Grants and Loans

Grants and Loans in Austria

Despite general perceptions of Austria being an expensive place to live, it is actually a very cost-effective place to go to university. Although there are scholarships available, it is well recognised that not everyone is able to obtain a scholarship and so there are also additional types of funding available for those who decide to attend university in Austria in the form of grants and loans.
Look out for financial help in Austria
Look out for financial help in Austria

Grants and Loans

General situation in terms of grants and loans

Grants to attend an Austrian university a predominantly for Austrian citizens, unless there are other familial connections and associated residency stipulations. These grants are almost entirely devoted to supporting those who come from poorer backgrounds and are not purely based upon academic achievement. For foreign students there are no grants available, however there are subsidised bank loans available that will pay for the annual tuition fees.

Type of grants and loans and providing institutions

There are a number of grants that are available to Austrian students in order to help them to pay tuition fees. Some of these are direct payments on a monthly, or annual, basis, while others are based on reimbursement for expenses and others still provide an allowance to disabled students in order for them to be able to purchase the relevant equipment to allow them to study. In addition to the direct monetary grants, there are also indirect payments that may be made to parents, or to cover childcare. There are also other types of indirect grant that include tax breaks. All grants are administered by the Austrian Study Grant Authority.

For anyone who does not qualify for a grant, may be eligible for a subsidised bank loan. These loans are available to most students and are available direct from Austrian banks, which are linked into the university system.

Availability and conditions for getting a grant or a loan

Grants are mostly only available to students who come from a poor background and who have evidence of a differential between their, or their families, financial position and the average Austrian income. In order to qualify the student, or their family, is means-tested and there is also an assessment of academic ability.

While the conditions for obtaining a grant are very strict, the rules for obtaining a loan are much more relaxed and are based almost entirely upon the student having a secure place at an Austrian university.

Local grants and loans for foreign students

There are no local grants available for foreign students but there are student loans available from a number of banks within Austria. The vast majority of these offer subsidised loans and more information is available through the university being applied to as there can be differences in the loans available depending on which university is studied at and also which subject is studied.

Typical grants and loans in Austria

The most typical grant awarded in Austria is the basic grant of 5700 € per year for single students, however this value varies depending upon whether a student must live away from home in order to study, if they are single or married, and also if they are disabled. Other typical grants are in the form of tax allowances and insurance that is provided to the parents of the student as an indirect grant. For international students, the most typical loan is a subsidised student loan from a bank that then gets repaid over a number of years after graduation.