A quarter of students do not apply for a supplementary grant despite being entitled to one. That means that they receive up to 419 euros a month less. Which is a shame, feels Minister Dijkgraaf.
In reply to parliamentary questions from the PvdA, he writes that DUO has simplified the application process. For example, students no longer need to know how much their parents earn. DUO gets that information from the Tax Authorities or from the parents themselves.
And perhaps even more importantly: the supplementary grant will now always be selected at DUO when students apply for a student loan. They can deselect the box, but why would they? “We expect that non-use will decline significantly,” says the Minister.
Last April, he was still hesitating. A supplementary grant can result in extra debts if students fail to graduate within ten years. He therefore wanted students to consciously choose to apply. “Everyone knows how easy it is to select a box on a webpage without realising,” he told the House of Representatives.
But apparently, the advantages won him over. If students leave the box selected, they are directed to extra information about the supplementary grant, so that they can make a well-considered choice.
If the intervention is successful, the Ministry will need to spend more money on the supplementary grant. That could negatively affect the budget. But Dijkgraaf promises there will be no changes to the amount of the basic grant or the supplementary grant. “These amounts have been enshrined in law and students are entitled to them.”