If you would like to know more about student finance, this article guides you through the rules and the process of applying for student finance, so that you can get your studies in Sweden off to a good start.
If you come from another Nordic country and are considering studying in Sweden, the general rule is that you must apply for student finance from your home country for your studies in Sweden. If you are a citizen of another country, in certain circumstances you may apply for Swedish student finance.
What is student finance?
CSN is financial support for which pupils and students may apply for a number of approved upper secondary and higher education programmes. In Sweden, student finance is administered by a public agency, the Swedish Board of Student Finance (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN). Student finance consists of two parts, a non-repayable grant and a repayable student loan.
How do you apply for student finance in Sweden?
The process of applying for student finance is quite simple. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to the CSN website: On the CSN website you will find all the necessary information about student finance and the application process.
- Complete the application: The application form is on the CSN website. Complete the application carefully and make sure you include all the necessary documents and information.
- Submit your application: Once you have completed the application, send it to CSN as soon as you know what and where you be studying.
Who can apply for student finance?
The main rule is that Nordic students receive student finance from their home countries. Swedish citizens therefore apply for student finance from CSN for study programmes both in Sweden and abroad.
Nordic applicants who want to study in Sweden should generally contact the student finance agency in their home countries.
However, under certain conditions, Nordic students who want to study in Sweden may receive student finance from Sweden. As a foreign citizen, you are eligible for Swedish student finance if you meet certain conditions:
- Conditions: There are various conditions and requirements you must satisfy in order to be entitled to student finance, depending on the country in which you a citizen. It is important to check out the requirements on the CNN website to ensure that you satisfy the conditions.
When do you apply for student finance in Sweden?
It is important to apply for student finance in good time, to ensure that your application is processed quickly.
- Application deadline: There is no deadline for applications, but your student finance can only begin a maximum of four weeks before the week in which CSN receives your application. You are advised to apply as soon as you know what and where you will want to study. You do not need to wait until you have been accepted.
- Application period: If you are going to study for several terms, it is a good idea to apply for student finance for a complete academic year at a time. You can only apply for one year at a time.
What rules apply for Swedish student finance if you become ill or have a child?
If you become ill or have a child during the course of your studies, special rules apply for student finance. Here are some of the most important points you should be aware of:
- Illness: Notify illness as soon as possible, preferably on the first day you are ill, so that you can retain your student grant and loan while you are ill. Where you notify illness depends on what and where you are studying. Contact CSN and inform them of your situation to obtain further guidance.
- Parenthood: If you have a child, you may be entitled to extra financial support to care for your child. There are various forms of support for parents (supplementary benefit). Contact CSN for information about your possibilities.
What rules apply for repayment of Swedish student loans?
There are certain repayment rules you should be aware of:
- Repayment start: The earliest you start to repay your student loan is six months after you have received the loan, and repayment always starts at the end of the calendar year. When it is time to start your repayments, you will receive a letter from CSN with a repayment plan and a paying-in form. Your age and the size of your debt affects how long you will pay.
- Repayment methods: CSN offers various methods for repayment of your student loan. Normally, you pay four times a year, but you can change this to monthly deductions or choose to pay off the entire amount. If you have problems repaying your loan, you can arrange a repayment plan with CSN that suits your financial situation.
What rules apply for Swedish student finance if you work alongside your studies?
If you are working while you are a student, this can affect your student finance. Here are some of the most important points to consider:
- Income threshold: There is an income threshold (fribelopp) for how much you can earn before it starts to affect your student finance. If your earnings exceed this threshold, this can lead to a reduction or cancellation of your student finance. It is important to know the current income threshold and report your income accurately to CSN.
- Report your income: It is important to report any changes in your income to CSN, so that they can adjust your student finance to correspond with your other income.
What other types of financial support schemes are there in Sweden?
In addition to general student finance, Sweden offers other financial support schemes and financial incentives for students. These include:
- Housing allowance: You can apply for housing allowance to help cover your housing expenses while you are studying.
- Student loan: In addition to the grant, you can also apply for a student loan, which is to be repaid after you graduate.
- Grants and scholarships: There are various grants and scholarships, from both public and private organisations, that you can apply for relating to studies, living costs, and internships. These can provide further financial support while you are studying.
How do you find grants and scholarships in Sweden?
If you are interested in finding grants and scholarships in Sweden, you can investigate them in various places:
- Studier.se: You can find information about various scholarships in Sweden on the website Studier.se. Check out the various scholarships that are available, and apply for those that suit your needs and qualifications.
- Universities and educational institutions: Many universities and educational institutions in Sweden also offer their own grants and scholarships. Keep an eye open for announcements about these opportunities on university notice boards, websites, or contact the student guidance service for more information.
- Study programmes and public agencies: You can travel abroad through various study programmes. By applying for these programmes, you may be offered places on courses or internships in other countries. There are also public agencies that are responsible for foundations and funds that may be relevant for you.
How do you get student discounts in Sweden?
There are two discount cards for students in Sweden: Mecenat Card (Mecenatkortet) and Student Card (Studentkortet). The cards give you discounts and other benefits with a large number of companies throughout Sweden. Both cards are a collaboration between the student associations and various agencies in Sweden.
What applies when you want to take Swedish student finance abroad?
If you are planning to study abroad and want to continue to receive student finance from Sweden, it is important to be aware of the following:
- Approval from CSN: You must be given approval from CSN before you can receive student finance while studying abroad. You must apply for approval and submit the necessary documentation, including a letter of acceptance and a curriculum before your finance can be approved.
- Length of the study period: Student finance for studies abroad is normally restricted to a specific number of terms. It is important to be aware of this restriction and plan your studies accordingly.
How do you contact the student finance agencies in the Nordic countries?
You can find contact information to the student finance agencies on their websites. Contact the agency in your country to check what applies in your situation.
Student finance for upper secondary education
If you want to study on an upper secondary educational programme in Sweden or another Nordic country, you may be entitled to student finance. You can read more about student finance for upper secondary studies on the CSN website.
Yes, as a Swedish citizen, you are entitled to apply for student finance for upper secondary education in Sweden. You have access to the specific financial support programmes and conditions that apply for Swedish citizens.
Student finance for upper secondary education is called study allowance (studiehjälp). Study allowance consists of three parts: a student grant (studiebidrag), a supplementary allowance (extra tillägg), and a boarding supplement (inackorderingstillägg). You receive the student grant automatically if you are a Swedish citizen, but you must apply for the other supplements.
Yes, as a Swedish citizen, you are also entitled to apply for student finance for upper secondary education in another Nordic country. This is because of the free movement within the Nordic countries, which gives Nordic citizens the right to study across national borders with student finance from their home country.
You can take all or part of your upper secondary education in another Nordic country with student finance from CSN, providing the school is approved by CSN. You can read more about how to apply, and how much you can receive, on the CSN web page about study allowance for upper secondary education.
The main rule is that you must apply for student finance in your home country when you wish to take upper secondary education in another Nordic country.
If you are not a Swedish citizen, but want to apply for Swedish student finance for upper secondary education in Sweden, the rules are slightly different. Here are some of the most important points you should be aware of:
- Assessment of right: CSN will assess your right to Swedish student finance. You apply using Form 4144, "Ansökan om studiehjälp/Uppgifter för rätt till svenskt studiestöd - för dig som är utländsk medborgare och under 20 år".
- Residence permit: You must have a valid residence permit if you are applying for Swedish student finance.
- Right of residence: You must have the right of residence and must have lived and worked at least half-time in Sweden in the past two years. Alternatively, you must have the right of residence and must have come to Sweden with your parents before your 20th birthday. Your parents must work in Sweden.
- EU law conditions: You must satisfy the conditions of EU law.
- Refugee: You have the status of refugee in Sweden.
- Application: In order to apply for Swedish student finance for upper secondary education in Sweden, you must complete the application form and provide the necessary documents. These typically include a certificate showing your admission to an upper secondary programme, information about your residence status, and other relevant documents.
Student finance for higher vocational education
If you are considering studying on a higher vocational educational programme in Sweden, it can be relevant for you to apply for Swedish student finance. You can read more about student finance for higher vocational education on the CSN website.
Yes, if you are a Swedish citizen, you may be entitled to Swedish student finance for higher vocational education in Sweden. Student finance in Sweden is administered by CSN, which offers various forms of financial support for students, including higher vocational education.
In Sweden, vocational training, Higher Vocational Education, HVE (yrkeshögskoleutbildning, YH-utbildning) is recognised as an education that entitles you to student finance in the same way as university students. You can find more information about student finance for students on HVE programmes on the CSN website.
If you choose to take all or part of your education in Sweden, you can apply for student finance from your home country.
Contact the student finance agency in your home country for information about whether they recognise the HVE programme you want to take in Sweden as an educational programme that entitles you to student finance, and for information about how to apply for student finance.
Educational programmes at a higher vocational educational establishment are free of charge. This means that the establishment cannot charge tuition fees. However, you will have to pay for literature and other study materials in the same way as on a university programme.
Study costs on a higher vocational education programmes in Sweden vary, depending on the educational establishment and the study programme. Here are some of the most important costs you should be aware of:
- Tuition fees: Some higher education institutions in Sweden charge registration and tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA. It is important to check whether your study programme requires payment.
- Living expenses: You must factor in living expenses such as housing, food, transportation, insurance, etc. in your budget. These expenses can vary according to the place in which you are studying and your personal lifestyle.
- Study materials: There may be costs for study materials such as books, laboratory equipment, software, etc. It is a good idea to research what materials are required on your course and estimate the costs.
Student finance for higher education
If you are considering studying on a higher vocational education programme in Sweden, you may be entitled to student finance.
Student finance for higher education consists of two different types: student grant and student loan. You can choose whether you only want to apply for the grant or if you also want to apply for the loan. You must repay the student loan. You can find information about how to apply for student finance on the CSN website.
Yes, as a Swedish citizen you are entitled to apply for student finance for higher education in Sweden. Student finance in Sweden is administered by CSN, which offers various forms of financial support for students, including higher education.
Yes, even as a foreign citizen, you can still apply for student finance for higher education in Sweden. If you are, for example, a citizen of another EU/EEA country, but have lived and worked part-time for at least two years in Sweden, or you have lived together with a Swedish citizen in Sweden for at least two years, you may be entitled to student finance in Sweden.
CSN assesses your right to student finance on the basis of certain criteria, including your residence status and any agreements between Sweden and your home country. It is important to contact CSN directly for specific information about your options.
However, the main rule is that you must bring student finance from your home country. If you are coming from another EU/EEA country to study in Sweden, you must therefore contact the student finance agency in your home country for information about your options for obtaining student finance for an educational programme in Sweden.
Yes, as a Swedish citizen, you can apply for Swedish student finance from CSN for your studies in another Nordic country and in the rest of the world.
If you are a foreign citizen and want to study in another Nordic country, you cannot normally receive student finance from Sweden.
However, if you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country, or a member of the family of an EU/EEA citizen, you may in certain situations be regarded as the equivalent of a Swedish citizen and therefore be entitled to student finance from Sweden. Contact CSN for more information.
If you receive Swedish student finance, the amount you receive is tax-free.
However, if you receive student finance from another Nordic country, tax is decided according to the regulations that apply in the country in question. Student finance from another country is not taxed in Sweden.
It is important to note that rules and conditions relating to student finance can change over time, so it is always a good idea to visit the CSN website for the most up-to-date and specific information based on your situation.
We hope that this article has given you valuable information about student finance in Sweden. Good luck with your studies!
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