomacy, innovation, economic prosperity, and national security. Over 392,000 F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, and academic J-1 and J-2 visas have been issued in FY 2023 (through June 30). 

The Department is steadfast in its commitment to facilitating international student travel for its vital contributions to US campuses, communities, and the economy.


Record-Breaking 90,000 Visas Issued to Indian Students for US Higher Education This Summer

The US Embassy has seen a remarkable increase in visas granted to Indian students for the upcoming summer season, reflecting a growing trend of Indian students opting for international higher education. Via a social media post on X ( previously Twitter ) the US Embassy announced- the issuance of a record 90,000 visas to Indian students from June to August. This accounted for nearly one in every four global student visas, highlighting the appeal of American education.

This record-breaking number follows proactive measures by the US Embassy to accommodate the increasing demand from Indian students. Last year, they issued a historic 125,000 visas to Indian students, surpassing all other nationalities. They anticipated interviewing even more students this year, reinforcing the popularity of US universities among Indian youth.

Currently, over 200,000 Indian students are studying at various US institutions, representing over 20% of the international student population. Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO of University Living, attributed this growth to factors like global university recognition, diverse courses, and plentiful research opportunities. He emphasized the academic and cultural enrichment that studying abroad provides, preparing students for a globalized world.

Last Updated - 17/10/2023

Indian Diaspora Group asks U.S. Administration to make changes in Training Program for International Students

An Indian diaspora group has highlighted a substantial gap between the number of graduating students and available H1B visas in the U.S., limiting the contribution of Indian students to the workforce. The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) has urged the Biden Administration to modify the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students.

FIIDS proposes several changes, including extending the STEM OPT period from 24 to 48 months for eligible students with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees. They also suggest extending the OPT application window after graduation from 60 to 180 days and providing STEM degree holders with six times better odds in the H1B visa lottery compared to non-STEM graduates.

These changes are aimed at retaining talent for U.S. innovation and national security, particularly in fields like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Foreign students contribute nearly $10 billion to U.S. universities and enrich the academic environment.

Without these adjustments, talented individuals might seek educational opportunities in other countries, impacting U.S. universities and the economy. In summary, the OPT changes are essential for retaining skilled STEM graduates and ensuring U.S. leadership in emerging technologies.

Last Updated - 24/10/2023

Record 12% Rise in International Students in US, India Tops Growth at 35%

In the 2022-23 academic year, US colleges are witnessing a remarkable 12% surge in international student enrollment, marking the most significant increase in over 40 years. India is a driving force behind this growth, contributing to a 35% rise in students choosing US universities, reinforcing the nation's status as the top global education destination. The Institute of International Education's CEO, Allan E Goodman, underlines the enduring appeal of the US to international students.

Indian students, reaching nearly 269,000, set a record high and now rank second only to China. The study reveals a strategic emphasis on graduate programs, particularly in science, technology, and business. This aligns with a broader shift, deviating from the undergraduate dominance of the previous decade. China remains the leading source with 290,000 students, but its numbers have declined for three consecutive years, attributed to geopolitical tensions, competition from other countries, and pandemic-related travel restrictions.

US universities, recognizing India's demographic potential, have intensified recruitment efforts, successfully attracting students. The revival, especially in fields like math and computer science, brings international student numbers close to pre-pandemic levels, approaching the 2018 peak of 1.1 million students. This positive trajectory is expected to continue, with an anticipated 8% increase in international enrollment for the upcoming fall, according to recent trend surveys.

Last Updated - 13/11/2023