It can be quite an adjustment for many students to live on a student budget. In this section, you can find information about student financial aid, scholarships and tips for saving money and staying within your budget.

If you're a Swedish citizen, a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or have a residence permit in Sweden not based on studies, you are not required to pay application or tuition fees to study in Sweden. You will need to pay for living costs, such as food, housing, clothes and textbooks.

Read more about application and tuition fees

Am I eligible for financial aid?

Swedish citizens are eligible for financial aid if they meet the basic requirements:

  • You may receive student aid until the year that you turn 56, but your right to take out a loan will be limited from the year that you turn 47. For upper secondary education, there is also a minimum age of 20.
  • You must be attending a school or course that qualifies you for student aid.
  • You must be studying at least half-time.
  • You must study for at least 3 weeks.

Additional rules apply for students with foreign citizenship. In general, a student must meet the requirements for Swedish citizens and must in addition have a permanent Swedish residence permit. There are other rules that apply for EU/EEA citizens. You should consult CSN's website for more detailed information on eligibility for financial aid.

Information for citizens of foreign countries at CSN's website

Financial aid for studies from Centrala studienämnden (CSN)

For students who are eligible for financial aid from CSN, here are some facts:

  • You can only apply for financial aid for one year at a time.
  • You can submit your application at any time during the year, but you can only receive financial aid from four weeks before the date your application arrives at CSN. You cannot receive financial aid retroactive to the beginning of an academic year unless your application arrives within 4 weeks from the start date.
  • Your financial aid is in the form of a grant and loan.
  • You decide yourself how much you want to borrow through the loan portion.
  • You can apply for just the grant.
  • You receive less aid if you study part-time.

Find out more about financial aid at CSN's website

CSN and study results

The first time you apply for financial aid, you are not required to document any previous study results. After you've begun your studies, you must receive a certain number of credits per semester in order to continue to have the right to financial aid. You can find more information at CSN's website. This information is only available in Swedish.

CSN:s study results requirements (in Swedish)

Scholarships

A scholarship is study assistance from donations or a specific allocation or grant that doesn't need to be paid back. Please note that there are very few scholarships available for students in Sweden.

Where do I find scholarships to apply for?

Scholarship are offered from a number of different places, including universiites, asssociations, foundations, banks, law firms or private individuals. You can find more information about what's available at universities, religious organisations, schools, municipalities and county administrations. Most libraries have scholarship handbooks.

Some students pay a fee to specific scholarship consultants to help them find appropriate scholarships.

Some scholarships have specific criteria the applicant must fulfil, while others are available to everyone. 

Länsstyrelsernas database (in Swedish)

University of Gothenburg's scholarship information

Stipendielistan (in Swedish)

Swedish Institute scholarships

Contact information to Sweden's universities

Advice on household finances

The Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) has advice in English and other foreign languages on how to maintain a healthy household budget.

Link to the brochure Manage your money (Koll på pengar) at Konsumentverket

Students' best savings tips

1. Do your own cooking

Bringing your own lunch instead of buying your meals on campus can save you approximately 800 kronor per month. Cooking your own meals at home instead of eating at restaurants can save you even more.

2. Save your money when you work

If you get an extra job during breaks, it can be a good idea to save part of your income so you can use it later during your study time. 

3. Buy or borrow used textbooks

You can save a lot of money by buying used books. There are websites available with listing of used books, as well as information on bulletin boards at your university. You can even find textbooks to borrow at the library.

4. Don't buy anything on credit

It may seem like a good idea to buy something with a credit card, or a repayment plan. In the long run, the high interest rates associated with credit will make your purchase much more expensive in the long run.

5. Create a budget

You can get help from your bank or even Konsumentverket in making a budget. This can help you get a better picture of what money you have coming in, and where it's going out. 

Konsumentverket's budget calculator (in Swedish)

6. Share accommodations

Sharing an apartment with someone can help both of you save a lot of money. You not only save by sharing the rent, but also on costs for internet, TV, and electricity. Be sure to sign a written agreement about how shared costs will be divided. 

7. Apply for a housing allowance

Find out if you're eligible for a housing allowance. This information is only available in Swedish

Calculate your preliminary housing allowance (in Swedish)

 8. Apply for scholarships

Scholarships can provide you with some extra funding. See the information above for more information.

9. Compare prices

You can save money by comparing the prices of various services you pay for, for example insurances, electricity, telephone and internet.

10. Sell things you no longer need

In your closet, storage and bookshelves are things you may no longer use. Sell them and bring in some cash.

Page last updated 2016-05-12