Dutch student finance

Student finance consists of four different components, which are:

  • A loan

  • Student travel product (Dutch: “OV” student card)

  • Supplementary grant

  • Tuition fees loan

The loan, the student travel product and the tuition fees loan are eligible for everyone. Whether you are eligible for the supplementary loan depends on the income of your parents. You must be younger than 30 on the day your student finance starts. 

Loan or gift?

The student finance is a loan. After your studies, you will have to reimburse the amount you borrowed. Only the student travel product and the supplementary grant (so called ‘performance related grants’) may be converted into a gift. Required for this conversion into a gift is that you obtain your diploma within 10 years. This is called the diploma period. The 10-year period takes effect on the 1st of the month in which you first get student finance. If you do not obtain your diploma you will need to reimburse everything, with the exception of the first 5 months of the supplementary grant as this is always a gift. 

Eligible for how long?

If the regular study programme is four years (3 years bachelor + 1 year master), you are eligible for 7 years of student finance. The supplementary grant, if any, you will get for the first 4 years. After that, you can only borrow for 3 more years. You are eligible for the student travel product for 5 years. If the programme you study is longer than 4 years you can receive the student finance for a longer period. You can read more information on the website of DUO

A new system of student finance (Dutch ‘studiefinanciering’) was introduced on 1 September 2015. Bachelor’s and master’s students from the EU/EEA or Switzerland who start a new programme of study after 1 September 2015 will no longer receive a basic scholarship grant. They can now take out a loan instead. You decide how large the loan is that you would like to take out. The mandatory repayment phase has been extended from 15 to 35 years. If you obtain your diploma within 10 years, the supplementary grant and the student travel product (Dutch: "OV" student card) will be converted into a gift.

Gain insight into your funding needs

What is the maximum amount of student finance you can receive? 

You can calculate your student grant using DUO's student finance calculator. Make sure you know what your parents' income was two years ago. You will need to enter this information in the calculator.

The calculator provides insight into:

  • how much student finance you need
  • how much supplemental funding you can get
  • how large the loan is that you can take out
  • how much debt you will build up
  • what your monthly payback amount will be

Study finance for students who follow a pre-master

Students who follow a pre-master ('schakelprogramma') at Maastricht University can apply for study finance via the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). Students must meet the requirements for applying for a grant from DUO (this depends on age, nationality and education). For more information about the application for student finance and the conditions, please visit the DUO website: www.duo.nl/particulier/international-student  

Read more:

An additional loan to pay your tuition fee

You can borrow extra money to pay for tuition. This is called a 'tuition fee loan' (Dutch 'collegekrediet'). You will have to pay this amount back after you graduate, including the interest on the loan. 

EU/EER students may also be eligible for a tuition fee loan if they are not eligible for “regular” student finance. 

More information from DUO about tuition fee loans

Lifelong learning credit

If you are not or no longer eligible for regular student finance or the tuition fee loan, then you can apply for the ‘lifelong learning credit’ to pay for your tuition fees or course fees. The lifelong learning credit is a loan.

 Want to know more? For the conditions, how much you can borrow and more information, to go DUO's website.

Student grants for non-Dutch citizens

Student finance is intended primarily for Dutch students. However, in some cases also non-Dutch students can request student finance. If you are an EU/EER or Swiss national, you may be eligible for student finance as well. This may be if you have lived in the Netherlands for 5 years or more (uninterrupted) or if you (or your non-Dutch parent or partner) works in the Netherlands for at least 56 hours a month. If you are not a EU/EER or Swiss national, you may be eligible if you have a residence permit type II, III or IV. 

Take a look at the detailed information and the conditions at DUO  

Contact DUO


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