Autonomous Colleges Merits and Demerits

The “term” autonomous means having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs. The dictionary meaning can give you a little idea about autonomous colleges. These colleges pretty much control everything from modifying syllabus to conducting exams according to their will. Getting a seat in a reputed college is the dream of many students. Sometimes these students take admission in colleges because they heard some good things about them from others. But after taking the admission they get frustrated because of the awkward rules of autonomous colleges.

In many states of India like Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra etc. , there are hundreds of autonomous colleges. Are they all good?  the answer is big “no”. Some colleges under university are better than autonomous because of the various reasons which we will discuss in this article.

The criteria for becoming an autonomous institute are:

  1. The college should have at least 10 years of existence.
  2.  Must have ‘A’ grade from NBA or NAAC for at least 3 programmes.
  3. The research/academic achievements of faculties.
  4. Quality of institutional management.
  5. Adequacy of infrastructure, for example, library, equipment, accommodation for academic activities, etc.
  6. Hostel facilities.

The institute must have autonomous status before becoming a small university.

Privileges of Autonomous colleges

  • They have full power to formulate new courses.
  • Can fix fees for the courses at their own level.
  • appointing their own administrative staff and teaching faculty including Principal.
  • Make any changes to the academic level so that course is enjoyable for the students.

We are listing merits and demerits of autonomous colleges. This will help you to decide the better option for you.

Autonomous colleges merits-demerits



Merits of Autonomous colleges:

  1.  Faculties are generally very good with good academic records. Faculties having more experience are hired in these colleges.
  2.  Infrastructure is well maintained as this also counts and one of the criteria of UGC to provide autonomous status to any college.
  3. Quality of lab equipment is better than normal colleges as they don’t want to lose score( UGC score) due to faulty equipment.
  4. The syllabus is kept as per the requirement of the course. Unnecessary topics are not covered.
  5. What you study in the class, you have to face questions based on that portion. You don’t need to be afraid of unknown questions.
  6. In case you flunk in any paper, the college conducts the classes for you during the holidays. This way you finish the paper when your friends enjoy their holidays. This might be demerit according to some folks but keeping the burden of even one subject is not a good idea. Professors make sure you clear the paper in the supplementary exams itself.
  7. Since you know the portion that is going to appear in the exam, the chances of flunking in the exam are less.
  8. You get better aggregate after you pass out from the college. Students who disobey lecturers and don’t do assignment and bunk regularly are the exceptions.
  9. They publish results on time.
  10. Placements are good. These colleges ensure that all eligible students get a job after passing out.

Demerits of Autonomous colleges

  1. Professors clip the syllabus. So you learn only 1/3 or 2/3 syllabus. Covering a good portion of the syllabus is good if you are planning for exams like Gate.
  2. Prescribed books are not easy to follow. They don’t follow the university norms for prescribing the books.
  3. The course fees are generally high as these colleges are free to fix fees according to management’s wish.
  4. Students get marks based on their “impressions”. If you have scored well in the initial semesters, chances are more that you get good marks in the coming semesters as well.
  5. The internal exam consists of internal assessments, assignments and class tests. The internal mark is 50% of the total marks. If you don’t follow the professors, you lose marks.
  6. Fees collected for the backlog subject exams are huge. Students from poor financial background suffer a lot if they fail in a paper.
  7. Some autonomous colleges are ridiculously strict about attendance. Shortage of attendance may lead to debarment from the exams.
  8. If a faculty don’t teach properly you can’t complain anonymously. The faculties are hired by the college itself.

Final thoughts

If you have written CET and want to join a good college try to prefer colleges which are not autonomous. After speaking to a bunch of students we have made the merits and demerit list. To know better about the college you need to speak to seniors because the scenario might be different for the college you choose. Autonomous colleges are not under any university. So they make their own rules. The rules can be beneficial as well as trouble for the students. Some autonomous colleges are simply run for making money however some are really good like Ramaiah, RVCE  etc. So before joining an autonomous institute, you must know the pros and cons of that institute. We would like to know your thoughts about autonomous institutes.

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Shikha Singh

An engineer turned tech writer, Shikha loves writing blog posts. She holds a masters degree in software engineering from RVCE, Bangalore and hails from Punjab.

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What about NL college ??

Vikash Shah

Very useful information. Thanks 🙂 


I’m Studying in autonomous college. Does it affect in higher studies? Will it affect my future in any way? My college is very good… Management is good as well


If i have not scored well in class 12 exam which college is good for me and also i am not coming from any good background family

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