Pay for your study in Netherlands | Study finance in Netherlands

Pay for your study in Netherlands | Study finance in Netherlands.

Studying costs money. The Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) can help you with paying for these study costs. In some cases, the Stichting Vluchtelingen-Studenten (UAF) can also help you with this. Your local government can provide you with information on switching from social welfare to study finance.

Gemeente Nijmegen (afdeling Inkomen)
DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs)


DUO offers a €10.000 loan to help you integrate, but all students (even Dutch students), can apply for a loan at DUO. This is called study finance. All students in the Netherlands who are going to study full-time at an officially recognized study program (not a private education or course organization) can borrow money from DUO to study. You can apply for a student loan from DUO. You can ask your school if the program is recognized and if you can get a student loan. You can also arrange the student travel product with DUO (this is also called an OV-card. OV means public transport such as train, bus and more). The costs of this are sometimes also a loan.

Study finance under the age of 30

In order to receive study finance, your age has to be under 30. If you are 30 and you are already receiving study finance, this will continue untill you graduate or quit your study. If you are older than 30, please contact the UAF and your local government to discuss any possibilites regarding the financing of your study.

Officially recognized full-time training

The school where you are going to do an education must be officially recognized. You can ask your school whether the study program has been recognized and whether you can receive student grants.

This is often not the case with private educational or training institutions.

Aspects of the study finance

Student finance consists of different parts. It depends on the level you are going to study and your personal situation, whether you have access to the parts. Sometimes the amounts are a gift, provisional loan or loan.

What is the difference between a gift, provisional loan and loan?
Depending on the level at which you are studying, the components are a donation, a provisional loan or a loan:

  • Gift
    A gift means you will receive the money without having to pay it back to the DUO.
  • Provisional loan
    A provisional loan is a loan you have to pay back, except when you graduate within 10 years.
  • Loan
    A loan is money you always have to pay back.

Part of studiefinanciering/studyfinance (2018) Description
Basic grant (Basisbeurs) This is a pre-determined base-amount of the study finance. In 2018 this only applies to mbo 1 & 2.
Loan (Lening) Loan
Supplementary grant (Aanvullende beurs)
(extra amount)
If your parents are not able to help pay for your living expenses because they have a low income themselves, you can apply for a supplementary grant. For a lot of refugees living in The Netherlands without any parents, this is the case. Depending on the level on which you are studying, this is either a gift or a provisional loan.

If your parents are not able to send information about their income, for example, because it is not clear where they are staying, you can fill in this form.

Student travel product (ov-kaart) With this card you can travel for free with public transportation during a certain period in the week. Depending on the level on which you are studying, this is either a gift or a provisional loan.
Tuition fee loan (loan, only with hbo and university) (Collegegeldkrediet) An amount you can borrow to help you pay your tuition fee. The amount is always a loan. You will have to pay it back in parts later.

Differences per level for study finance

There are different rules for MBO and for higher professional education in  study finance. The period that you can borrow or use a travel card also varies per level.

This is a table that gives an overview of the situation if you are going to study full-time in 2018 (new rules). You can not derive any rights from the content. Always check your personal situation on

Part of study finance Multi-year mbo-study
levels 1&2
Multi-year mbo-study
levels 3&4
Hbo & university
You can apply for study finance once you are 18 years old. Before 18, your parents will receive child benefit for you. You can apply for a student travel product even when you are not already 18 years old. You can apply for study finance and a student travel product from the date your study will start, even when you are not alreacdy 18 years old.
Multi-year mbo-study
levels 1&2
Multi-year mbo-study
levels 3&4
Basic grant (Basisbeurs) Gift Not available Not available
Loan Loan with interest Loan with interest Loan with interest
Supplementary grant
(Aanvullende beurs)

(extra amount)
Gift First year: gift
After 1 year: provisional loan
First 5 months: gift
After 5 months: provisional loan for the official period that the study lasts
Student travel product
Entire schoolperiod
Provisional loan
Maximum 7 years
Provisional loan
Duration of study + 1 year
Tuition fee loan
Not possible Not possible Loan with interest

Paying back a loan

Did you have a loan with DUO? After you have finished your study and found a job, you will have to use a small part of your income to pay back DUO, with a maximum period of 35 years. You only have to pay back if you earn enough money. If you have a low income you only have to pay back 50 euros each month for example.

Borrowing money is not always bad, but you will have to pay it back at some point. Therefor, always be aware when you are borrowing money. Try to look for a side job so you have to borrow less money.

More information about finance and studying

⇒ How much money can you borrow with studyfinance or how much money will you receive as a gift? Check the DUO calculator.
⇒ You will find a list with websites about studying and money here.
⇒ The NIBUD will give you financial advice for studying.


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