‘Cheat’ by unlucky students to limit residual debt when undergraduate scholarship arrives

‘Cheat’ by unlucky students to limit residual debt when undergraduate scholarship arrives

The so-called “unfortunate students” who start to study on the tuition loan system can use a “trick” to take advantage of basic support longer and will likely be reinstated in the next academic year. Students share this skill on social media and among themselves, which they can use to limit the damage done by the student loan system. These are students who, for example, are experiencing delays in their learning because they have taken extra lessons or need more time to complete their studies.

This is how it works: Students will soon be eligible for basic funding for the duration of their studies. So if you study for four years, you can get a basic four-year scholarship. If you are currently studying and you still have one year left for the academic year 2023/2024, you are only eligible for a one-year basic scholarship.

Suppose you already know that your degree will be three months longer than this one year. In this case, you will no longer be entitled to basic financing for the last three months. But now you can suspend the funding of your education for three months, including the public transport card and any subsidies. And if you do not exercise this entitlement until the next academic year, you will receive a basic scholarship for one year plus these three months.

A basic scholarship is awarded if you complete your education within ten years. It is 274.90 per month for students living away from home, and 110.30 for students living at home. In this way, the financial advantage of getting a scholarship later instead of a loan can increase significantly.

Support parents or savings

As of last week the DUO site has posted a message explaining how this works. However, the unfortunate student with a financial buffer or specifically helping parents seems to be taking advantage of the trick. Because you have to get by for several months without educational assistance.

One of them is international business student Daan Hermanns from Groningen. He expects an advantage of about 1500 Euros. He temporarily suspended public transport and did not take any loans. “For the 2024-2025 academic year, I wouldn’t actually be getting anything. I am now receiving an additional 7 to 8 months of basic scholarship.”

Not all students remaining in their studies can take advantage of this number. “I have friends who can’t do it because they don’t have the financial situation. You need financial support from your family,” says Hermanns. “Before the summer I can say: Hey mom and dad, can I apply for a loan from you before the holidays?”

This is not the only trick students use to improve their financial situation. As early as January, there was the “interest rate trick” where students could secure a portion of their student loans at the then relatively low interest rate. Here, too, students had to cancel their loans and public transport, but only for a month.

uncertainty

These “money-making” ways have spread primarily through student blogs, social media, and word of mouth. “I told my roommates and friends when I found out it was possible. “I know a lot of people are thinking about doing this now,” says David Suurland, a food technology student at Wageningen.

Emma Mouthaan gives students tips on how to use finance on social media. “There is so much uncertainty and there is nowhere to find all the information at a glance. Students are asking if it’s interesting to put the basic scholarship and everything on hold for now.”

not for everyone

DUO says he doesn’t know how many students do this to make money. According to the Federal Student Union (LSVB), such tricks are not available to everyone. “There aren’t many students who can build bridges for a few months without funding their studies. LSVB president Joram van Velzen says most students are already very tight financially.

Emma Mouthaan sees that too. “While students who are not in good financial condition cannot use it, they will benefit much more from the additional basic scholarship months.” DUO also says that it is not always advantageous for students with additional scholarships.

Source: NOS

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