Cost of studying
For a long time, Sweden was one of the few countries in Europe in which higher education was completely free of charge.
In 2011, the Higher Education Act was changed to the effect that while higher education is free for Swedish citizens and for citizens of the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, incoming students from other countries have to pay an application fee and tuition fees for first and second-cycle studies, unless they are taking part in an exchange programme. In calculating tuition fees, the HEIs must ensure that they cover the full cost of the instruction provided as well as counselling, health services and other types of student service.
The majority of students in Sweden finance their studies with the help of financial support from the state to cover their living expenses. All domestic students are entitled to financial support, but there are minimum performance requirements in terms of the number of credits achieved for continued financial support. It is also possible to qualify for financial support for studies abroad.
Student finance consists of a combination of study grants and study loans. In 2019, the grant portion of student finance for an academic year of 40 weeks amounted to SEK 32,360 and the loan ceiling to SEK 74,400. The maximum total available Government-sponsored student finance for an individual student pursuing full-time studies thus amounted to SEK 106,760 in 2019. Students may receive this financial support for a maximum of twelve semesters or six academic years. Repayment of the loan element is based on an annuity system and in normal cases the total debt should be repaid in 25 years or less, or before the borrower reaches the age of 60.
Incoming students have to finance their studies themselves. Students required to pay tuition, however, may apply for scholarships for full or partial financing of their tuition fees. In some cases, they can even apply for grants to cover cost of living.