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Scholarships for international Master's students

A variety of scholarship programmes exist for international Master’s students.

Choose the right scholarship or loan and apply.

These are the ones most commonly awarded to our students (see for more information below):

  • Scholarships offered by VU Amsterdam
  • Other scholarship options
  • Student Loan Programmes 

Scholarship search tips

  • The Netherlands Student Grantfinder website is a search engine for students who want to study in the Netherlands and are looking for sources of funding for their studies. Grantfinder is easy to use and contains information on a range of Dutch scholarships for foreign students.
  • The Study in Holland website also contains information on grant possibilities.
  • Scholarships to obtain a PhD degree.

Scholarships offered by VU Amsterdam

  • VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)

    The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers talented prospective non- EU/ EEA students the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam has committed to providing approximately 1 million euros towards attracting highly motivated and excellent students. 

    Eligible candidates  

      • You hold a non- EU/ EEA passport and you are not eligible for the lower tuition fee.
      • You do not have the Dutch nationality.
      • You can prove your academic excellence (GPA equivalent to a Dutch 8).
      • You are conditionally or unconditionally admitted to the first year of a full-time English-taught Master’s programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam starting per September 2022. Please note that:
        • students starting in February cannot apply,
        • joint programmes where VU Amsterdam does not administer the admission process are excluded from VUFP.
      • The degree with which you are seeking admission has not been obtained in the Netherlands.
      • You do not need to complete a preparatory programme before the start of your Master.
      • Diversity is one of our core values. That is why we encourage students from the countries listed here to apply for VUFP. Those countries are underrepresented on our campus (less than 10 students enrolled).   If you are from a country that is not included in the above- mentioned list (but still a non- EU/ EEA student paying higher tuition fee) you can still apply for the VUFP!

     VUFP and 2 year study programmes

    The VUFP scholarship can be granted for a one or two-year Master’s programme. The scholarship will only be extended for the second year of a two-year Master’s programme if 100% of the ECTS of the first year have been achieved.

    Students already enrolled in a two-year Master’s programme who have not been awarded the VUFP scholarship in 2021/2022 are not eligible to apply for the VUFP scholarship for 2022/2023.

    Scholarship amount 

    The VUFP scholarship covers the tuition fees only. It does not provide any additional allowance towards study or living costs, like rent, food, insurances. Be aware that you must be able to finance these living expenses by yourself.

    Combining the VUFP with the Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)

    When applying for the VUFP scholarship, you automatically also apply for the HSP. No separate application is necessary. 

    HSP is a contribution towards the costs of living. It is 5.000 EUR or 10.000 EUR for the entire duration of your study period. Please note:

        • The HSP scholarship is awarded only for the first year of your study programme. You will not receive the HSP scholarship for the second year of your studies even if you are following a two-year study programme.
        • We have around 20- 25 HSP scholarships available. Only a few of the VUFP awardees will get the HSP scholarship.

    Application procedure

    Step 1: Register for a Master’s programme (from 1 October 2021)  
    Register for a Master's programme in Studielink and after that in your personal dashboard on Here you can find more information on how to apply for one of our English-taught Master’s programmes. Please note that you must have been already conditionally admitted to the Master’s programme before you can apply for the VUFP scholarship.
    Advised deadline Master's programme application: 15 December 2021

    It is essential that you submit your programme application in time if you wish to apply for the scholarships. Realistically, you should aim to submit your programme application no later than 15 December. And if your programme’s admission procedure includes an intake/assessment, we advise you to submit your complete programme application even earlier.

    Step 2: Submit VUFP application (from 1 December 2021)
    Submit your VUFP application in your personal VU dashboard. 
    Deadline VUFP application: 1 February 2022 (23:59 CET)

    Please note that you can submit your application only once. Make sure to double check if your application is complete and sufficient before submitting it. You will not be allowed to submit it again!

    For your VUFP application 2 documents are required:

    • Proof of excellence (programme transcript or a GPA proof) and a grading scale
      Please upload the transcript and grading scale of your Bachelor’s degree with a clear explanation of the GPA calculation. Excellence in previous (Bachelor) education is proven if the grade point average achieved is at least equivalent to the Dutch grade of an 8.0 on the Dutch grading scale 1 – 10. The VUFP Scholarship Committee will decide on the local grade equivalents for the Dutch grade of an 8.0.

    Please note:

    - Even if you have already completed a Master’s degree, for VUFP application purposes, we will look only at your GPA from your Bachelor’s degree. This is to ensure that all applicants have a fair chance.

    - If you haven’t yet officially graduated, please provide us with the GPA proof/ programme transcript showing your most up- to- date grades.

    • VUFP Application form  

    Below you can find the VUFP application form. Please fill it in and upload it in your VU dashboard.

    VUFP application form in PDF format

    Please note that you need to fill it out completely and answer all questions. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

    Step 3: Decision
    The Central VUFP Committee decides which students will be offered a VUFP scholarship. All VUFP applications received by Tuesday 1 February 2022 (23:59 CET) will be reviewed by the faculty of the applied for Master’s programme. Faculties will then nominate applicants to the Central Scholarship Committee, which will subsequently award scholarships to the most talented students. The results will be based on the academic performance and motivation.

    Step 4: Results
    All students will receive an e-mail/ notification informing them of the Central Scholarship Committee’s decision concerning their application. Expected date: mid-March 2022 (6 weeks after the deadline).

    Step 5: Acceptance of VUFP or HSP offer
    Selected candidates accept/decline the VUFP and HSP offer in their personal VU dashboard. Deadline: end of March 2022 (2 weeks after the results have been published).

    Kindly note the following:

    - You can accept/decline the offer in your personal VU dashboard on

    - If you do not take action within 2 weeks after receiving the results, the offer will be withdrawn.

    - There are fewer HSP scholarships than VUFP. This means that not all VUFP recipients will receive HSP.

    - If you have not been awarded VUFP, you also have not been awarded HSP.

    - A scholarship granted for one academic year cannot be postponed to another academic year.

    VUFP and Semester in Amsterdam

    One VUFP scholarship will be reserved for an applicant who previously completed a semester or full academic year abroad at VU Amsterdam via the Semester in Amsterdam programme and who is now applying for a full-time Master's programme at VU Amsterdam. If you are applying as a Semester in Amsterdam alumnus or alumna, please complete the regular application procedure and then email to inform the staff that you applied for a VUFP scholarship. 

    Conditions VUFP Scholarship Programme

    The conditions for the VUFP Scholarship Programme can be found here.

    Current VUFP scholars

    VUFP scholars enrolled in a two year Master’s programme do not need to re-apply for the VUFP scholarship for the second year. Their VUFP will be extended for the second year if they have obtained 100% of the ECTS of the first year. We will email you around July- August to let you know if your scholarship will be extended or not. If you have not obtained 100% of the required ECTS due to circumstances outside of your control, please contact us as soon as possible.

    Complaint procedure

    If you do not agree with the decision of the Scholarship Committee, you may file a written complaint to Complaints regarding the application procedure (not the results!) should be addressed to the student ombudsman by e-mail and must include:

    • Your name and full address.
    • Details of the selection procedure that you do not agree with.
    • The grounds for complaint: why are you unable to accept the selection procedure?
    • Date and signature.

    For pressing questions regarding the VUFP scholarship, please email:

    The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) is financially supported by VUvereniging: a social network of people who are connected to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

  • Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)

    The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Dutch research universities, and universities of applied sciences. Students eligible for this scholarship are students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are applying for the first year of a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. Students from Suriname and Switzerland are not eligible to apply for the HSP scholarship.

    Scholarship amount

    HSP is a contribution towards the costs of living. It is 5.000 EUR or 10.000 EUR for the entire duration of your study period. Please note:

        • The HSP scholarship is awarded only for the first year of your study programme. You will not receive the HSP scholarship for the second year of your studies even if you are following a two-year study programme.
        • We  have around 20- 25 HSP scholarships available. Only a few of the VUFP awardees will get the HSP scholarship.

    Application criteria

    When applying for the VUFP scholarship, you automatically apply also for the HSP. No separate application is necessary. Eligibility criteria for the HSP are the same as for the VUFP.

    Application procedure

    1. Follow the VUFP scholarship application (from 1 December 2021)
    Please follow the VUFP application process as described above. 

    Deadline: 1 February 2022 (23:59 CET)

    2. Decision

    The Central Scholarship Committee decides which students will be offered HSP scholarship.

    3. Results
    All students will receive an e-mail/ notification informing them of the Central Scholarship Committee’s decision concerning their application. 

    Expected date: mid-March 2022 (6 weeks after the deadline).

    4. Acceptance of HSP offer
    Selected candidates accept/decline the HSP offer in their personal VU dashboard. 

    Deadline: end of March 2022 (2 weeks after the results have been published).

    Kindly note the following:

    - You can accept/decline the offer in your personal VU dashboard on

    - If you do not take action within 2 weeks after receiving the results, the offer will be withdrawn.

    - There are fewer HSP scholarships than VUFP. This means that not all VUFP recipients will receive HSP.

    - If you have not been awarded VUFP, you also have not been awarded HSP.

    - A scholarship granted for one academic year cannot be postponed to another academic year.

    Conditions Holland Scholarship Programme

    The conditions for the Holland Scholarship Programme can be found here.


    For any further questions please contact us through:

    The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is financially supported by VUvereniging: a social network of people who are connected to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

  • Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS)

    The VU Fellowship programme sponsors the Orange Tulip Scholarship programme. It is now possible for excellent students from India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam to apply for this highly selective VUFP / OTS scholarship.


    OTS scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. This scholarship does not offer any additional allowance towards living costs.

        • India (two scholarships available)
        • Indonesia (two scholarships available)
        • Russia (two scholarships available)  
        • South Africa (two scholarships available)
        • South Korea (two scholarships available)
        • Vietnam (two scholarships available)

        • China (two scholarships available)


    1 February 2022

    Fields of study

    Eligible candidates should be admitted to one of the English-taught Master's degree programmes at VU Amsterdam. In addition, OTS candidates need to have applied for the VUFP in their VU dashboard.

    Application procedure

    Students apply for the specific OTS programme (India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam). Please see the specific NESO website:  

         NESO India   
         NESO Indonesia
         NESO Russia
         NESO South Africa
         NESO South Korea  
         NESO Vietnam

    • Students need to apply separately for a VUFP scholarship. Deadline for OTS is the same as the regular deadline for VUFP scholarship: 1 February 2022.
    • OTS will make the selection for the OTS candidates.
    • OTS will send their selection before 1 March to the Central VUFP Scholarship Committee.
    • The Central Scholarship Committee will confirm the OTS selection.

  • Fulbright scholarship

    The Fulbright Center welcomes 20 to 25 students from the U.S. to the Netherlands each year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Our programs have been changing lives for 70 years, but we have remained unchanged in our commitment to fostering transformative experiences through education and the promotion of mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and the Netherlands. 


    Only students from the U.S. can apply for the Fulbright scholarship. U.S. students currently residing in the Netherlands will not be considered for any awards to the Netherlands. Also, U.S. students with both U.S. and Dutch citizenship are excluded. In addition, this grant is also not available for US students with another EU nationality who intend to study at the VU on the basis of their EU nationality, or a spousal EU visa.

    Institution profile

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is ranked among Europe’s top research universities and provides an internationally oriented community in which students can develop their full potential. A high level of ambition characterizes research and education at this university. Free and open communication of ideas, strongly oriented toward people and society, are encouraged. The university seeks renewal, using the strength of the variety of academic disciplines, nationalities, ideologies and social convictions that exist in the environment.

    VU Amsterdam offers a competitive range of research and academic graduate programs, covering all major academic disciplines. The university is located in one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands in which employees with an international background are widely appreciated. Amsterdam is the most culturally diverse city in the world, boasting 179 different nationalities, where English is widely spoken.


    Some knowledge of Dutch is useful at the time of arrival in the Netherlands, but not mandatory. The grants are available only for Master’s programmes taught in English.

    Grant period

    12 months, starting 1 September.

    Fulbright scholars that have been granted the scholarship for a two year Master's programme will be eligible to receive a VUFP scholarship for the second year, if they have achieved 100% of the credits of the first year.  

    Candidate profile

    Applicants must have strong motivation and excellent study results. Candidates must be admitted (at the time of application or later during the selection process for the Fulbright grant) to English-taught Master’s degree programs at VU Amsterdam. U.S. students currently residing in the Netherlands will not be considered for any awards to the Netherlands.

    Grant benefits

    The grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of €1,300. International travel will be reimbursed to a maximum of €1,000. The cost of the residence permit (approximately €250) will be covered as well. Tuition fees are not waived, but differ per program.


    No dependent allowance is available.

    Application procedure

    Apply for the Fulbright grant by the deadline of 12 October 2021. Here you can find more information on how to apply.

    After the application for the Fulbright grant the students prepare their application for the VU Fulbright award and submit this before 15 January 2022 at the latest.


    The Fulbright Commission and the VU programs in the Netherlands will make their decision, and once both decisions have been taken, the student will be informed, usually in March or April.


    For further information about the Fulbright grant, please contact Ms. Linda Pietersen - For more information about the programs of VU Amsterdam contact

    Homepage Fulbright Center (Dutch)   

    Homepage Fulbright Student Programme

    Fulbright Grant Amounts

Other scholarship options

  • Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)

    The Orange Knowledge Programme contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Training courses in all 53 selected countries. The €195 m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.

    Target group Orange Knowledge Programme Scholarships

    • You are a professional and a national of, and working and living in one of the countries on the OKP Country list valid at the time of application; 
    • You have a current employer’s statement that complies with the format Nuffic has provided; 
    • You must not be employed by an organisation which can be expected to have their own funds for staff development; 
    • You must have a government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (if applicable); 
    • You are unconditional admitted to one of the Master's Programmes or short courses that are listed in the application link. (If your programme is not listed there, please email us). 

    Find all information on the Orange Knowledge Programme Website and information specifically for applicants here.

    The OKP programme has been extended by one year and will now end mid-2023. 

    Application process: master's programmes (starting in September 2022)

    Step 1 :    Apply for academic admission directly by going through the application steps.
    Your admission must be unconditional in terms of your education and language proficiency. Conditional admission may be granted only subject to you finding suitable funding for the programme. You are strongly advised to seek academic admission as early as possible to allow the institution to process your application in time (please note the Faculty’s Admission Board needs four to six weeks to decide upon your admission).

    Step 2:    Apply for one of the following OKP scholarships via Delta

    OKP for Master's programmes (starting in September 2022): the registration is possible between 2 February- 22 March 2022, 16.00 CET. You can apply via this link: 

    In Delta you will have to answer these three questions:
    - What is the issue or problem you want to address in your country?
    - How will this course enable you to address this issue?
    - How will you address this issue with your position within your organisation?

    You will need to upload the following documents in Delta. Each uploaded document should be prepared in PDF format and not exceed 2MB:

    You can find more information about the required documents here

    Step 3:    Results  
    The decision on the OKP Master scholarship application will be communicated via email (in June 2022).

    Application process: Short Programmes (starting in July 2022)

    Application for Short Programmes starting in July 2022 is closed. 

    Step 1 :    Apply for one of our Summer School 2022 short courses. 

    You can choose between 5 different courses: 

    • Feeding The Billions: Challenges and Innovations in Food and Water Security
    • Governing Climate Change: Theory and Practice
    • International Criminal Justice
    • Nature and Nurture: Twin Research and Human Genetics
    • The Global Energy Transition in a Fossil World

    They are scheduled to take place from 2 July 2022 to 16 July 2022. 

    Please note that above is subject to change. For the most up- to- date information please see our Summer School page or contact our Summer School Team:

    Step 2:    Apply for the OKP scholarships via Delta

    You can apply between 27 September and 2 November 2021 16.00 CET via this link in Delta: You will be asked to answer several questions and upload necessary documents there.

    Step 3:    Results  
    The decision on the OKP Short Courses scholarship application will be communicated via email.


    Please send an e-mail to should you have any questions concerning the scholarship.

  • NN Future Matters Scholarship

    The NN Future Matters Scholarship is a programme financed by NN and administered by Nuffic. At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam this scholarship is applicable to students from the selected countries, who applied for Master’s in: Economics, Finance, Data science, Entrepreneurship, Finance; Duisenberg honours track in Quantitative Risk Management, Business Administration; specialization in Financial Management, Business Administration; Duisenberg honours track in Financial Markets and Regulation and Computer Science.

    The application deadline is 1 April 2022.  You can submit your application online via Nuffic.

    Application criteria

    • You are from Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain or Turkey.
    • The master’s degree programme is a full-time programme in the field of finance, risk management, economics, data science, entrepreneurship or IT at one of the participating Dutch research universities.
    • The master’s degree programme starts in September of the academic year 2022-2023.
    • You are a first-generation academic, i.e. your parents or guardians don't have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent).
    • You meet the specific admission requirements of the institution of your choice.
    • Preferably, you have not yet studied or worked abroad.
    • When applying for a 2 year master programme, please note that your application for the scholarship is valid for the first year. You can apply for a scholarship for the second year of the master, if you have been granted a scholarship for the first year.

    Payment of the scholarship

    The scholarship amounts to €5,000. You will receive €4,500 in two instalments of €2,250 each in the first year of your master's studies. You will receive the remaining €500 towards the end of your studies.


    In order to obtain the NN Future Matters Scholarship you need to meet the admission criteria, and apply before the deadline of 1 April 2021.

    A jury consisting of NN Group and EP-Nuffic will select the applicants who will be granted the scholarship. In case of equal suitability of the candidates, first generation academics will be favored. For questions about the application process or the scholarship, you can contact the International Office at

  • Desmond Fortes Scholarship

    Desmond Fortes Scholarship is a programme financed by FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank. It is a scholarship meant for ambitious professionals from Asia and Africa who are employed within FMO's client network and who applied for the Master's programme Environment and Resource Management at VU Amsterdam. 

    The application procedure is in detail described on the Desmond Fortes Scholarship website of EP NUFFIC.

  • STUNED Scholarship Programme

    The STUNED Scholarship Programme is open for professionals from Indonesia who have completed a Bachelor's programme (S1). It is aimed in particular at teacher-educators, government officials (central and regional), NGO employees and journalists. The programme gives priority to candidates from outside Java and takes account of gender equality. However, strongly motivated candidates from all other sectors including the private sector are encouraged to apply. PhD students are not eligible for grants under this programme. See for more information STUNED Scholarship Programme.

    Students planning to start their studies in September 2021 can apply by 22nd of March 2021 via this link. Please note that you can apply only after being officially admitted to VU Amsterdam.

    You can download several documents needed for the application through this link.

  • Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)

    Funding for Indonesian students who wish to pursue a master-, or PhD degree through the LPDP programme (Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education). See for more information Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)

  • Russian Global Education Program

    The Global Education Program is a Russian government funding program that offers Russian citizens an opportunity to study at leading foreign higher education institutions and to get employment in accordance with the qualification gained. Russian students can apply for fully funded tuition fee & living expenses via this program. At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam this scholarship is applicable for students from Russia, who applied for Master’s in:

    •    Computer and Information Science
    •    Information and Computer Engineering
    •    Information Security
    •    Chemical Technologies
    •    Architecture
    •    Health Science and Preventive Medicine
    •    Fundamental Medicine
    •    Clinical Medicine
    •    Pharmacy
    •    Earth Science
    •    Technosphere Safety
    •    Environmental Engineering and Biotechnologies
    •    Biology
    •    Geology, Mining, Oil and Gas Industry and Geodesy

  • Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme

    The Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme, a project funded by the EU, aims at increasing the number of experts in the EU field and supporting Turkey’s administrative capacity building efforts for the effective implementation of the EU acquis within the framework of Turkey’s negotiation process for the full membership to the EU. The Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme began in the 1990-1991 academic year and is one of the longest running projects in Turkey.

    Within the scope of the Scholarship Programme, Turkish public officials, graduate students (master/PhD), academic and administrative staff of the universities in Turkey as well as employees of the private sector and NGOs may apply. Scholars shall only conduct academic studies at graduate or research level at a university or similar institution in one of the EU member countries for periods of minimum 3, maximum 12 months. Academic studies longer than 12 months will not be supported even if the scholars are willing to fund the remaining period.

    Scholarships are granted exclusively for academic studies directly related to Turkey’s EU harmonisation process and the EU acquis. The Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme plays an important role in developing a better understanding of EU standards, legislation and implementation of EU acquis in EU member states among scholars who are believed to take an active role in the accession process of the Turkey to the EU. What is more, the Scholarship Programme aims to increase cultural exchange and intercultural dialogue that are essential to the development of EU-Turkey relations. 

    For more information about the application process please visit

  • Chinese Government Scholarship (Chinese University Programme)

    China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), established in 1952, is one of the leading universities in China. It has been consistently ranked as one of the top institutions in legal education in China since its establishment. The University is renowned for the quality of its teaching and research.

    CUPL is offering two Master's degree programs and two Doctoral Degree programs (all taught in English) in Comparative Law and International Law with a full government scholarship (China Scholarship Council) for Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam students and alumni in 2020/2021. 

    The scholarship includes:

    • Tuition 
    • Registration
    • On-campus accommodation
    • Monthly living allowance 
    • One-off settlement subsidy
    • Medical Insurance

    For more information about the scholarship programme for International Law please take a look here. You can find more information about the programme on Comparative Law here.


    • Non-Chinese citizens
    • Doctor degree applicants should be under the age 40, master degree applicants should be under the age 35.
    • Applicants education back ground, research ability, academic performance, language proficiency need to meet the admission criteria.

    Application Deadline: 

    April 30, 2021

    Application process

    1. Visit the Application website: register and fill application form online and upload all materials on system. (30 April 2021)*two recommendation letters need be written by professor or an associate professor.
    2. CUPL would investigate all application materials and please post them in duplicate. (Early May 2021)
    3. After the materials are reviewed and remote interviewing, CUPL will decide the list of candidates. (End of May 2021)
    4. China Scholarship Council will review all the application materials from CUPL and list will be officially issued. (Early August 2021)

    Please find more information here and details on other Scholarship programs of CUPL here.  

    Contact Information 

    International Students Office, School of International Studies
    Room A1101, New Research Building,
    Tel and Fax: (86-10) 58908240

Student loan programmes

  • Direct Loan Programme (financial aid for US students)

    The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers financial aid for eligible students from the U.S. to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the ED at participating schools. 

    As a foreign school, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has participated in the Direct Loan Program for several years and will continue its participation in the program as an eligible school for the academic year 2021-2022.

    US Loans Guide

    For more information about US loans please have a look at the US Loans Guide. In this guide you can find detailed information on the following topics:

        - General information about direct loans
        - Applying for financial aid
        - Application procedures
        - Financial information
        - Procedures at VU Amsterdam
        - SAP, brief description
        - Exit counseling
        - In School Deferment Request
        - Refund policy
        - Alcohol and drugs

    Questionnaire VU

    To start the loan application, please fill out the questionnaire and mail the form to

    NB: Vrije Universiteit does not receive any automatic messages from the United States telling us that you have applied or re-applied for a Direct Loan. If you would like to take out a loan, you therefore have to mail us the questionnaire after making your loan application in the FAFSA system. Only then can we start the origination process of the loan on our side.


    Deadlines for finalized applications 1st semester:

    • 1 August 2021 - Access to Financial Aid in September
    • 1 September 2021 - Access to Financial Aid in October
    • 1 November 2021 - Access to Financial Aid in December

    Deadlines for finalized applications 2nd semester:

    • 1 January 2022 - Access to Financial Aid in February
    • 1 February 2022 - Access to Financial Aid in March
    • 1 April 2022 - Access to Financial Aid in May

    Using your loan to pay for tuition fee
    If you take out a Federal Direct Loan, you should not pay tuition fee yourself, as the VU will deduct your tuition fee from your loan amount. To do so, you need to complete both your loan application and your enrolment with VU before 20 August.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    All students applying for or receiving US Federal Aid (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) must progress satisfactory towards completion of the study programme at VU Amsterdam to remain eligible for federal financial aid. You can find detailed information in the SAP document.


    If you have taken out loans and are considering withdrawing from your program, it may happen that you will have to return (a portion) of the funds. As such, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss the details. For more information on the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy please click here.


    VU Amsterdam
    International Office / US Loan Team
    De Boelelaan 1105
    NL-1081 HV Amsterdam

    For additional information on U.S. federal loans, please visit the Direct Loans website of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • SallieMae Smart Option Loan

    SallieMae is a loan provider in the US, who offers private loans to US students to cover their costs for their study period abroad. Only students with the American nationality will be eligible for this type of loan. The loan is meant to finance your stay at VU Amsterdam and could cover your tuition fee, room and board, etc.


    All degree programmes offered at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Bachelor, Master, LL.M, Research Master).

    Application procedure VU

    Step 1: Questionnaire VU, to start the loan application, please complete the questionnaire and mail the form to

    Step 2: Only if you are (conditionally) admitted to the study programme: send an email to and indicate that you want to apply / have applied for a SallieMae loan so that we can finalize the loan procedure.

    Deadlines VU

    Deadline for submitting the application for the study programme: 1 April 2021
    Deadline for informing the International Office by email of application to SallieMae: 1 July 2021

    Application procedure SallieMae

    Apply online for the loan:
    Our School code for this programme is: 008376-00

    Contact person VU: Henny Smit:

    Important notes

    • Please read the procedure of VU Amsterdam carefully.
    • Students are always fully responsible for the repayment of their loans to SallieMae.
    • The loan period only covers for 1 year, which means that if you are participating in a study programme which takes longer than 1 academic year, you will have to submit a loan application for the following year.
    • The loan will be disbursed in 1 – 4 terms (depending on the length of the study programme and amount certified).
    • SallieMae has the final decision on the approval / denial of your loan application. One of the requirements for being granted a residence permit in the Netherlands is that students must submit proof that they have sufficient financial means to finance their study period in the Netherlands. VU advises a budget, not including the tuition fee, of approx. €10,000 to €15,000 per year to cover the costs for rent, insurance, living expenses, course books and local transportation. How much money students actually spend will of course depend on their life style and spending habits
    • Private loan applications with Sallie Mae must not exceed 180 days between the application date and disbursement date. Therefore for loan applications for the new academic year (which will normally have an earliest disbursement date of 1 October), do not make an application to Sallie Mae any earlier than 1 May.
    • If your private loan is approved before September, you can expect the check to arrive in the first weeks of October. Students are therefore strongly advised to have extra funding to cover for their costs for at least the period mid-August - October. Also, if you have applied for accommodation via VU, you must pay the rent of three months before you arrive in Amsterdam.
    • You are kindly advised to set up an installment agreement for the payment of the tuition fee. For information see:


    The student is responsible for submitting a complete application, according to the steps described above before the aforementioned deadline. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

  • Erasmus+ Master Loan

    The Erasmus+ Master Loan aims to support learning mobility, because studying abroad can be expensive– especially in countries with high living costs. The loan scheme is being established in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (Part of the EIB Group).

    For more information please click here.

Contact information

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