The Details and Changes after September 2015
Student Finance, also known in Dutch as studiefinanciering, is a financing package for students offered by the Dutch Ministry of Education both to Dutch and international students. Recently, the Dutch Government has made a number of spending cuts, which also effected student funding. Below you will find detailed information on what the new student finance is and what it consists of.
The four parts of the new student finance are:
1) Supplementary Grant
3) Tuition Fees Loan
4) Travel Product
Remember that once you meet all of the student finance requirements, you can freely select which parts of the student finance package you would like to use. For example you can combine the three following products and exclude the loan:
Supplementary Grant + Tuition Fees Loan + Travel Product
The Supplementary Grant
This part of the student finance package allows you to receive financing based on your parents income. You can receive up to €380 per month, which is around €100 more than was offered by DUO before September 2015. One of the most important ones involves your parents income; You will be required to hand in their combined income from the past 2 years. Please contact us for further requirements, as they vary from person to person.
At first, this student finance grant will be awarded to you as a loan. If you graduate within 10 years, this grant will be converted into a gift and thus a grant.
Unlike the grant, the loan part of student finance has to be repaid back. However, the conditions are quite friendly.
In September 2015, DUO – Dutch Ministry of Education – increased the repayment time from 15 – 35 years. Additionally, if you are unable to repay your loan by the 35th year it will be converted into a gift.
The current interest rate on the student finance loan is 0.12%. Since the interest rate is set by the government every year, you should monitor the changes to it. The interest rate that will apply to your loan will be determined as soon as you stop your program, and will be fixed for a period of 5 years.
The Tuition Fees Loan
Students who have to pay regular tuition fees for public Dutch Universities of around €1,906 per year can borrow the entire amount in a form of a student finance credit. You will also be able to borrow money for private universities and university colleges, although we recommend you consult the details with your university representative or DUO.
The interest rate as well as the repayment conditions for this loan are the same as for the regular loan – 0.12% and up to 35 years for repayment.
The Student Travel Product
This is the cherry on top. The student travel product is a great addition to the student finance package, as it allows you to travel around Holland for free. This means that as a student you can use the all methods of public transport in Netherlands completely free of charge. You will first need to apply for an OV-Chipkaart if you do not have one yet.
Make sure not to forget to stop your travel product, as using it incorrectly can cost you a monthly fee of around €50 (in addition to your travel costs).