566 Why Danish students are paid to go to college

Speech Materals


Every Danish student receives about $900 (5,839 Danish krones) per month under a scheme known as SU (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte). The generous financial support does not have to be paid back even if students drop out, and the only major requirement for students to receive the full amount is that they do not live with their parents. Students receive the free funding for a maximum of six years, starting at the age of 18. Those who are particularly successful are eligible to receive additional payments.

“The aim of the support scheme is to ensure that it is not the social and economic standing of potential students but abilities and interests that decides about educational success,” Mads Hammer Larsen, a press spokesperson for the Danish Ministry of Education, told The Washington Post.

I – Word Understanding
Scheme – a systemic plan
Social standing – a person’s status or social class in the society (e.g. middle class)
Economic standing – a person’s economic and social position based on income, education and occupation.

II – Have Your Say
1. What do you think of the requirements needed for students in Denmark to receive this financial support?
2. Is educational success in your country determined by a student’s abilities and interests? Is economic and social status a factor?
3. Danish universities have one of the highest graduation rates and its citizens are practically free of student debt. However, to finance this system and other expenses, the Scandinavian country has one of the world’s highest tax rates.

566 Why Danish students are paid to go to college

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