Do you think fee waiver should be made mandatory for B-schools to help economically backward students?

Business Standard poses a question and solicits responses from students across India for their weekly column “ Student’s Corner”

The topic for last week was Do you think fee waiver should be made mandatory for B-schools to help economically backward students?

Here are all the responses sent by IBS students:

Fee waivers would not only bring a sigh of relief for many deserving students but also a ray of hope and motivation for many. But the challenge for the B-schools is to clearly and correctly identify the criteria of for the waiver, because of the immense variation in the fee structure across the nation. This makes the economic inability of a student a relative concept. If this challenge is subjugated, fee waiver would be welcomed by all management aspirants.

— Rhiva Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

Winning Entry

It’s difficult for students belonging to middle class families to afford a B-school without a loan, let alone economically backward students. A mandatory fee waiver to such students will not only provide support to their families but will also benefit B-schools by providing them a bigger pool of talent. It’s better to provide a poor but deserving student rather than providing for undeserving students based merely on their communities. Such waivers will provide equal opportunities to all students in real sense and will be a correct means to insure a growth towards a less divided India.

— Neha Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

Fee waiver should be given to those who ‘fall under economically backward student category’. There are so many potential students who can’t afford fees to study in top ranks B-schools in India. As a result, those potentials remain constant and can’t get the proper nutrition (knowledge and experience) to grow much more. Students belonging to backward classes by availing such facility can achieve more and such facility is also a big help to the parents. Students will feel less financial burden and they can freely concentrate on their academics. So, it should be given to economically backward student.

— Vishal Vijayan, IBS Ahmedabad.

Many eligible students do not go for higher studies like MBA because of exorbitant fees. So providing a relief in monetary term is very good option for them. But waiving the fee could be a major step. B-school can give the option to payback the fees after joining the job. Because of that student also take studies seriously and chances of having dispute among other people also stop. The major task is selecting right candidate for such a precious option.

— Manish Kumar K Gupta, IBS Mumbai.

IIM-A said that it educated 41 students for free in 2009-10. Definitely it was free for IIM because the burden of fee waived, was borne by remaining students in form of fee hike. Fee waiver is not borne by the institutions but is passed on to other students who manage to get fund through loans and other means. But in the end everyone gets same opportunity to sit for placements but while one has everything at stake the other nothing. Instead there should be a contractual agreement between the institutes and economically backward students to repay their fees when they earn.

— Anoop Periwal, IBS Mumbai.

Fee waiver should be made compulsory for under privileged students as many of them fail to make it to their dream campuses for want of finance. Instead of reserving seats for students ,which in many cases the students dont need as they come from affluent background, the primary focus should be on the family income. If a student’s family income is less than Rs 1.5 -2.0 lakh/year, he/she should be made eligible for a fee waiver. This might even create a wave and help to abolish reservation system which is being misused.

— Saurabh Saxena, IBS Mumbai.

While economically backward students could realize their dreams, fees need not be waived but could be sponsored by Government/Government banks/companies/large tax payers. Government could give an option for large companies or large tax payers to waive the sponsored amount in the tax. In this case, corporates have an added advantage by sponsoring such students by providing employment to them upon completion of their programme as well as save taxes.

— Divya Srinivasan, IBS Bengaluru.

To promote higher education at the lowest level, B-schools should mandate fee waiver to help and motivate economically backward students. Poverty is becoming hereditary in India, at least for a sizeable population and if youth are not well educated, then country growth is at stake. In India majority of people are not financially sound and with the increasing fees of B-schools, they cannot afford for higher education and remain incompetent. Not only B-schools but even banks can provide some facilities like education loan at low rates to support economically backward students.

— Chirag Kriplani, IBS Mumbai.

Implementation of fee waiver at B-schools will come only in fruition when students from economically weaker societies participate in these programs. The entrance examination fee, college form fee are also a matter of concern for these students. Also the numbers of students eligible to B-schools are puny. Hence government of India must run some program to educate weaker societies to let their children go for higher studies. Scholarships, funds and other help at school and graduation level must be provided to ease financial burden.

— Sandeep Guleria, IBS Gurgaon.

Putting the burden on the shoulder of educational institutions to provide cheap education by means of fee waiver for poor students might not be an effective and the right step. Such a step might serve the purpose to an extent but at the cost of quality of the education. Also, the effectiveness of such a system can not be guaranteed. Instead, the government should directly fund the education of poor students, being the most responsible and capable body.

— Kushal Bhadani, IBS Mumbai

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