Belgium - french 2015/16 - student fees and grants

Country: Belgium
Date of publication: 2016
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 0 - max 836
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 0 - max 836
Fees - note: Around 70 % 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 are set by the government of the French Community of Belgium. Fee levels depend on the student's financial situation. For  the academic year 2015/16, the maximum fee is EUR 836, the  intermediate fee is EUR 374 (for students not receiving a grant but considered as lower income) and there are no fees for those students receiving a grant.

There are some differences in fees between universities and  non-university higher education institutions. Until 2017 nonuniversity higher education institutions can charge complementary registration  and administrative fees in addition to registration fees, but the total amount cannot exceed EUR 836/year. Those 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; they apply to all students. These fees  will continuously decrease until 2017 when they will cease to exist.

Students from outside the EU have to pay additional specific fees. For programmes organised by university colleges and arts colleges, the  additional specific fees (droits d’inscription spécifiques) are fixed by  law: EUR 992 for professionaloriented programmes and EUR 1 487  for academic-oriented programmes in the 1st cycle; EUR 1 984 for  programmes of 2nd cycle. For programmes organised by universities, 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. Those amounts differ depending on the country of origin of the students (2). The  complementary registration and administrative fees mentioned in the  previous bullet remain applicable to non-EU students.

(2) Exact amounts are available here:

Student grants

Public grants in academic year 2015/16 are available for low income  students. However, students over 35 years of age registered in the first  year of higher education do not receive any public grant. Students must  apply for this financial benefit each year. The amount granted ranges  from EUR 394 to 4 821 per year depending on household income.


Loans are available for families with at least three dependent children. Very few (less than 0.01 %) take out a loan (2014/15).

Tax benefit for student's parents

Heads of family receive tax benefits which depend on the number of  dependent children and other relatives (including students enrolled at  higher education institutions having no income). The tax-free minimum earnings threshold is increased by EUR 1 500 for one, 3 870 for two, 8 670 for three, 14 020 for four and + 5 350 for each subsequent child.

Family allowances

Family allowances from EUR 90.28/month depend on the number of  children. They are in principle received by the mother of the child while the student is in education or training, until the age of 25. The student  should have no professional activity other than a student job and work no more than 50 days during the year. However when the student is not living with or supported by her/his mother, family allowances are paid  to the parent, relative or legal guardian who actually supports the child. Responsibility for family allowances was transferred from the federal  level to the regional level (to the Flemish Community, the German- speaking Community, the Walloon Region and Common Community  Commission for the Brussels-Capital Region) in 2014.

Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017
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