Student grant and loan system

Terms and conditions student grant

You may be eligible for a student grant if you meet the following requirements:

  • you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country;
  • you are a full-time student on a higher education course in the Netherlands which is eligible for a student grant;
  • you have at least 56 hours of employment per month;
  • you have an employment contract for that job.
  • you are under the age of 30 when you apply for a student grant (you may continue to receive the grant up until you turn 34, but only if the period during which you receive the grant is uninterrupted);
  • you hold a Dutch bank account in your own name.

If you do not meet these requirements, there are some special cases in which you might be entitled to the regular student grant. For more information see DUO's nationality chart.

What is a student grant?

The student grant is is a performance-related scholarship that you may receive from the Dutch government. It is issued by DUO. The grant consists of:

  • a loan
  • a possible supplementary grant
  • a student travel card

You may receive a student grant for a maximum of 48 months and a student travel card for a maximum of 60 months. After the student grant ends you may receive a loan for a maximum of 36 months.

The grant is a loan until you get your degree

Students first receive the grant as an interest-bearing loan. Based on your academic record, this loan may be converted into a grant (whereby the accrued interest will be waived) if you are awarded a (master) degree within the set degree period (diplomatermijn). All higher education programmes have a degree period of 10 years, starting from when you first receive a student grant.

The exact amount of the grant changes every year. The table on the website of DUO gives more information about the amounts. The table is in Dutch and to interpret it the right way you can use the overview below (What does a study grant consist of?) in which both the English and Dutch terms are mentioned.

In scheme:

University Bachelor + master

3+ 1 year

3 + 2 year

3+ 3 year

3 + 4 year

Loan

7 year

8 year

9 year

10 year

Supplementary grant:

4 year

5 year

6 year

7 year

Student travel card:

5 year

6 year

7 year

8 year

What are the academic performance requirements?

You must obtain a final degree (i.e. a master’s degree). If you fail to meet this requirement, you will have to pay back the student grant in full, including interest as well as a sum for every month you held a student travel card. If you obtain a bachelor's degree, you can request DUO to convert the supplementary grant of the first 36 months into a grant.

Applying for a student grant

When you apply for a Dutch student grant for the first time, you use DUO's so-called ‘Ah-form’. When you enrol for a new study at DUO, you apply for a (first-time) student grant at the same time. More information on the website of DUO.

In order to apply, you will need the following documents:

  • a copy of your passport or residence permit
  • a testimony of your employer giving proof of your engagement for minimal 56 hours per month

Tuition fee loan

Students who are eligible for a student grant are not eligible for a tuition fee loan. If a student qualifies for a student grant, any tuition fee loan they have already received will be deducted from the student grant.

More information

For more information on the student grants and loan system please contact DUO.

What does a study grant consist of?

Supplementary grant

(Dutch: Aanvullende beurs)

Receiving this grant, depends on the income of your parents.

Interest-bearing loan

(Dutch:

Rentedragende lening)

Next to the grants, you can take out an interest-bearing loan. This loan plus a certain amount of interest, has to be paid back after your studies

If you have no right to the performance-related scholarship anymore, but are still registered as a full-time student at a higher educational institution, then you can loan for a period up to three years.

Loan tuition fee (Dutch: Collegegeldkrediet)

This loan can be applied for next to the interest-bearing loan. It is meant for paying your tuition fees. Please note! Students who are eligible for a student grant are not eligible for a loan tuition fee.

Student travel card (Dutch: OV-studentenkaart)

You can choose freely between two cards:

  • Week card (40% discount on travelling during the weekend).
  • Weekend card (40% discount on travelling during the week).

If you no longer have the right to the performance-related scholarship and are still registered as full-time student, you can keep your student travel card. The only condition is that you are using a (zero) loan. 

The performance-related scholarship consists of the basic student grant, a possible supplementary grant and the Student Travel Card. Only if you meet the requirements, you do not have to repay the performance-related scholarship.

Employment condition

In allocating grants, DUO applies the following rules:

  • If you have a permanent contract, you must submit a copy of the contract together with your student grant application. The contract must clearly show that you have at least 56 hours of employment per month.
  • If you send a temporary contract together with your application form, this contract must also clearly show that you have at least 56 hours of employment per month. You will receive a student grant for the period for which you are employed.
  • If you are employed as a stand-by worker or temporary agency worker and have at least 56 hours of employment per month, you must also be able to prove that you have already worked at least 56 hours per month for three months. You will not receive a student grant for the first three months, but you will receive a grant for the following six months. After this six-month period, DUO will check whether you actually worked 56 hours per month during that period. If this is not the case, you will have to pay back the student grant money received for that period. If you can prove that you worked at least 56 hours per month for the six-month period, you will receive a student grant for the next six-month period.

Please note that you must submit your student grant application in time. DUO does not allocate student grants with retrospective effect.

Dismissal

Even if you are no longer employed, you may be eligible for a student grant:

  • If you had a permanent contract (for 56 hours or more per month), and that contract was terminated against your will, you may ask to have the student grant continued. You will need a declaration from your ex-employer stating that your contract was terminated against your will. Alternatively, a letter of permission to terminate employment from the subdistrict court will also suffice.
  • If you resigned (i.e., you terminated your contract voluntarily), you will only be entitled to receive a student grant if you can prove that there was a connection between your previous job and your degree programme (e.g., if you were an assistant in a pharmacy and are now studying pharmaceutical sciences). You will need to submit your own declaration and an employer’s declaration together with your student grant application.

Please note that these conditions apply only to students residing in the Netherlands. As proof of residence, you can submit an official certificate from the municipal personal records database (Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie, GBA) of your local municipality.

Work placement

If you are obliged to do a compulsory work placement as part of your degree programme and this makes it impossible for you to continue to work 56 hours per month, you retain the right to receive a student grant. In this situation, whether you do or do not receive a work placement allowance is irrelevant.

To ensure that your student grant continues, you must submit the following documents:

  • A declaration from the educational institution at which you are enrolled, stating that the work placement is a compulsory component of the degree programme and stating the exact period in which you will be doing your work placement.
  • A declaration from your degree programme stating that you will remain registered with the educational institution during your work placement.
  • A declaration from you in which you explain why you cannot comply with the 32-hour rule.

Once your work placement has ended, you must comply with the 32-hour rule again to retain the right to a student grant.

Please note that if you are applying for a student grant for the first time and have no employment at the time of application, you are NOT entitled to receive a student grant.

Parents who are employed or have been employed in the Netherlands

Are your parents from an EU/EEA country and do they work or have they worked in the Netherlands? If so, you may be eligible for a student grant under certain conditions. Please refer to the website of DUO.