Fees for Grado degrees range from 680 to 1,400 € per academic year. Fees are set by the regional governments, within range limits set by the central government, so they vary across the country.
Fees at private universities are set by the universities themselves and may range from 5,335 to 15,000 € per academic year. The exact fee depends on the university and the type of degree but is also linked to academic performance.
At all universities, both public and private, the fee range is set by the national government, on a per-credit basis. So in 2012 the fee range was 22 to 34 € per credit, making the cost for a master’s of 60 credits between 995 and 1.920 €.
The cost of living in Spain varies from city to city. Madrid has the highest prices, but also the best bargains because of the wide range of shops available. Typical costs in Spain are 88% of the European average. For students the biggest single cost is accommodation. A university residence may cost 800 € a month, including meals, but these are generally only available for universities in Madrid. Living outside the university is more expensive, with apartments costing 600 to 1.000 € a month. However sharing may reduce that cost to as little as 250 €.
Food costs can be relatively low. The cost of basic groceries per month is around 150 €. A basic cell phone will cost 30 € with a contract and internet connection about the same per month. Cinema tickets are 5,50 € with a student discount. A student bus pass is around 40 €. Beer in a bar is 2 € and coffee 1,20 €. A cheap meal at lunch-time may be 6,50 to 12 €.
While 70% of Spanish students pay fees, 27% are on grants. Grants range from 244 to 6.240 € per year, and include a fee exemption. The average grant is 2.500 €. Grants are based on a combination of need and academic performance. There are no tax exemptions or family allowances for students.
Under emergency measures to control the financial crisis in Spain, all students must pay 15 to 25% of their fees since 2013. This means that the existing fee exemptions which accompany grants are now only partial.
International students at Master and Doctoral level may be eligible for several state scholarships. These typically pay up to 2.000 € for fees and provide a monthly allowance of 1.200 €, or student residence plus 600 € a month in Madrid
There are also a variety of grant programmes available to Spanish and non-Spanish students living inside or outside Spain, although there are perhaps fewer such programmes than in many other European countries.
There are no official government loan-schemes for students in Spain. Equally, loans are not generally available for international students.
Students from the EU, or foreign students with valid student visas are able to work to support their studies. Given the economic situation currently existing in Spain the opportunities for part-time work are limited.