Student finance: the two words that bring the most musical joy to a student's ears. But sometimes there is a bit of a confusion as to who exactly can send in a student finance application. Most of the Dutch governmental websites are exclusively in, you guessed it Dutch. Or, websites like DUO (the education ministry in the Netherlands) has very little information in English. If you are thinking of trying your hand with student finance, but you are unsure whether you actually qualify for sending in a studiefinanciering application, then this is the post for you. We are going to dive into the details of who precisely qualifies for Dutch student finance, starting now!
What are the general requirements for Dutch student finance?
First of all, you need to know that Dutch student finance is just one way to finance your studies. Student finance, or studiefinanciering, is a scheme carried out by DUO to help students with the financial aspect of their studies in the Netherlands. There are, however, other ways to finance your studies, like though private loans, scholarships, or even getting a job.
There are 3 components to Dutch student finance, or studiefinanciering. The first is the loan/tuition fee loan, the second is the supplementary grant, and the third is the student travel product. There are a few general requirements that you have to meet in order to apply for any of these three components. They are as follows:
- You must be a Dutch national or have the same rights as a Dutch national.
- Or, you must be an EU/EEA or Swiss national.
- You must be registered in a full-time or dual degree program in a Dutch HBO or university.
- You must also be under 30 years old.
- Also, you must be registered at a Dutch municipality and have a BSN number as well as a DigiID.
- And finally, you must have a Dutch bank account.
If you meet these basic requirements, congratulations, you can move on to the next round of specifications!
Requirements for the student/tuition fee loan
The first component of studiefinanciering is the loan. There are two types of loans that you can apply for; the tuition fee loan and the student loan. As an EU student, you are most likely paying the statutory tuition fee. You can receive a specific amount that you can use towards your tuition each month. To apply for the tuition fee loan, you must be an EU/EEA or Swiss national.
The student loan is not specifically towards your tuition fee. To be eligible for the student loan, you need to be an EU/EEA or Swiss resident and have lived in the Netherlands for at least the last 5 years. For both of these loans, you must pay it back!
Requirements for the supplementary grant
The supplementary grant is the second part of student finance. As it is called 'supplementary', you can guess that not everyone can apply for this grant. Unlike the loan, you don't need to pay this grant back after you graduate (given that you graduate within 10 years). To be eligible for the supplementary grant, you must meet the requirements of the student loan. So, you need to have lived in the Netherlands for the last 5 years and be an EU resident. Also, your parents income must be lower than €50.000 per year. You can use DUO's calculator to see if you fall within this range.
However, if you do not meet the requirements for the student loan, i.e. you haven't lived in the Netherlands for at least the last 5 years, there is another way to apply for the loan and supplementary grant. You have to be employed by a Dutch employer and work at least 56 hours a month.
Requirements for the student travel product
The student travel product is as simple as it sounds. With student finance, you can receive a discount on travel with Dutch public transport. Sweet, right? You can also choose to travel for free on weekdays or weekends. In order to qualify for this, you need to meet there requirements for the student loan.
How do you send in your studiefinanciering application?
If you have made it this far, and you meet the requirements for some components, or even all 3, of studiefinanciering, it's time to apply. Applying is relatively simple. All you need are a few relevant documents, your BSN number and your DigiID. You can go to DUO.nl and apply online, logging in with your DigiID. You can also download the relevant forms. You can read more about the studiefinanciering application process on our Student Finance page!
And that, friends, is a short and sweet explanation of who can send in a studiefinanciering application. Hopefully you found yourself in one of those descriptions, but if not, don't worry. There are plenty of other ways to finance your studies aside from sending in a studiefinanciering application. For example, you could consider a scholarship! But, even better, check out our complete Guide to Student Finance to read more about all the different types of student finance you can get in the Netherlands!