Gov't clamping down on student loan abuse

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Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education states that student loan abuse needs to be tackled more efficiently. In a letter to Parliament, she pointed out that stricter controls will be imposed on abuse of grants for students living away from home.

Bussemaker also wants to collect more money from ex-students with debts who have departed abroad without leaving their address behind. With students like this who were tracked down, €3.2 million was collected last year.

The minister also wants to strengthen the dissemination of information about loans, as it is often the case that students sometimes unconsciously abuse the rules. Many students who file complaints about single-parent allowance do not register it if they start living with someone again.

It also often happens that these students don't realize that a family member living at home is sometimes also considered a partner.

The National Student Union (LSVB) is happy about the improvement of information. "Rules are rules, you have to keep yourself to these as a student, but then you must be aware of those rules. Clear information from DUO (The Education Executive Agency for the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) could prevent many problems", the union believes.

DUO works together with other employers, the IND, the UWV and the Tax Administration Authority to track down students. Last year, 3662 students were controlled. Of these, 1784 lived at a different address than the one they were registered at. In 2012, around €12 million was collected.