Gift or loan

What becomes a gift and what remains a loan once you onbtained a diploma? This depends on your programme.

MBO level 1 and 2

Your basic grant, supplementary grant, and travel product are always a gift. You don’t need to pay them back.

MBO level 3 and 4

If you graduate within 10 years, your basic grant, supplementary grant, and travel product will become a gift, interest included. Together, these are called the performance-based grant. The number of years that constitute a gift depends on the official study duration of the course for which you obtained your diploma. The study programme for which the diploma has been obtained must also be recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. You need to obtain a diploma for one of the following programmes:

  • vocational training (level 3)
  • management training (level 4)
  • approved study programmes abroad (level 3 or 4)
  • specialist training (level 4)
  • work-based pathway (level 3 or 4)
  • higher professional education (HBO) (also Associate degree)
  • university
HBO or university

If you graduate within 10 years, your basic grant, supplementary grant, and travel product will become a gift, interest included. Together, these are called the performance-based grant. The number of years that constitute a gift depends on the official study duration of the course for which you obtained your diploma. The study programme for which the diploma has been obtained must also be recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This also applies for a diploma for a part-time programme or for the Open Universiteit.

Diploma Number of years of gift
Associate degree 2 years of grant + all of travel product
HBO Bachelor 4 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 1-year HBO Master 5 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 1,5-year HBO Master* 5 years  and 6 months of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 2-year HBO Master* 6 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 2,5-year HBO Master* 6 years and 6 months of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 3-year HBO Master* 7 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 4-year HBO Master* 8 years of grant + all of travel product
University Bachelor 3 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 1-year university Master 4 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 2-year university Master 5 years of grant + all of travel product
Bachelor + 3-year university Master 6 years of grant + all of travel product

* Only if you obtain an HBO Master diploma on or after 1 September 2021. If you obtained your diploma before 1 September 2021, 5 years of your grant and all of your travel product will become a gift. 

MBO debt

Do you also have a debt from an MBO programme? Your basic grant, supplementary grant and travel product from MBO become a gift, as well. However, you need to obtain your diploma within 10 years from first receiving student finance for MBO.

Obtained a university Bachelor

If you obtained a Bachelor at university, the first 36 months of your student finance will become a gift. If your supplementary grant started later, this means that fewer than 36 months of supplementary grant become gift. The rest of your supplementary grant becomes a gift as soon as you obtain a Master.

Obtained an Associate degree

If you obtained an Associate degree (Ad), the first 2 years of your performance-based grant will become a gift, interest included. Only the first 2 years of performance-based grant you received for higher education will be converted into gift.

Obtained a foreign diploma

If you obtained a foreign diploma, we can’t tell you right away how many years will become a gift. We need to assess this first. We do so by looking at the value of a comparable Dutch diploma.

When a gift?

Conversion of your performane-based grant into a gift takes place in January after you have graduated. You will be notified about this at the end of January. If you obtained a university Bachelor, converting your performance-based grant into a gift may take longer.

Conversion in case of a university Bachelor

If you obtained a university Bachelor, we will wait until you finished your Master. Only then will your performance-based grant be converted into a gift, interest included.

If you are not taking a Master, this conversion will take place the year before you are due to start repayments. If you want your performance-based grant to become a gift any sooner, please contact us.

I am already required to pay back

If you already required to repay your student debt, your performance-based grant will become a gift as soon as your diploma is registered with us, interest included. You debt will be lowered and you will get back any overpaid amounts.

I need to start repayments next year

If you received a notice that you are due to repay your debt from next year, your performance-based grant will become a gift before you start repayments, interest included. You debt will be lowered and you will receive a new notice.