What does studying cost?

Studying may cost more than you think. On the one hand, you have costs for study materials. On the other hand, student life itself eats up a fair amount of money: rent for your room, food and drinks, going out and insurances. Keep in mind additional costs, such as your membership to an association, a subscription for internet, Netfli and TV or extra books. 

Make a student budget plan

Are you already studying and want to get a better handle on your income and expenses? Or are you going to be studying soon and want to know where you stand? Then make a student budget plan. You can use the Excelsheet (in Dutch) of the Nibud (National Institute for Budget Information). 
On the website of the Nibud (in Dutch) you can read more about the costs of studying and get saving tips.

Don't leave money lying around

In addition to student finance and the financial funds that UM and others make available to students, there are other financial schemes at other institutions that you as a student may be eligible for. Think of rent allowance, healthcare allowance, childcare allowance or tax reclaim. Whether you are entitled hereto depends on your personal circumstances. On berekenuwrecht.nl (in Dutch) from Nibud you can check within 10 minutes what you are entitled to and they explain how you can apply for benefits. You can also check whether the municipality where you are registered offers any (additional) allowances, such as study allowance for students with a disability.

Study allowance: if you have a disability and are therefore unable to earn additional income alongside your studies, you may, in some cases be eligible for a study allowance through the municipality in which you are registered. For the municipality of Maastricht, for example, you can find more information on the website of Sociale Zaken Maastricht Heuvelland (in Dutch).

Energy allowance: households of people who are 21 years or older, live independently, pay their own energy costs and have an income that is equal to or lower than 120% of the social minimum, may be eligible for energy allowance through their municipality. For the municipality of Maastricht, this allowance will be granted automatically from November 2023 on the basis of the information known to the municipality. It is also possible to apply for the energy allowance. For the municipality of Maastricht, see the website of Sociale Zaken Maastricht Heuvelland for more information.

In addition to the energy allowance, there is a separate scheme for students, the ‘Tegemoetkoming energiekosten’. Students who meet the conditions will automatically receive a one-off contribution to energy costs of € 400 via DUO from January 2024 onwards. This contribution is intended to help students who are entitles to a supplementary grant based on the their parents’ income with the increased energy costs. More information including the conditions can be found on the DUO website.  

Financial problems

Do you have money problems, are you behind with payments or do you have no overview of your financial situation, discuss your problems and find help on time. There are several organisations where you can get help free of charge, sometimes anonymously. For example, you can get advice anonymously at geldfit.nl (in Dutch). There are also volunteers who can help you, such as Schuldhulpmaatje (in Dutch), Humanitas and the Landelijk Stimuleringsnetwerk Thuisadministratie (LSTA) (in Dutch). 
Do you live in Maastricht? Then the website of Maastricht Helpt (in Dutch) gives an overview of the help available in the municipality. You can also turn to Trajekt (in Dutch) for support. There are also apps, such as FiKKs (in Dutch) and Geldwijzer Maastricht (in Dutch), for advice and tips.  

If there is a risk of you falling behind with your rent or health insurance payments, contact your landlord or health insurer to discuss whether you can come to a solution by mutual agreement. It may be possible to agree on a payment arrangement. It is important to make agreements that you can and will actually keep. If you doubt whether the rent you have to pay for your accommodation is correct, contact Huurteam Zuid-Limburg. They can help you calculate the maximum rental price for your accommodation on the basis of a legally defined point system.
If you have serious financial problems or debts, contact your municipality as soon as possible. The sooner you ask for help, the better, because that way you can prevent problems from piling up. For more information about debt assistance offered by the municipality of Maastricht, go to: gemeentemaastricht.nl/werk-en-inkomen/schuldhulpverlening (in Dutch). Or check the website of your own municipality if you do not live in Maastricht.
Are you unable to pay special, necessary expenses? For example due to increased energy costs? Then you may qualify for individual special support. This is also regulated by the municipality where you are registered. The conditions and implementation of individual special support vary by municipality. For the municipality of Maastricht, please visit: gemeentemaastricht.nl/werk-en-inkomen/bijzondere-bijstand (in Dutch).

Financial problems can be very stressful and negatively affect your studies. Are you threatening to delay your studies? Please contact your study adviser as soon as possible. You can also contact the Student Deans if you have questions about UM (financial) regulations.  

The information on this page has been compiled with the utmost care, but not all students may be eligible for the possibilities mentioned above, as this depends on specific (personal) circumstances.