Contribution towards school costs for students

Children going to school cost parents a lot of money. Previously, this was the parents’ allowance. But this was abolished for students in regular secondary education as of January 1, 2010. Where can parents go if they cannot pay their children’s school costs? And what is the child budget for parents who cannot cover their children’s school costs? And what about the costs of children following an MBO, VAVO or private education?

School costs that must be paid by parents themselves – reimbursement of costs

In primary and secondary education (secondary education), the teaching materials and books for children are paid for by the government. Parents of students who are following an MBO, VAVO (secondary general adult education) or private secondary education must pay these costs themselves. The parents of a child who was younger than 18 years of age on July 1, 2010 and was enrolled full-time at an MBO, VAVO or private secondary education can receive a contribution towards the costs for these matters. Both the school costs and the tuition or course fees are taken as a starting point. The parents will then have to pay tuition for their child or compensation for private education.

Can parents get money to pay for school costs?

As of January 1, 2010, the allowance for school costs, also known as the parents’ allowance, has been abolished. Instead, an increase has been introduced in the tax authorities’ child-related budget. The tax authorities’ child-related budget was previously called child allowance and before that it was called the child tax credit.

Free textbooks

Children in regular secondary education also receive free textbooks at school.

Children following an MBO, VAVO or private education: financial matters

The parents of students who are following a course at MBO, VAVO (secondary general adult education) or who are following a private secondary education course remain entitled to compensation for school costs for parents. So also after January 1, 2010.

Apply for compensation for school costs

Parents of children who are following an MBO, VAVO or private secondary education can apply for the parental allowance from DUO (this was previously called IBG). They may also still be eligible for the tax authorities’ child-related budget. The child budget for children aged 12 to 18 has been increased and therefore the maximum amount of compensation for MBO, VAVO and private secondary education has decreased.

Amount of compensation for school costs for students aged 18 and over

The government supports parents of learning children from the age of 18 by granting them a contribution towards costs in certain cases. These are then composed as follows: The basic amount is independent of the income of the parents and in 2010 is per calendar month:

  • 103.77 euros for children living at home
  • 241.93 for children living away from home

Additional allowance to cover school costs for students aged 18 and over

Whether an additional allowance is given to the basic allowance depends on the income of the parents. Parents receive the maximum reimbursement if their joint income for 2008 did not exceed EUR 33,687 (collective income or taxable salary). If the parents’ income is higher, parents may still be entitled to an allowance, but this will then be lower than the maximum amount. Of the amount that is higher than 33,687 euros, 30 percent is always deducted from the maximum amount. The more parents earn, the lower the allowance. Below are the target amounts of the maximum additional allowance per calendar month:

  • 73.16 euros for regular secondary education in lower secondary education
  • 80.11 euros for regular secondary education in the upper grades
  • 100.18 euros for private secondary education in lower secondary education
  • 107.15 euros for private secondary education in the upper grades
  • 48.60 euros for special education
  • 85.92 euros for the education contribution
  • These contributions also include the healthcare allowance.

Teaching materials: pay yourself or from the school costs allowance

Materials needed to take lessons in regular secondary education and special education are paid for by the school. For students who attend non-regular education (vavo or private education), the amount required for textbooks is included in the allowance. So no extra money will be made available for this.