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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Annual grant amounts (in EUR)

Comparative Data

fees and support_amounts fin sup

Financial support aims to cover at least part of the expenses private households have to cover, including students’ study costs (tuition fees, books, etc.) and living costs (accommodation, travel, food, etc.).

The main public financial support mechanisms are:

  • direct financial support to students through grants and loans
  • indirect financial support is provided through allowances or tax incentives to students and/or to their parents

Direct financial support implies that students directly receive financial means to cover their expenses. All education systems offer at least one type of direct public financial support to their students. The money provided through grants does not have to be reimbursed, while loans are reimbursable. However, governments bear a part of the costs for publicly subsidised loans, for example through reduced interest rates or government guarantee. The availability, the type of support, the eligibility criteria and the amounts vary between education cycles and according to the student category.

In some countries waivers or reductions to student fees are considered as financial support. In these cases no money is transferred to students, and so such forms of support are more correctly understood as indirect financial support.


Grants are the most common form of student support in Europe, and the most significant in influencing students' financial security during studies.

Publicly subsidised loans exist in around two-thirds of the higher education systems. They are available to a lesser extent to international and part-time students.

Among countries that provide both public grants and publicly subsidised loans, most conceive them as two separate means of student support. Some, however, provide them as a 'package'[1].

There are substantial differences between education systems in the proportion of grant beneficiaries and loan borrowers.

Access to financial support is often limited by age. The limits vary between education systems and depend on the type of support concerned and the status of the applicant. Lower age limits usually indicate that the student support system focuses on young first-time students, typically dependent on their families’ financial support. Higher age limits or no age limits support and promote lifelong learning, including upskilling of adult population. Some countries establish upper age limits for first and/or second cycle students to access public grants or publicly subsidised loans. In more than half of the education systems, there is age limit for one or both of these forms of student financial support.


[1] Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway

The amounts for student grants vary greatly in European higher education systems. In most of them, grant amounts are differentiated based on need or performance-based criteria. However, there are a few systems where the support provided is a flat-rate contribution (i.e. all eligible students receive the same amount of grant)[1]. In some education systems there are policies, establishing proportion between the amount of fees required and the amounts of grant allocated.

Differentiation of amounts may depend on the type of grant. Need-based grants are available in most of the education systems. They have higher amounts compared to merit-based grants in a fifth of the systems for which data is available. The same proportion of education systems register higher amounts for merit-based grants compared to need-based grants. Universal grants are available in a limited number of systems. The amounts of universal grants vary a lot. They have higher amounts compared to need-based grants in less than a fifth of the systems where both types of support are offered. In two education systems[2] this is the only direct support available to students. In two education systems[3], the same amounts are allocated to all types of grants offered and in all cycles.

The grant amounts usually do not differ between first, second and short cycles for all types of grants, but may differ depending on the students’ category. Differentiation in the amounts, based on students’ type (home or international) is applied in a third of the systems. The grant amounts allocated to part and full-time students are differentiated in the majority of the education systems. Differentiation in the maximum amounts allocated for need-based grants register lower amounts available to part-time students compared to full-time students, while the minimum amounts are the same. In most of the systems where need-based grants are offered to both full-time home and international students, differentiation in the minimum, maximum and most common amounts is not observed.

The allocation of need-based grants is not fully independent from study performance. The grant amounts may be differentiated in proportion of the number of ECTS credits acquired[4] or the length of study[5].

Two education systems[6] not charging fees to home students with standard progression offer universal grants only. Merit and need-based grants are offered under certain conditions in one system[7] not charging fees in first cycle. Half of the education systems offer need-based grants with maximum allocations above EUR 5000, to full-time home students.


Detailed information on the national policies and measures is available in the national information section.


[1] Croatia, North Macedonia

[2] Denmark, Finland

[3] Croatia, North Macedonia

[4] Belgium – Flemish community

[5] Spain

[6] Denmark, Finland

[7] Greece

14 Mar 2023