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Parents expected to pay more on MBAs abroad

If your child aspires to pursue a two-year full-time MBA course abroad, be prepared to bear the costs. A survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has said Indian citizens considering full-time two-year MBA programmes abroad expect grants and scholarships to cover a small portion of the expenditure, adding they look to their parents to provide the rest of the expenses.

According to the survey, Indians planning to study abroad traditionally rely on loans to fund more than a third of the cost. Among the options they consider are personal funds (24 per cent in 2013, against 23 per cent in 2009), loans (22 per cent, against 26 per cent in 2009) and contribution by parents (20 per cent, against 14 per cent in 2009).

For Indians, while loans continue to be the primary source of funds to go abroad for an MBA degree, the dependence on loans, as well as scholarships/grants, has declined.

In China, parents are seen as the primary source of funds for a master’s degree in finance abroad. In that country, students expect parents to contribute 53 per cent of the funds for their education.

Between 2009 and 2013, prospective MBA students around the world intended to borrow less for education abroad, instead counting on greater contributions from parents.

According to GMAC’s mba.com Prospective Students Survey, which surveys about 12,000 mba.com registrants globally every year, the percentage of those saying they didn’t have any reservations about pursuing a degree abroad rose from 13 per cent in 2009 to 18 per cent in 2013. Of those that did, cost and potential debt were the primary concerns. However, the number of those concerned about these aspects saw a decline — while the percentage of those worried about costs fell from 53 per cent to 48 per cent, those thinking potential debt would be a burden fell from 51 per cent to 45 per cent.

GMAC’s annual alumni perspectives survey showed business school alumni continued to value their degrees, saying they had seen satisfying return on investment—personally, professionally, and financially.

Between 2009 and 2013, the percentage of funding prospective MBA students worldwide expected their parents to cover increased from 14 per cent to 20 per cent; the portion they expected to borrow or cover through scholarships/grants decreased. Amid the popularity of specialised master’s programmes in business, those who planned to enrol for such courses expected their parents to fund a significant sum.

In countries such as the US, where a full-time two-year MBA course is the signature programme at many business schools, those considering these courses expected to increase the contribution of personal funds, employers and parents towards the education costs and rely less on loans, compared to 2009.

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