Survival Guide: applying for study finance
10 October 2012 - Being an international student in the Netherlands requires a lot of arranging which can lead to frustrations. EM provides tips and tricks to ease your stay in the Netherlands. This week in our Survival Guide: tips for applying for study finance.
Imagine you are a non-Dutch student who is exited to study in the Netherlands. You have some free time besides studying, so you find a side job for some extra earnings. So far so good, but did you know that that you might now be eligible to receive study finance from the Dutch government?
What is study finance?
Study finance is a monthly performance-related grant, which consists of a basic grant, student travel product and a supplementary grant.
Ultimately, the performance-related grant is a loan. However, if you obtain your diploma within ten years this loan is converted into a gift. You can receive the performance-related grant for the official amount of years of your study program. Does it take you longer to graduate? Then you can only decide to borrow the performance-related grant and only for three more years. Notably, these years have to be paid back, even if you do obtain your diploma. The basic grant in 2012 for students living at home is € 95,61 per month. For students living on their own it is € 266,23 monthly.
Student travel product
There are two forms of the student travel product. Both forms allow you to travel for free within the Netherlands with any form of public transport. However, one is only valid on weekdays and the other, only on weekends. Nonetheless, the part of the week the student travel product you choose is not valid; it does give you a 40 % discount.
The supplementary grant depends on your parent’s income. For students at home, this can be an additional amount with a maximum € 222,84. For students living on their own, this maximum amount is € 242,76.
Besides the grants, it is also possible to loan an extra amount of with a maximum of € 285,70. Also, you can borrow your tuition fee which consist of a monthly loan of € 142,75.
- Be aware that if you decide to use either or both of these loans you have to pay everything back with interest in 15 years after you graduate.
- Keep an eye out for the political decisions once the new Dutch parliament is formed regarding study finance and education. They might want to make the performance-related grant a loan and stop converting them into gifts. This would mean that the performance-related grant would have to be paid back within 15 years after graduation.
Who is eligible to receive study finance?
You are eligible if you belong to one of the following three categories:
1. Your nationality belongs to one of the European Union countries and you work for at least 32 hours per month in the Netherlands.
2. Your nationality belongs to one of the European Union countries and you have lived in the Netherlands for a minimum of 5 years with no break longer than 6 months.
3. Your nationality belongs to one of the European Union countries and at least one of your non-Dutch parents, your husband/wife/registered partner also has an EU nationality and works in the Netherlands.
If you come from another country and you have the correct residence permit, you may also be eligible for study finance.
Where to apply for study finance?
Applications can be made at DUO. DUO is the implementing agency of the Ministry of Education. DUO finances and informs education participants and education institutions but also organizes exams.
How to apply for study finance?
When you have a DigiD account you can easily apply on the DUO website. There is a special section on the website for international visitors providing you with information in English.
If you do not have a DigiD account, you will need to fill in the forms in by hand and send it in by post. The forms can be printed from the DUO website.
- If you do not have a printer, you can request the forms by phone: (050) 5997755. Notably, this will delay your request slightly since DUO has to send you the forms by post which can take a week or two.
- There is no special phone numbers for non-Dutch speakers. However, employees are expected to be able to communicate with you in English. If this is not the case, politely ask for an employee who does speak English.
- None of the forms are available in English. Therefore, make sure you know someone that can help you fill in the form correctly to prevent delays in your request.
It is possible to go by the one of DUO’s offices in Rotterdam for further assistance.
Address: Wilhelminakade 131a, 3072 AP Rotterdam.
Open from 10:00 till 17:00 on workdays.
When to apply for study finance?
The procedure to apply for study finance and the time that it takes to process your request, is similar to Dutch students. Are you applying online? Then your request will take a week to be processed. By post, it takes two weeks.
Important note: If you receive study finance DUO upholds an extra earnings limit. In 2012 your maximum earnings from your side job may be a maximum of € 13.362,53. This amount indicates aggregate income or taxable wage.
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