Many students not claiming supplementary grants they're entitled to
A quarter of students who are entitled to a supplementary study grant never apply for this grant, largely because they don't know about it, according to a study by central planning office CPB. That translates to bout 1.5 million euros per year not ending up with students who are entitled to it, Het Parool reports.
The supplementary grant is intended for students from families with a lower income. It is a gift, with the only condition that the student must graduate within ten years. Almost 9 thousand first-year students who are entitled to this grant never applied for it. On average they missed out on 175 euros per month. An eighth of them missed out on the maximum amount of 400 euros per month.
What is extra worrying is that 40 percent of those who never claimed their supplementary grant also borrowed more than their tuition required, 584 euros per month on average. This amount will have to be paid back after their studies, unlike the supplementary grant. "Apparently there is a need for income support, but some students are unable to find their way to the supplementary grant," CPB researcher Debby Lanser said to Het Parool.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education called the CPB figures "worrisome". "We have not succeeded sufficiently in bringing the supplementary grant to attention," she acknowledged. "I am particularly concerned about the group of students who are applying for a loan, but not an additional grant."
The Minister called on students who are not certain whether they qualify for a grant to apply for one anyway. Education organization DUO will calculate whether they are eligible. "When in doubt, do it," she said.