Switzerland 2015/16 - student fees and grants

Country: Switzerland
Date of publication: 2016
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 959 - most common 1630 - max 3836
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 959 - most common 1630 - max 3836
Fees - note: All students pay fees set by higher education institutions
Grants - note: About 11 % of students receive grants
Need-based grant (euro): max 15348
Merit-based grant (euro): -

National student fee

Higher education institutions define their own fees. Fees usually comprise fees for administration (admission, registration, certification) and tuition. Additional mandatory contributions for examinations, libraries, sports facilities, social and cultural institutions are possible.

Some categories of students pay reduced fees (students on leave of absence, medical students during their placement year, doctoral students).

Students in difficult economic circumstances or part-time students can apply for a waiver or reduction of tuition fees at most higher education institutions.

Some higher education institutions charge higher fees for both students from within and outside the EU.

Student grants

Each canton has its own regulations for the provision of grants and loans to students with residence in Switzerland (decentralised system). In all cantons the amount granted depends on the financial situation of the applicant and his/her family.


In principle, support in the form of grants or loans or a combination of both is provided, but the majority of beneficiaries only receive grants. [2013/14: about 11 % grants only, about 1 % loans only, about 1 % grants and loans].

Less than 1 % of students receive a merit-based grant.

Some higher education institutions have their own funds for  supplementary support of students. Students can only apply if they already have applied for cantonal grants/loans.

Tax benefit for student's parents

On the federal level parents financially supporting a child in higher education can deduct CHF 6 500 from their income. On the cantonal level eligibility and amounts of tax benefits for student’s parents vary.

Family allowances

A family allowance of at least CHF 250 per month for 16-25 year-olds still in education is disbursed. The cantons may grant family allowances that are higher than this legal minimum.

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