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Scholarships and loans

In a difficult financial situation, you may be able to benefit from scholarships or loans. If you have acute financial problems and need help quickly, consult our webpage «Financial emergencies».

The difference between scholarships and loans in whether or not they have to be repaid, scholarships only have to be repaid if you discontinue your education without good cause. Loans, on the other hand, must be repaid with interest.

Who is responsible?

In principle, the canton in which your parents are resident for tax purposes is responsible for scholarships and loans. Foreign students can submit applications...

  • if they have a C permit or B permit and have been living in Switzerland for five years at the time of the application in the canton of Bern.
  • if they are recognised as a refugee or stateless person and have been assigned to the canton of Bern.

On the website of the cantonal directors of education (EDK) you will find an overview of all cantonal offices that accept applications. The Education and Culture Directorate (BKD) is responsible for the Canton of Bern:


What are the maximum costs of living that are recognised as eligible for a scholarship? You can find these figures on the website of the Education and Culture Department of the Canton of Bern (BKD):


Counselling and support

Are you a student or employee at one of the Universities of Bern and need support in dealing with a burdensome financial situation?

We are happy to offer you a free, confidential psychological counselling session with us. In this counselling session, we will discuss your financial difficulties against the background of your overall study and life situation, support you in developing appropriate solution strategies and prepare the next steps.

  • Counselling services (overview) 

  • Foundations and funds

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