Social allowance

The social allowance can be a solution if, for example, you are confronted with significant medical expenses, you're no longer eligible for a student pass for public transport, your study grant doesn't cover all your costs etc. The maximum amount of a social allowance is โ‚ฌ 2.000. The allowance is calculated based on the number of credits you take and the deficit in your budget.

The Caroline Pauwels Relief Fund

The VUB Caroline Pauwels Relief Fund for students provides limited and temporary support to national and international students for whom the existing financial support is insufficient or inaccessible. 

If the application for a social allowance shows us that the financial need cannot be resolved by our regular financial support, up to โ‚ฌ 2000 additional support can be provided. In other words, this is a type of support you cannot request yourself, but which is used if we deem it necessary.

This Relief Fund depends on fundraising by the VUB Foundation and is therefore supplemented according to incoming donations.

2016_Portret_Caroline Pauwels_Bozar_VUB


Do I qualify for support?

There are certain conditions to qualify for the financial support provided by VUB. There are general conditions and specific conditions for each individual type of support. 


Specific conditions


You must be enrolled for at least 27 credits (except in your graduating year) and we take your study progress into account.

You do not qualify if you or your family receive cadastral income from property owned but not lived in by yourself/them.


General conditions


The general condition to receive financial support from VUB are:

  • The student meets one of theโ€ฏnationality requirementsโ€ฏestablished by the Department of Scholarships of the Flemish Community
  • the student is enrolled under a diploma contract (students with a credit or exam contract are not eligible) (*) 
  • the student is enrolled at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (**) 
  • the student is enrolled in an initial study programme: a bachelor, a first master, a bridging or preparatory programme (***)
  • the student proves a financial need, related to the study costs


(*) Students with a credit contract can be eligible for reduced tuition fee. Starting academic year 2023-2024, students with a credit contract are also eligible for an interest-free loan to pay their tuition fees.

(**) Students in the first year of their studies should have an enrollment of at least 54 credits in order to apply for a social allowance, rent allowance and external grants. 

(***) Students following a teacher training or a second academic degree of the same level or students who have already obtained a Master's degree can only qualify for reduced tuition fee and an interest-free student loan. This interest-free student loan is also available for students who are following an advanced Master's degree. 


Don't agree?


We evaluate your request and make a decision based on these conditions. If you do notโ€ฏagree with a decision made by our Financial Support team regarding your request for financial support, you canโ€ฏlodge an appeal.

Appeals procedure student services


Social allowance



You must fill in and submit an application form no later than 1 September (at the end of the academic year concerned). The financial hardship will be checked by way of an inspection of the student's pattern of income and expenditure and/or that of their family. A social allowance is valid for 1 academic year and can be applied for again in the next academic year, if necessary. Make sure to use the application form for the correct academic year

Application form 2023-2024

You can always request a revision of the social allowance by submitting additional information. If you have already received a maximum social allowance but the financial need persists due to an unexpected event, we will consider whether an additional intervention from the VUB Caroline Pauwels Emergency Fund is possible.

Emergency fund for international students

International students who meet the academic requirements use this form if the social allowance is not available or sufficient:

Apply for the emergency fund 2023-2024