Student Finance Misconceptions
If you are reading this, you are most probably a student in the Netherlands. Maybe you have heard about this so called student finance offered from the Dutch Ministry of Education. Maybe not.
The reason this article has been written is due to the lack of transparency and the overflow of misleading information. No matter how often I try and explain this great tool for financing your studies, many ignore that facts and focus only on rumors.
Let us take a step back. Let us delve into why there are so many misconceptions about student finance.
A Long Time Ago in a University Far Away
There was once this amazing, underrated tool, called student finance. Many have talked about it, fewer have applied and even less students actually got it. Why?
Lack of transparency and information availability? Why do some say that it is only a loan and others say that it is only for Dutch students. I assume one of the main reasons is that there are a number of requirements that are not clearly stated by the Dutch Ministry of Education. Furthermore, only general information is available in English. The other, more detailed, information and updates about student finance is in Dutch.
I make a living from helping students get student finance – I take them step-by-step and use a personalized approach tailored to the need of every individual student.
To be honest, I would not even be running a business like Study Financing Netherlands if it was not for the lack of transparency, information and obscure amount of rumors that surround me now. Some even surrounded me back in 2013.
I am not the only one that faces the inability of the Dutch Ministry of Education – DUO – to fully integrate international students into the educational system. DUO not only sends all letters in Dutch, it even gives all regular updates in Dutch. Furthermore, it mostly sends out only one update a year written in English.
You might be thinking: they just do not have enough time or money for it. Here is why that argument is wrong:
2) Most general information is in English. However, DUO provides a translation for only one application document (Tuition Fees Loan), and not for others (Travel product, Supplementary Grant, Loan).
3) If you meet the general requirements, you have the same rights for student finance as any regular Dutch student.
4) DUO has an annual budget (2013) of €31.4 Billion (Link in Dutch)
One can assume there are a number of reasons behind why DUO lacks the support for non-Dutch students. However, those reasons do not concern me. I focus on helping students and my ultimate goal is to help every student in – or coming to – the Netherlands to be financially comfortable.
@SFNetherlands We’ll see if we can add some English tweets to our schedule, thanks for the tip! ^KP
— DUO (@Duostudent) 3. Duben 2015
There have been no twitter updates from DUO in English till this day.
The Misconceptions and Rumors
Rumor #1: Student Finance is only a Loan (Studentloans)
Explanation: Wrong. From September 2015, the basic grant has been abolished. However, the supplementary grant increased by around €200 per month. Furthermore, the travel product is still available.
Rumor #2: Student Finance is only for Dutch Students
Explanation: Wrong. EU/EEA-Students are also eligible, if they meet a number of additional requirements.
Rumor #3: I need to be employed by a Dutch company and work 56 hours per month
Explanation: Partially right. You can also work as a freelancer or launch your own business. Contact us for more information about this option.
Yes, getting student finance finance can be tricky. However, the fundamental reason for why this company and website was created was to help you step-by-step in applying for student finance. We have helped over 250+ students and have a 98% satisfaction rate, as well as personal experience with receiving student finance and tackling various kinds of difficulties with applications. Let us help you get financially comfortable in the Netherlands so you can focus on the fun parts of being a student.
What is your experience with applying for student finance?