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Student Financial Aid Office

FAQ – Cantonal Scholarships


If you are applying for cantonal scholarships, you may have to deal with a waiting period of several months. You can accelerate the process by submitting as early as possible, being as thorough as possible and submitting missing documentation without being reminded. Set aside time to carefully work on your application.

Cantonal Scholarships

  • What counts as «initial education» and «second education»?
    If you have completed an apprenticeship, hold a Bachelor's degree from a vocational college or have a completed Master's degree, you are considered to have completed your initial education. Neither a general qualification for university entrance nor a Bachelor's degree from a university count as having completed your initial education. If you have a general qualification for university entrance and then enroll at a university (without having done an apprenticeship), your initial education is completed once you have a Master's degree.

    Please note: According to Art. 276 – 277 SCC, your parents are legally obligated to support you while you complete your initial education.
  • Which canton should I apply to for a scholarship?
    The canton in which your parents reside. However, there are exceptions. Details can be found on the website of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education (EDK).EDK - Scholarships (German)
  • I have a B permit. Can I apply for cantonal scholarships?
    If you only reside in Switzerland for the purpose of studying, you do not have any entitlement to receive scholarships from the Swiss government.
  • My cantonal scholarships have not been paid, and I don't have any more money. What can I do?
    The Hardship Fund of the University of Zurich can pay out interest-free hardship loans in justified cases without any bureaucratic red tape. The loan has to be paid back once you receive your cantonal scholarship, within six months at the latest. Please check the requirements at Financial Support
  • I need longer than planned to complete my degree. Am I going to run into problems with cantonal scholarships?
    Cantons will pay scholarships for six semesters of a Bachelor's program and four semesters of a Master's program, plus one additional year. However, there are exceptions, for instance if the delay is due to illness or part-time studies. Details can be found in the relevant cantonal legislation and regulations on scholarships.
  • I have realized that my course of study is not right for me and would like to change fields. Can I still receive scholarships?
    It is usually not a problem to switch programs during your first year of study. If you switch after several semesters, you might not receive cantonal scholarships any longer, or you may be faced with a waiting period. There are big differences between the cantons in how they deal with these situations.

    If you are planning to switch programs, please get in touch with us as soon as possible during our telephone consultation hours. We will discuss the possible financial implications with you and try to find a solution together. Contact

    More details about part-time study programs: Student Advisory Services UZH
  • My scholarship application was rejected by the canton, and I would like to appeal the decision. Who can help me with this?
    We can help you assess whether an appeal makes sense for your situation. You can contact us during our telephone consultation hours. If you file an appeal, it needs to be legally justified.
  • I've unexpectedly received a rejection from the cantonal scholarship office. What can I do? 
    If your ability to complete your degree is in jeopardy, you should immediately get in touch with us during our telephone consultation hours. Contact
  • I once received a rejection from the cantonal scholarship office. Can I apply again?
    If your personal and/or financial situation has changed, we recommend that you resubmit your application for the next academic year.
  • What happens if I'm sick for a longer time and cannot study?
    You should inform your cantonal scholarship office as soon as possible and inquire about your rights and duties. If you have to withdraw due to illness, there may be consequences for your education allowance. Please consult the relevant legislation for your cantonal scholarship office.

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