The research agency I&O Research was commissioned by the Dutch National Union of Students to examine the financial contribution made by parents of children studying at a university or university of applied sciences. Students from families with a joint income between 49,000 and 69,000 euros are hit the hardest – even worse than low-income families. They receive an extremely limited supplementary grant and the parental contribution isn’t enough to cover the shortfall.

While DSNA Chairman Kees Gillesse acknowledges that the supplementary grant was increased when the basic grant was ended, he feels that the financial situation for students not living at home has deteriorated substantially. “They jumped the gun with the assumption that the parental contribution would compensate for this. The study showed that parents with a joint income between 49,000 and 69,000 euros are the ones least able to make this contribution.”

The DSNA had already called for a more generous supplementary grant last year, but Minister Van Engelshoven felt this was unnecessary. According to Gillesse, the study proves precisely the opposite. “Looking at what needs to be done in the new student loan system, at the very least we’d like to see swift action to increase and expand the supplementary grant. But ultimately, we want the basic grant to be reinstated.”