Financial support

Introduction

In some cases you may be entitled to financial support paid out by the government. Will financial support completely fund my time in the Netherlands? In most cases, the answer is no. Only students who are eligible for full Dutch studyfinance will be able to get the maximum support from the government. However, there are a number of other benefits that you can get as a student such as a tuition fees loan or rental subsidy.

This page outlines the various types of financial support that exist. Please remember, however, that in most cases this support is limited and will not be able to completely fund your time in Maastricht. As a result it is important to make sure that you have enough savings or a job which can provide you with the necessary income.

Studyfinance

DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) is part of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. DUO organizes financial support for students and organizes things like exams. If you are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and find enough time to work at least 56 hours a month next to studying then you qualify for a monthly loan of up to €1016 and big discounts on Dutch public transport. This is called studiefinanciering. Follow the steps on the website to apply. 

Up until recently studiefinanciering was a grant. However, the grant has now been converted into a loan. How much money you borrow is up to you but  you have to pay back the whole sum within 35 years of completion of your studies. These changes do not apply to those of you that have been receiving studyfinance for some time now (i.e. you applied for it earlier than September 2015).

Tuition Fees Loan

In reality, many students are unlikely to be able to work 56 hours per month alongside their studies. Whilst this means you may not be entitled to studiefinanciering, you may apply for a tuition fees loan, which should cover the cost of your studies. To be applicable for this tuition fees loan you must be under 30 years old and come from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. More information is provided on this page (follow the link and scroll down to ‘Limited Funding’). Remember that this loan only covers the cost of your studies and cannot fund your living costs.

Zorgtoeslag

If you have a job in the Netherlands it is compulsory to take out Dutch basic health insurance. Fortunately, the Dutch government offers those students that also hold down jobs a monthly subsidy towards their health insurance bill so that in the end they will pay next to nothing for their coverage. If your yearly salary does not exceed €36,022 and you have already taken out basic health insurance in the Netherlands then you can apply for zorgtoeslag.

Kwijtschelding/Reprieve (BsGW)

Once a year every household in Maastricht will be asked to pay municipal taxes by the BsGW (municipal tax office). These taxes are put toward the house’s sewage system and trash collection. The bill is sent to the person that has been registered at the house’s address for the longest but nevertheless it should be paid equally by all residents of the property. Make sure that you pay the bill on time to avoid further ‘reminder’ fees. Maastricht University provides some more useful information on the subject. If you qualify as ‘poor’, which indeed most students do, then you may qualify for a tax exemption. Our guidance document will help you file your request and hopefully save you a lot of money.

Huurtoeslag

If you live in independent accommodation in the Netherlands the Dutch government offers you a housing benefit (huurtoeslag) towards your monthly rent. The amount of money offered varies depending on your age, how much rent you pay and how much money you earn (or how much money you have). A studio with its own entrance, bathroom and kitchen is considered independent accommodation. Check out this link to learn about the conditions and to see if you are eligible. 

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