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Apr 14, 2020
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Essentials

SU in Denmark - What are the rules and who can receive it?

Michael Mares
SU is an educational grant in Denmark that all full-time students can apply for. This article contains information on how to apply for SU, how to retain SU and how to apply for SU holiday.
VIDEO
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Ready to apply?

Step-by-step guide for application.

What is SU?

SU (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte) is a state educational grant (or scholarship, if you will) that is given to all full-time students here in Denmark.

Up until 2013, rules were different and SU was only available to the Danish students or students that have worked continuously in Denmark for a minimum of 2 years.

Luckily, that has changed and now foreign students receive SU the same way that Danish students do. Well, almost, but we’ll get to that, in just a second. 

Why does Denmark pay you to study?

According to The Ministry of Higher Education and Science, every Dane is entitled to receive financial support throughout his or her studies. Thus, all the Danes can study anywhere regardless of their social standing.

By receiving this financial aid, students can focus more on their studies, rather than on making money. This will also relieve their parents, so they don’t have to spend too much money from their own pockets.

Personally, I believe that Denmark wants its students to study to the best of their abilities, which would be impossible without it.

How much is SU?

In 2021, SU amounts to DKK 6.321 per month, before taxes.

The final amount depends on which tax card will be used on your grant. If you use your A-kort, or your primary card, you will receive around DKK 5600.

If you use your secondary tax card, this will come down to about DKK 3.600 per month.

Keep in mind that these numbers depend on how much you earn and how you set your taxes, so we can only give you an approximation.

Also, make sure that you receive the right amount of SU.

If you are getting the full DKK 6.321 a month, it’s not a gift from the government, but an incorrect tax card. And thus you will have to pay back the extra SU amount around the time your tax assessment notice comes out (March-May) .

How can I get SU?

Naturally, all Danish citizens are eligible without any troubles. They can receive SU immediately without any additional complications.

International students are also able to receive SU, but we need to ask for “Equal Status”. With this document, we are theoretically on the same level as the Danish students.

However, equal status also differs.

You can get it under Danish Rules or EU Rules. EU rules are usually made for all international students from EU/EEA countries. A student coming from outside of EU/EEA countries is usually unable to receive SU. The only option for them would be getting it under Danish rules.

Equal status requirements for EU/EEA students (EU rules):


Equal status requirement for non EU/EEA students (Danish rules):

Before you apply

The final possible day for applying to SU is the last day of the month. 

If I would like to receive SU for September, the last possible day for applying would be the 30th of September. 

It is impossible to receive SU in a retrospective effect.

The last day for applying to SU in a year is the 5th of December, and if you apply after, then you won’t get your money sooner than in January, the year after.

OK, let’s get started with the application.

Step-by-step guide to SU application.

You can find our step-by-step guide here.

We tried to make it as easy as possible to understand the process. If there is anything unclear, you can leave a comment bellow and people can jump in to help you.

Application for SU in Denmark in English
The application also comes in English.

My equal status was not approved. What do I do now? 

This happens mainly if you don’t have a work contract, which specifies the working hours and you have only started working, from a month you apply.

In that case, you have to work for a month or two, with stable 10-12 hour work weeks, and apply again.

How can I stop SU? 

SU is paid out on the last day of the previous month.

What that means is that your SU will be paid to you, before the month begins, and also, before you know whether you will have the hours necessary.

In case you want to stop the SU for an upcoming month, you can do that only until the 15th day of the previous month, through SU.dk. 

If you have failed to work the required number of hours per month, you can opt in to use SU Holiday.

SU holiday gives you the option to have 6 weeks in which state does not check your hours.

You, however, need to work for 3 consecutive months before you can apply for this and you can do it only once a year.

On the other hand, you can divide these 6 weeks to your liking, and you can submit the SU Holiday respectively, meaning for a past periods, up to few months.

You do this, as everything, through SU.dk

If you get an internship for less than 3 months, you might want to pause your SU, instead of canceling it.

This way, you don’t lose your equal status and it will be paid to you immediately, from the month you start working again.

Keep in mind that SU does not work with unpaid internships in Denmark, and you will lose your residence permit, if you leave Denmark for more than 3 months.

SU Holiday

SU Holiday template
The vacation agreement can look something like this.

Can I get SU Holiday and how do I apply?

In case you want to get SU holiday, inform your employer about this and prepare a form for them to fill out and sign.

The form needs to include:

  1. Your name
  2. Your CPR Number
  3. Company name
  4. Company CVR
  5. Period, in which you take your holiday
  6. Today's date
  7. Your signature and company stamped signature

There is no template for this but this is what they require. Then, you upload this form through SU.dk and fill out what period you are taking your holiday in.

SU Loan and Slutloan 

(student loans in Denmark)

While you receive SU you have also an option to get an SU loan.

This is a loan from the government that you are free to use on anything you’d like.

The amount is approximately 2500 DKK and it is tax free.

The interest rate on the loan during your studies is 4%. When you are finished with your studies the interest rate changes to about 1%.

Slutløn (completion loan) is a similar thing, however this one can be taken in addition to the SU loan, in the last 12 months of your education. The amount is slightly lower, at around 1500 DKK.

Depending on your age and education, you are entitled to receive the SU grant for up to 6 years. In case your SU right expires before you have finished your education, you can get a completion loan (SlutlĂĄn) for a maximum of 1 or 2 years.

You are allowed to take a slutlån in addition to your SU-loan and the payback terms are the same as for the SU-loan.  The amount is slightly lower, at around 1500 DKK.

What are the consequences of taking on an SU loan? 

SU's website provides more detailed information.‍

How to contact SU?

If you have any questions, you should contact the SU office in your university.

They are the direct link between you and SU.

You also have an option of contacting SU through your e-boks (digital post), but that’s pretty much it. There are no phone numbers to call.

Ready to apply?

Step-by-step guide for application.

How much can you earn in a month, besides SU?

The amount changes every year, but as of 2021, according to SKAT's phone line, the amount is 13,711 DKK. This amount is before tax, so keep that in mind!

Also, SKAT looks at your yearly income, rather than month-to-month income, so you can exceed the amount in one month a little, if you keep it lower the next. This amount is also including feriepenge (holiday money) so make sure to calculate it into the amount. If you want to do the calculations yourself, use this link and navigate the official SKAT site.

Thank you Povilas Borkovskij for finding this out.

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Michael Mares
🇸🇰
I'm a hard-working and passionate person whose life mission is to help students all around the world. I'm studying Information Systems Development at Aarhus University and I'm the co-founder of this project.
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