There are currently a large number of grants available to students pursuing higher education degrees such as Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhDs in the Netherlands. The majority of these grants and loans are available through government institutions and take both international and local students into consideration. Starting in 2015, a drastic change will be imposed upon loans. As instigated by the Minister for Education, Culture and Science, the availability of grants will decrease as they are being replaced by loans. What this means for students in the Netherlands is that they will need to repay the money received for funding their tuition.
The grants and loans available in the Netherlands cover a wide range of categories. Primarily, grants and loans take into consideration the covering of tuition fees and thus, the number of grants for this purpose is the highest. Additionally, students in the Netherlands are able to ease the financial burden through grants and loans designed to assist with the payment of housing, general cost of living, school supplies and healthcare. The Dutch government, companies and banks as well as universities are the main suppliers of these grants and loans.
There are certain requirements that need to be met in order for a student to be eligible for particular grants and loans. For grants issued by the Dutch government, the applicant should be under 30 years of age. This is true for both Dutch citizens and international students applying for the grant. Additionally, EU applicants need to be a member of an EU country and currently working for a minimum of 32 hours per month or have lived in the Netherlands in excess of five years. Non- Dutch applicants will be required to obtain a residence/work permit that allows them to legally obtain employment in the Netherlands. Furthermore, an applicant who will be seen as eligible, will not earn in excess of 13.000 € annually. The terms for the student loan in the Netherlands are quite similar to those of the grant, though it is easier for non-resident students to obtain said loans. Applicants need to be under 30 years of age, be enrolled as a full time student at a recognized Dutch university and hold a Dutch bank account.
Studiefinancierung and Collegegeldkrediet are the two main sources of funding sought by international students who wish to continue with their education in the Netherlands. Students are able to receive student financing for the entirety of their studies, rather than only the traditional 4 years. Where Collegegeldkrediet is concerned, students working towards Master’s degree or attending a Research University are eligible to receive the funds associated with it. Research grants such as ERANET, Fulbright US Graduate Grant, and the Researchers and Research for Industry Grants are also available for international students to take advantage of. It’s important to note that a large number of the grants available require a certain grade point average to be upheld.
Student Finance and Collegegeldkrediet are currently the two main programmes for grants and loans in the Netherlands. Though these are primarily targeted towards Dutch students, there are indeed terms under which EU students are able to claim eligibility. Student Finance or Studiefinancierung is comprised of four parts. These include the basic grant, supplementary grant, travel and loan; the amount issued is dependent upon income status of not only the student but also the parents. Collegegeldkrediet needs to be paid back upon the completion of one’s studies. Rather than receiving this loan in bulk, the student’s bank account is credited each month with the amount granted.