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Student finance for EU students in the Netherlands

Grants Question and Answers 12 April, 08:35

Higher education in the Netherlands is expensive while finding scholarship or grant for studying can be a challenging task. One of the ways of paying tuition fees and student life costs could be borrowing finances from the Dutch government. It is possible for EU students under 30 of age, who is going to stay in the Netherlands after graduation.

Students at Wittenborg University of Applied SciencesHigher education in the Netherlands is expensive and finding a scholarship or grant to help pay for studies can be a challenging task. One way to ease the burden of paying for tuition fees and student living expenses is through student finance, a loan system offered by the Dutch government to students at universities in the Netherlands. This financing is available for EU students under the age of 30 who are planning to stay in the Netherlands after graduation.

What is student finance?

Student finance, or studiefinanciering in Dutch, is a loan which is transferred to a student’s bank account on a monthly basis. The loan amount depends on how much the student has to pay for their chosen university programme. The amount also varies based on the income of the student’s parents.

Student finance is made up of 3 components: a basic study loan, a student travel product, and a supplementary grant.

The basic loan portion of student finance helps students pay for tuition fees and living costs. The basic loan amounts cap out at a maximum of € 162.58 per month towards tuition fee and € 862.50 towards living costs, coming to a maximum total of € 1,025.08 per month. This amount should be enough to fully cover study programme expenses, as well as student living costs.

Non-EU students or EU students that study at private universities, such as Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, are required to pay an institutional fee for their study programme. In this case, students can borrow up to € 812.90 per month to cover the cost of their education in the Netherlands.

The basic loan amount can be received for 7 years. Upon programme completion, students have up to 35 years to pay back the total loan amount through monthly payments.

The student travel product helps students pay for public transport expenses in the Netherlands. Its amount is equal to a maximum of € 99.66 per month, transferred directly to the student’s OV-chipkaart.

The travel product provides students with free and discounted access to public transport (bus, tram, metro, and train service). Students can choose to have free public transport on weekdays and discounted public transport on weekends or vice versa, depending on their travel requirements and preferences. The applied discount is 40% off for trains and 34% off for buses, metros, trams, and water trams. Students can make use of the travel product even with a loan of € 0.

The student travel product can be received for 5 years. Students that complete their study and obtain their diploma within 10 years of beginning their study programme will have this loan converted into a gift and will not be required to pay it back. Otherwise, this loan must also be paid back once the student has graduated.

The supplementary grant is an additional loan provided to students that come from low income families. An added max amount of € 271.19 per month is available for 4 years.

This loan will also be converted into a gift if the student obtains their diploma within 10 years of starting their programme. Otherwise, the student will be required to pay back this loan amount as well once they graduate.

Who is eligible for student finance?

The Dutch government offers student finance to students that are going to remain in the Netherlands upon graduation. Dutch students can borrow finances without any restrictions. EU students, or their parents, must work in the Netherlands for at least 56 hours per month in order to be eligible for the loan options. Limited finance options are also available for non-EU students with a type II, III or IV permanent residence permit. Please note that a student visa is not enough to apply for student finance loans.

Student finance is available to students under the age of 30 enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme at a higher educational institution in the Netherlands. As of January 1st, 2017, the age limit for student finance eligibility will be raised to 55.

How to apply for student finance?

Application for student finance must be done via the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science website (duo.nl). It includes the following 5 steps:

  1. Register at the municipality office of the city you live and study in to receive a Citizen Service Number, or burgerservicenummer (BSN).
  2. Request a DigiD account with SMS-verification. The DigiD system provides users with a login and password that is needed in order to access public services online.
  3. Open a bank account in the Netherlands.
  4. Receive your OV-chipkaart. (If you currently live in the Netherlands, you may have already completed steps 1 through 4 when you arrived.)
  5. Log in at Mijn DUO with your DigiD and apply for student finance.

It can take up to 3 months to process your financing application so make sure to move to the Netherlands and find a part-time job that meets the requirements well in advance.

To recap: Student finance comprises of several loan options and can be used to cover all study and living expenses for students in the Netherlands. To receive financing, you must be under the age of 30 and be a Dutch or EU citizen, or have an eligible type of residence permit. If you graduate within 10 years or beginning your study, part of your loan may be converted into a gift and you won’t need to pay it back. However, the basic loan amount must be paid back under all circumstances.

Read also about scholarships and grant at Dutch universities.

Sources: duo.nl, wittenborg.ru

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