Students primarily spend the money from the grant on basic needs, they tell us. Rent and tuition fees are often mentioned. “I get 440 euros a month, about the same as my rent,” says Jules Hauser, who is doing the premaster Economics & Business Economics. His grant goes towards his rent. Despite the basic grant, he keeps his side job. He is not the only one: many students have a job alongside their studies. They sometimes cut back their hours, though: “I used to work 20 hours a week,” says criminology student Quinty van Ommen. “Because of the basic grant, I can now work fewer hours.”

Much difference

Not everyone is satisfied with the new situation. Law student Oualid Hamdoune doesn’t notice much difference between studying without or with the grant. “The 100 euros I get don’t matter much, especially now that everything has become more expensive,” he says. Elke Schaa, who is doing a premaster Media Studies, is left out. “Because I’ve studied in a university for applied sciences for four years, I am now only eligible to the basic grant for one month”, she says.

Opinions on the grant diverge. For some students, it takes away stress about money, for others it doesn’t seem to help much. Thor Hogerbrugge, Economics & Tax Law student, responds laconically. He doesn’t notice much difference, except that he now has a bit more to spend. Free money, right? “Yes,” he agrees, “that’s actually exactly what it comes down to.”