New study grants still not enough for families earning up to €55,000
The reintroduction of the basic study grant and the supplementary grant will offer little relief to students whose parents earn up to 1.5 times the average income, or roughly 55,000 euros. These students will still have to take out loans or find a substantial part-time job to be able to study and make ends meet, budget institute Nibud found in a study commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science.
In the current proposals, students can receive a maximum of 401 euros through the supplementary grant. The higher their parents’ income, the lower the grant because the government assumes parents can help out. But that is not the case for many parents.
Parents with an income up to 1.5 times the average do not have enough disposable income to help pay for the education of their children living away from home. Inflation and rising energy costs will make money even tighter for these families while also increasing their studying children’s costs of living.
According to Nibud, this academic year, a student living away from home can get a maximum of 675 euros through the basic study grant and supplementary grant, plus up to 111 euros healthcare allowance. That’s a total of 786 euros per month. “This is not enough to pay the average expenses,” Nibud said. The average expenses of a student living away from home amounted to 1,041 euros per month in 2021. Given the high inflation, that will be higher this year. “If this student can't work and cannot receive an extra contribution from their parents, they will have to borrow.”
Nibud does not see immediate problems for students still living at home. But the budget institute added that many families are already struggling with the high inflation and studying always means extra costs. “Nibud, therefore, expects that the reintroduction of the basic grant will not automatically lead to less borrowing at the moment.”