This afternoon the House of Representatives unanimously voted in favour of reinstating the basic student grant. Many students barely know what a basic grant is. A few questions and answers.
What is a basic grant?
A monthly loan made available by DUO, which is forgiven if you graduate on time.
Wait, what? A loan?
Yes. The basic grant becomes a gift if you graduate from an institute of higher education within ten years. The ten-year period starts when you receive your first basic grant allowance.
Is the supplementary grant also a loan?
Yes, and it, too, will be forgiven upon graduation. You must graduate within ten years, regardless of the duration of your programme. If you decide to take a gap year, the ten-year deadline will not be extended, as it is your own choice to do so.
What is the amount of the grant?
Students still living with their parents will receive 110.30 euros. Students living away from home are to receive 274.90 euros. An additional 164.30 euros will be paid out to the latter category to compensate for the high inflation as of September.
And will these additional 164.30 euros disappear after a year?
Plans to continue providing additional support for students in the two following years are underway, but precise amounts have not yet been divulged.
What is the duration of the basic grant?
You will receive the grant for the ‘nominal’ duration of your studies. DUO calculates three bachelor years and one master’s year for university students, four years in total. If your master’s is officially two or three years, you will receive a basic grant for the additional years.
What is the amount of the supplementary grant?
That depends on a number of criteria, such as your parent’s income and whether or not you have siblings. The maximum supplementary grant is 430.27 euros per month if your parents’ combined income does not exceed 35.226 per annum. If your parents earn a combined total of less than 70 thousand euros per year, you are eligible for a partial supplementary grant.
Don’t forget to apply for the supplementary grant, as it would be a waste to borrow money that you could receive freely from DUO. All you need to do is check the right box, and DOU takes care of the rest. They will request the required information on your parents’ income from the tax authorities.
I have been a student for two years. Will I receive a basic grant in September?
Yes, but the duration will be shorter than for those enrolling for the first time in September. Some students have thus decided to temporarily pause their student loan to restart it when the basic grant is available.
I have fallen back. Will I still be able to travel using my student travel product?
You are entitled to a travel product for one year longer than the nominal duration of your studies. In your first year of delay, you can still travel for free, which is nice if you are still doing an internship or have to commute to and from your university or college.
Please note, however, that the travel product must also be repaid if you fail to graduate within the ten-year period.
I am one of the unlucky students!
Come now, minister Dijkgraaf would say, you are not that unlucky. Still, the cabinet will compensate students who have had to borrow money for their studies. The compensation is 359 euros per year, so a total of 1,436 euros for ten years.
However, the compensation will only be paid out after 2025 and only to those who are free of student debts. If you have debts, the payment will be subtracted from the owed amount.
Has the law been definitively approved?
No, the law must also be approved by the Senate. The senators may want to debate the issue with minister Dijkgraaf, but in light of the broad political support for the change in legislation, it is highly unlikely that it will not be approved. The law must be ratified before the summer.
HOP / Bas Belleman