Financial Considerations in the Netherlands

So you’ve made it to our final lesson and we’re going to end this is by talking about budget and financial considerations.

Slide 1: All About Netherlands – Lesson 7: Budget & Financial Consideration

So you've made it to our final lesson and we're going to end this is by talking about budget and financial considerations. 

Slide 2: Proof of Means

  • Currently 12,343 EUR for a one year residence permit
  • Send entire amount to school – they refund it the 1st month
  • Have amount in a bank account in student’s name

So the first thing we need to cover is proof of means. This is something that's required in order to obtain your student residence permit. And it's proof that you have the money to live on for the year outside of tuition. It's not a Dutch thing. Proof of means is required in every country, though the amount varies from country to country based on cost of living. So as of right now, it's set at 10,800 euros per year, which is about 12,360 American dollars. 

So the bad news is that you do have to have this money upfront, usually late spring or early summer, when the school is working on your student residence permit. The good news is it's not like they keep the money. That money is returned after you start your studies, and the student has it to live on for the year. 

So there are a couple of ways to do this. You can either give the school the entire amount, and then they refund it the first month in the program. And then again, like I said, that money is used to live on, or you can provide a bank statement in the student's name showing the money in the account. Most schools have there own ways that you have to satisfy this and are quite specific about it. 

Slide 3: Paying Tuition

  • Utretcht University
  • Vrije University Amsterdam
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Nyenrode Business University
  • Maastricht University
  • Some allow for monthly payments
  • Holland Scholarship

There's also paying tuition. And this is another thing that's not going to happen until later in the process here, around the same time as the student residence permit process begins. There here are some schools that take FAFSA. And this means you can use your 529 money without penalty. Keep in mind, you can still use 529 money even if your school doesn't take FAFSA. There are just penalties to pay, and they're really not that horrible. Again, there's a podcast episode we did with a financial advisor who talked about the penalties and such and really kind of demonstrated the amounts they would be based on certain savings. You might want to check that one out too. 

So also, most programs work with the Holland Scholarship. And this is a €5,000 one time scholarship, first year only. It's based on a 500 word letter of motivation. It's due February 1, and then they issue decisions on that mid-March. 

Slide 4: Budget (high end)

  • Housing: 600
  • Food: 200
  • Sports/Going out/Social: 150
  • Clothes/Personal Care: 50
  • Insurance: 50
  • Bike: 10 (100 to buy)
  • Sim card: 25
  • School materials: 50

So let's look at a more detailed budget and sort of look how it plays out. I always like to have some wiggle room in a budget, so I put the housing number at the higher end of things. You know, if you were to look at a budget, DUWO is around 500. Certainly, student hotel would be more like 750. So we're putting it at 600. And then, the other numbers I obtained. I went to a number of different school websites in the Netherlands and saw what they came up with. Of course, they all had different categories and stuff so I tried to fine tune it here. And this is all in euros. And if you add all this up, you come up with 1,355 US dollars a year. 

So that is not much different than what you're going to have for the monthly amount in your proof of means. We said that was 12,360. Now it's 12,300. So divided by 10. You know, 12,360 is the amount for the year. You figure they're there for 10 years. So that amount divided by 10 would be 1,236. So, you know, we're not that far off. It's under $200 difference a year. It’s $120 difference than what we would already pay for proof of means. 

So what you could do when your student starts is to see if they can get by on the money that you’ve used for proof of means-the monthly number. If they can get by with that for the first couple of months,then grat, but you might need to supplement it a bit more if the student is less budget minded. 

The other budgetary consideration is travel home. I didn't include that on this budget because it can vary so much. And some people use miles, but figure that two times a year, your student would be coming home at Christmas and in the summer. Maybe, maybe not spring. Some schools don't have enough of a break, and some students also decide to travel around in Europe for spring break. 

Slide 5: Now what?

So that's it for this lesson. If you decide to look further into some of these schools, there are a number of ways to do so. Of course, there's a database. But the website for most of these schools are really good and comprehensive, which is not always the case in Europe. Some have virtual tours or ways to connect you with students for questions. Most schools often have open days, or experience days where you can go to visit on specific days of the year to learn more. It's a very structured program about the school or the specific program. 

So of course, you can visit at times throughout the year. They don't have tours happening, you know, every week like they do here in the US, but our Facebook member group is another great place to find other parents who either have kids who are already studying there, or who have contacts from their own visits. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about the many aspects of college in the Netherlands.