Last year, I sat for the CAT exam for the first time. On the very day, I reached at the exam center a bit early than the reporting time. Other aspirants were coming to take the CAT. Waiting at the gate I was observing almost all the candidates arriving to take the test for that slot. I found a very different scenario than that I used to see at the exam center during IIT JEE. Most of the girls were coming on a car with parents or siblings. Few girls were coming on a two wheeler and, very few by auto. Boys were basically coming mainly on bikes with friends. There was huge number of vehicles compared with just around hundred candidates. But, at the IIT JEE center very few people used to come on car, few with bike and mostly by auto. The trend was very easy to understand that management courses attract upper middle class more than lower middle class or poor.
Management education is getting expensive day by day. Some IIMs have increased their fees to more than 12 lakhs. Nearly, all the top 30 institutes have a fees range of 7 lakhs – 15 lakhs. This is creating a huge pressure on the aspirants. Those whose family income is not even 3-4 lakhs, how can they think to study in these institutes on their own. There are institutes who are offering management course at even less than 2 lakhs. However, most of them have poor placement scene. Who would prefer to start their career at less than Rs. 20,000 if they can get starting salary more than Rs. 50,000?
The only hope for the lower middle class or poor student is bank loan. But, there are a lot of requirements for the banks for giving a loan. Other than for the case of meritorious students seeking loan for prestigious institutes, banks ask for an account in their bank, active for at least past six months. Plus, one needs to submit an insurance policy of the candidate. One most important process is to submit the annual simple interest incurred on the amount withdrawn for loan till you get the job or six months after passing the course, whichever comes earlier. These are few requirements for applying for a bank loan. But, still it may happen that processing a bank loan took a long time.
Just suppose a person takes a loan for taking admission to a B-school with yearly expenditure of around Rs. 300,000. So, yearly interest to be paid to the bank will be around Rs. 36,000 – 40,000 for the first year. During second year this will be just around double at around Rs. 75,000. This amount is to be generally paid by the parent. Which in no way is a small amount for many middle class families? These amounts do not include the basic expense for a student, like mobile, conveyance, clothing, etc. Just imagine the burden on a student’s family.
Management institute seeks intelligent candidates having good communication skill in English and who is smart. The best institutes focuses on those candidates who is well-balanced with all these features. Even one of these is a bit less. Your chance is little to get an admission letter. As English is not first language for most of the lower middle class or poor student, neither the surrounding in which they live gives stress on learning English, the students from these class are generally weak in English. One needs a good encouraging surrounding to develop the English to the level required by B-schools. A good option for this is to join a good coaching to get students seeking to clear management entrance. But, this needs money. Most of the institutes have fees around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 40,000 plus other expenses.
At every step, non-rich students face problem in getting management education. Even if someone is extra talented, there are big obstacles for them also. But, for the rich most of the steps are easier with the money. Therefore, in my opinion “management education is only for the rich”.