Study loans causing stress among Dutch students

Students in a lecture
Students in a lecturePhoto: kasto/DepositPhotos

Students who need to take out a loan to pay for their studies are more often extremely tired, emotionally exhausted and concerned about having a burnout. They are also more likely to say no to social activities because of the costs, according to a survey by Motivaction commissioned by student organization ISO, NOS and BN De Stem report.

According to ISO, the survey shows that the loan system has a major impact on students. "Borrowing does not only touch students in the wallet, but also emotionally. That became a fact with this study", chairman Tom van den Brink said to NOS.

A total of 563 students participated in the survey. Of those with study loans, 60 percent are regularly stressed out by their study debts, 40 percent are emotionally exhausted, 39 percent are concerned about their financial situation, and 20 percent worry about getting a burnout. Half of them say they feel extremely tired at least once per week, and 40 percent say no to social activities because they can't afford it.

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education believes that the stress is not only caused by finances, but also by the choices students have to make and the pressure of social media. The latest study the Ministry did showed that students' financial problems decreased since 2012. The Minister asked the RIVM to carry out a broad study into stress among students. The results of this study are expected next month. 

Van den Brink agrees that other circumstances also play a role in the pressure that students feel. "Of course, it concerns things like social media, profiling in your own environment, and the studies themselves. But that gets worse if there is also a financial burden on your soldiers through which you have to graduate sooner because otherwise your debt continues to rise", he said. "Because the research shows that students who do not take out a loan do so especially because of fear. They are afraid that they can not repay the debt, or that they won't be able to get a mortgage later on."