Here is a link to most of the degrees offered by the Amrita colleges, along with their annual tuition charges for foreigners and non-resident Indians:
Room and board charges are not included on the list. Tuition charges for foreign students are, on average, about 50% higher than for Indian residents. Here is a table of charges for the more popular programs offered at the Amrita colleges (foreigner costs are for tuition and fees only):
|College||Location||Degree||Annual Cost Rs||Annual Cost $||Foreigner Cost $|
Engineering generally costs less than the other colleges probably because of competition. There are over 80 engineering colleges in Kerala! Yet an engineering college was the first one opened by Amma. Since many Indians choose to become engineers, total profit opportunities are especially high with respect to an engineering education.
We saw earlier how the 690 bachelor degree medical and dental students at Amrita generate over $6 million per year in revenue. The Amrita website says there are 16000 students enrolled in Amma's schools. Looking at the above table, if we assume an average annual charge of $5000 per student, multiplied by16000 students, the Amrita schools would generate annual revenues of $80,000,000!
Even the poorest students added to the bottom line of Amma's colleges when I was there because of their way of providing financial aid. Despite the organization taking in millions in income each year, poorly-paid graduates right out of college were saddled with the burden of paying for others' education through a "pay-it-forward" program from which they themselves earlier received aid. (This is similar to the drug bank they have for poor AIMS patients). Amma's colleges continued to earn profits off every student.
There are, of course, costs associated with running colleges. (However, there are also additional revenues, from student stores, canteens, etc.)
The highest expense in education is teacher salaries, and these are modest in Kerala, as you can see here:
If we assume a reasonable student-to-teacher ratio, teacher salaries are not likely to exceed 15% of revenues (While living at Amritapuri in the early 1990's, I met devotee teachers at Amma's engineering college who received no compensation other than room and board.) If we allocate another 10% of income to cover administrative costs, student food and housing, classroom overhead, and other expenses, that leaves 75% of revenue as pure profit. If these figures are correct, total aggregate profit comes to over $60 million per year! High profit margins and low capital costs make higher education a highly lucrative business.
Amma's website says there are now five Amrita campuses in south India with plans underway to establish eight more campuses throughout India. Profits from Amma's highly profitable education business now dwarf the organization's foreign contribution revenue ($23.8 million in 2012). Amma's lucrative college business may represent the future direction and orientation of this organization.