Many students from across Europe choose to study in Denmark not only because of its world class universities that rank tops in cutting edge research but also due to the state study grant popularly known as SU. While citizens from the EU and the EEA who choose to study in Denmark don’t need to pay tuition fees, the cost of living in the country can be upsetting. So to cater for part of the living costs SU comes in handy.
For international students who may not meet the requirements set for SU and Su-lån, the only best alternative would be Danish scholarships. Fellowships with an organisation such as Danida Fellowship may earn you a scholarship. Just remember that most scholarships in Denmark, including those funded by the state, are directly administered by the respective universities. So the competition for such funding always get cut throat and universities always try to allocate them to programs that directly churn students to work in critical sectors, especially the jobs within the Danish positive list.
While some students may qualify for this generous state grant for higher education, a lot of requirements put to continuously be eligible may be challenging. Also, SU and Su-lån never mean the same thing thus leaving students at a loss. You’ll come across stranded and confused EU students asking what a decision from the Su-lån means and whether specific periods of work may interfere with their allocation.
The misunderstanding that many students have is that just being an EU or EEA student alone qualifies them for both Su-lån and SU. Not at all. You’ll be astounded by the range of criteria used to retain your SU and Su-lån throughout the study period. Don\t be surprised that you may lose it, get the threat of losing it or be asked to refund some money for not having met a requirement at a given time.
Out of frustration and ignorance of the important aspects of the grant, many may opt not to apply for it altogether. So, you realise that the perception that Denmark pays students to study becomes a fallacy of sorts.
Education support in Denmark
One thing that people across the European countries and the world at large love about Denmark is its support for education across all stages. The country has seamlessly run a government funded education at all the mandatory school going levels. It also has one of the most generous education based grants called SU and Su-lån. This scheme where students get money when studying has created a false impression that Denmark pays students to go to school.
A close reading of the terms and conditions one must meet to qualify for SU and Su-lån will tell you that there’s never anything like being paid to study in Denmark. If you intend to joyride and get free, easy money then Denmark isn’t just the place for you. Not even as the brightest student. You must meet the strict terms of the fund to benefit from it.
SU and Su-lån is the genius of the Danish government to help students during their study period meet their living expenses. With this grant, the expectation is that students will be able to dedicate more time towards study and research which in turn benefits the country when they eventually graduate. But over and above this, the terms of the grant imply that beneficiaries meet a specific number of work hours to claim it.
Why SU and SU-lån?
Some people may not really understand why a student in Denmark who qualifies for SU and pays no tuition fees would still opt for su-lån as a supplement. Truth be told, it requires a lot of time to study learning materials and build professional acumen while in university or college. The time limited work period may be a good way to juggle between study and getting an income yet may easily affect study time.
Higher education needs to be stress free so that a diligent student explores the whole spectrum of possibilities, immerses himself into trying new concepts and networking with faculty members. Remember, when the study period ends, you basically need to get into a job and start building a career.
With an su-lån, you build a strong financial reservoir to take care of your needs when in school. Yes, the student loan has to be repaid with an interest at the completion of studies but the rates are reasonable.
Another exciting bit about su-lån is that even if one gets the SU grant, can still apply fir and be awarded, The only thing would be that you as an applicant be honest with your financial situation and convince yourself that the funds at your disposal doesn’t add up to meet your needs as a student.
Su-lån is not the same as SU in Denmark
Quite often, people talk about su-lån and SU as if they were the same thing. Of course it isn’t easy to distinguish them unless one is really interested in them.
SU is a study grant given to students who qualify for it and are in school. They do not need to repay back the money and no interest is charged on it, only a tax levy gets deducted. Although there are clearly set rules that guide SU and keep adjusting to reflect the current realities, students from across the EU have a chance to benefit from it.
You may be interested to know the strict qualifications set for the Danish SU.
su-lån on the other hand is basically a loan that attracts interest and can be applied for over and above SU grant. It means that a beneficiary of the loan has to pay it back within an agreed period after completion of studies.
Necessary things to know about su-lån
- A su-lån is a loan you can obtain when you are receiving financial support from the Danish State Education Fund (SU).
- Su-lån offers you a chance to supplement your income as you continue with your studies.
- Su-lån can help you in financing a one -off expense like prepaid rent when you move into a rental property.
- su-lån is a cheap loan given the lower interest rates associated with it.
- The Su-lån is administered by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science,
- With a su-lån you can at least have some peace of mind to focus on your studies \
- su-lån operates on an automatic prepayment plan readied for you after you are done with your studies.
- You must put extra effort to repay this loan so it doesn’t affect your future borrowing.
What are the interest rates for a su-lån like?
Like any other loan, a student has to be wary of how much interest is charged on su-lån. It saves to really be aware of what awaits your payslips after completion of studies than to get a thin payslip balance.
- su-lån has a fixed annual interest rate of 4% when you are still studying
- The 4% su-lån interest could be supplemented especially if you are a dependent.
- When done studying, your loan will be charged an annual interest rate of 3.5%.
- The 3.5%.interest rate on su-lån runs annually until your loan repayment is complete.
How Much su-lån can a qualified person take?
- Students have a chance to take up to DKK 3,371 every month in su-lån. This is in addition to your regular SU.
- You can take out a su-lån at any time during your study period.
- You are also able to be selective of which months you will be borrowing and how many months you will borrow money in.
- If you have a dependent, especially a child, you can borrow an additional DKK 1,686 monthly.
- You can’t receive su-lån if you have used up all your regular SU credits.
- In the last year of your study, you can take a DKK 8,697 su-lån every month.
Process of applying for su-lån
The su-lån isn’t complicated. After all, even if it were, the target of students means that they should be able to quickly navigate. The application process is a short two broad phases including;
- Apply to take out the SU loan in minSU.
- You will receive a notification that you have been awarded the loan-go ahead and approve your loan plan in minSU.
Repayment period for a su-lån
Repayment of your su-lån will start a year after the end of your study duration. Commonly su-lån repayment takes place from the 1st of January for instance if your study period ended in July 2021, the repayment of the su-lån you took will start on 1st of January 2023.
Normally, the repayment period can last between 7 and 15 years but this can be made shorter depending on your commitment towards repayment.