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Someone holds a bank card next to a laptop. In the background are a maths notebook and a phone.

Source: Anna Shvets

Paying for your studies in the Netherlands

Last updated: 11/28/2023, 2:38 PM
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If you are going to study MBO, HBO or WO in the Netherlands, there are several ways to pay for your studies. For example with the help of study financing from Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). Read here what options there are.

Paying for your studies yourself

If you have enough savings or enough time to work and earn money alongside your studies, you may choose to pay for your education yourself.

You can also do most courses part-time. This means that you do not go to school all week, but study a few days or in the evening. This makes it easier for you to work alongside your studies.

It is also sometimes possible to combine working and learning within your education. Then you earn money while doing your education. You can read more about these options below.

Working and learning at MBO in the Netherlands

At

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MBO
you can combine working and learning. This type of training is called a 'beroepsgerichte begeleide leerweg' (BBL) (vocational-oriented learning path). In a BBL training programme, you go to school 1 day or a few times a week.

On the other days, you gain work experience at an official training company. Your training is paid for by your employer. Usually you earn

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minimum wage
for the work you do.

Work and learning with HBO or WO in the Netherlands

You can also combine working and learning in

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HBO
and
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WO
. This kind of education is called a 'duale opleiding' (dual education). With a 'duale opleiding', the school where you are studying sometimes helps you look for a job that matches the education you are doing. The school can also give you further advice. You often get minimum wage and credits for your hours worked.

Study financing from DUO: for if you are under 30 years old

If you are younger than 30 and want to study in the Netherlands, you are entitled to study financing. This financial support helps you pay for the cost of your education. You can apply for study financing at

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DUO
.

Study financing consists of several amounts of money that you do not have to pay back if you complete your degree within 10 years. It consists of:

  • An amount of money to partially pay for your housing and living expenses. This is called the basic grant. 

  • A card to travel for free on public transportation. For example, to travel from where you live to your school. 

  • Sometimes you can get an extra amount of money for housing and living expenses. This is called a supplementary grant. You only get this amount if your parents earn little or cannot help pay for your studies for other reasons.

If you need extra money, you can also borrow money from DUO to pay your tuition fees, for example. You have to pay this money back after you have completed your studies. Sometimes also with interest.

Your contact person at

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VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
or You social worker from another organisation can support you in applying for the study financing.

Loan for if you are over 30 years old

If you are over 30 but under 56 and you want to study at a university of applied sciences or a research university, you can apply for the 'levenlanglerenkrediet' at

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DUO
.

The 'levenlanglerenkrediet' allows you to borrow a certain amount of money from the government. This amount is up to 5 times the money you have to pay per year for your education. You can use this money as long as you study. But when you finish your education, you must repay the money. This must be done within 15 years after you finish.

Your contact person at

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VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
or social worker from another organisation can support you in applying for the 'levenslanglerenkrediet'.

Applying for a student loan or scholarship

If you need financial assistance to pay for your studies, there are several organisations where you can apply for a student loan or scholarship. You can inquire about possible scholarships for the programme you want to attend.

On the school or university website where you want to take a course, there are contact details for each course. You can contact them through those details and ask about your options.

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