Public fee and support system for students in Europe

Country
Date of publication

Belgium - french 2016/17 - student fees and grants

Country: Belgium
Date of publication: 2016/2017
Fees - first cycle (euro): 836
Fees - second cycle (euro): 836
Fees - note: Around 80 % of students pay a maximum fee
Grants - note: Approximately 20% of students receive a grant
Need-based grant (euro): min 394 - max 4821
Merit-based grant (euro): -

National student fee

Fee limits, set by the government of the French Community of Belgium, depend on the student's financial situation. The maximum fee in short, first and second cycle programmes is EUR 836. Fees are not charged to students receiving a grant, while students not receiving a grant but considered as lower income pay an intermediate fee.

There are some differences between university and non-university higher education institutions. 2016/17 is the last academic year when non-university higher education institutions can charge complementary registration and administrative fees in addition to registration fees, but the total amount cannot exceed EUR 836/year. Complementary registration and administrative fees range from EUR 0 (for grant holders) to EUR 179 depending on the type of programme and the financial situation of students and apply to all students.

Non-EU students have to pay additional specific fees (droits d’inscription spécifiques). For programmes organised by university colleges and arts colleges, they are fixed by law: EUR 992 for professional programmes and EUR 1 487 for academic programmes in the 1st cycle; EUR 1 984 for 2nd cycle programmes. For university programmes, the law stipulates that the maximum amount should not exceed 5 times the registration fees. In practice, universities (through the Interuniversity Council) adopted harmonised amounts depending on the country of origin of the students ( 1 ). Non-EU students also pay the complementary registration and administrative fees.

Student grants

Public grants in academic year 2016/17 are available for low income students. However, eligibility is restricted to students under 35 years of age upon initial registration. Students must apply for this financial benefit each year. The amount granted in 2015/16 ranged from EUR 394 to 4 821 per year depending on household income.

Loans

Loans are available via students' parents if they have at least three dependent children. Very few (less than 0.01 %) took out a loan (2014/15). The maximum interest rate is 4 %. Repayment must start six months after graduation.

Tax benefit for student's parents

Heads of family receive tax benefits which depend on the number of dependent children and relatives (including students with no income enrolled in higher education). The tax-free minimum earnings threshold is increased by EUR 1 510 for one, 3 880 for two, 8 700 for three, 14 060 for four and + 5 370 for each subsequent child.

Family allowances

Family allowances range from EUR 92.09 to 254.40/month per child depending on the number of children under 25. Usually the mother of the student receives the allowance. The student should have no professional activity other than a student job for more than 50 days in a year. Family allowances are paid to the parent, relative or legal guardian who actually supports the student. Responsibility for family allowances is at the Walloon Region and the Common Community Commission for the Brussels-Capital Region.



Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014 - 2015/2016
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