Student Financing

For SFS, the question of the student financial aid system has been part of the policy since the organization's inception. Despite some influential work, which has been going on for almost 100 years, the study grant is still not designed in a satisfactory way or at a reasonable level.

The study grant must fully cover students' actual expenses and enable a reasonable standard of living. SFS believes that the student aid should be balanced between loans and grants. At the same time, a highly educated population is something that will benefit the whole society.

The Swedish university has changed, but the development of the student financial aid system has stopped. The student financial aid system has not been adapted to the Bologna process, which made the educations at the advanced level one year longer with the transition from master's to master's. This has contributed to reduced opportunities to start more educations / courses than a bachelor's program and a master's degree. The opportunities to study summer courses with study grants are available, but the eligibility to start another education / course during or after completing the degree is reduced. 

As the Swedish student grant system has not followed the university's development with longer and more programs, lifelong learning and the emphasis on the university's educational assignments, an increase in the number of searchable study grant weeks is needed. SFS believes that the number of weeks for which study grants can be applied for should be increased from 240 to 320. Increasing the number of weeks is in line with the increased number of study programs and their length.

Today, the number of grant weeks and loan weeks are linked. This means that if you study one semester and only apply for a grant from CSN, you also consume your right to a loan from CSN for the corresponding number of weeks. For example, it is not possible to only apply for a grant for a certain number of weeks in order to save on the weeks you can get a loan. This is a system that punishes individuals who choose to apply for only the grant part of CSN. CSN should not control how to finance its studies by forcing students to lend themselves, but CSN should be an opportunity to finance their studies, regardless of whether they have received grants before. SFS does not think it should punish those who only choose to apply for the grant part of CSN. Thus, we want you to divide the grant weeks and loan weeks and to spend the weeks separately. Lifelong learning means that it must be possible to apply for higher education at any time in life. Therefore, the age limit for how late in life it is possible to apply for study grants should be changed to retirement age. At the same time, the student debt must always be written off when retiring, as the absence of depreciation creates poor incentives for individuals to apply for educations that lead to low-income occupations and to study later in life. The opportunity to educate oneself as well as to find one's way to higher education must be the same both late and early in life. SFS commented more about this in the consultation response to Better student support for the elderly.