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European students from low-income families more likely to live on their own

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University students whose parents aren't well off are more likely to choose to live on their own, which means they are more likely to have financial worries than those still living at their parents'.

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That's per a study titled "Eurostudent", which compares the financial position and living situation of students across Europe. The new Dutch Minister of Education, Robbert Dijkgraaf, has sent several European studies to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The researchers offer two explanations as to why students from low-income families are more likely to live on their own. First, they are generally older when they begin their studies: according to the European figures, the difference is more than two years.

Another possible explanation is that these students leave home because they don’t want to be a financial burden to their parents. They’re also more likely than other students to have a paid job alongside their studies.

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© HOP. Source: Eurostudent, synopsis of indicators. Malta: too little data about well-to-do parents. Five countries on the right of the chart: data comprises pandemic.

It’s cheaper for most students to keep on living with their parents, the researchers believe, as this usually means paying little to no rent and getting free family meals. That partly explains why students who live on their own are more likely to have financial problems.

That is clearly the case in the Netherlands, compared to most of the other countries included in the study. Only in Luxembourg is the gap wider than here.

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© HOP. Source: Eurostudent, synopsis of indicators. Malta: too little data about well-to-do parents. Five countries on the right of the chart: data comprises pandemic.

The data for most countries was collected in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

There are many contributing factors when it comes to financial problems among students, including the different student financing systems in place across Europe. In the Netherlands, the basic student grant was abolished in 2015, making it much more expensive to pursue a higher education degree. The new government has announced its intention to reintroduce the basic student grant over a few years.

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