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Student Financial Aid Office

FAQ – UZH-Scholars, Loans and Applications


If you submit an application to us for a scholarship, we have to check if you are objectively in need of financial support. For this reason, we need documentation about your financial situation and that of your parents. Your academic performance is also relevant. Even if you are unsure about your chances of receiving support, you should submit an application. You have nothing to lose. Please note that we only support students completing their initial education at every level of study.

Please also ensure that your application documents are complete. If any documents are missing when you submit your application, be sure to submit them afterwards. You can decrease the processing time for your application by being as meticulous as possible.

Basic information about UZH scholarships and loans

  • Should I apply for a loan or a scholarship?
    We prefer to support students by providing them with scholarships. If you have an increased budget or your parents earn too much, you can submit an application for a loan.

  • How much money can I expect to receive?
    This depends on your income and other factors. We assume that a single person without children needs around CHF 12,000 per semester. If you have less than this at your disposal, we can help you bridge the gap with a loan.

  • Can I expect to receive long-term student financing if I have already received one scholarship from you?
    If there are no significant changes to your financial situation or your academic performance, then yes. We will do our best to help you finance your studies over the long term. However, there is no legal entitlement to this financial support. A decision in your favor does not constitute a precedent for future decisions.

  • Will my scholarship amount be reduced if I work part time while studying?
    No. This is only the case if you earn more than CHF 6,000 per year.

  • Due to my situation, I will probably not be able to receive any government scholarships. Therefore I would like to apply for a scholarship at a foundation. Can you recommend any organizations?
    We cannot recommend any specific foundations, and we advise you not to use any algorithm-based or for-pay web portals for scholarships. You should look for foundations whose mission aligns with your specific situation, for example training, continuing education, etc. You should also check for options in your local area/municipality, including at churches. You can find an overview of foundations on the following websites
    Register of foundations UZH (in German)
    BVS Zürich - Register of foundations (in German)
    EDI - Register of foundations Switzerland (in German)

  • Can I select which foundation I would like to receive support from?
    To increase your chances, we apply for scholarships on your behalf at various foundations. We will choose which foundation(s) to submit your application to based on their mission. These decisions are made solely by the Student Financial Aid Office.

  • I'm not sure what loan to apply for: the Pecunia loan or a regular loan?
    If you have a temporary one-time need for money and your student financing is otherwise well under control, a one-time Pecunia loan of CHF 4,000 is right for you.

    If you have longer-term financing gaps, including larger financing needs, you can apply for a regular loan.

    Please note that you need to be a Swiss citizen or in possession of a C permit in order to receive either type of loan. This is a requirement of the foundation that issues the loans.

  • I have children. Does this affect the amount of my scholarship?
    We will review your application and take your family situation into consideration.

  • What happens if I'm sick for a longer time and cannot study?
    You should get in touch with us during our telephone consultation hours as soon as possible. We will help you find a solution. Contact


  • How long do my parents have to support me?
    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.

  • Am I legally entitled to receive a scholarship from UZH?
    Our office works together with private foundations. These foundations are obligated to act in accordance with their mission. It's their decision whether to grant scholarships or not.

  • I'm mobility student. Can I apply for student financing?

    Outgoing mobility student
    If you are enrolled at UZH and have been receiving financial support from the canton and/or the university, you can continue receiving support while studying abroad. You can also apply for a UZH Mobility Scholarship. The Global Student Experience is responsible for granting these scholarships.

    Incoming mobility student
    We do not provide any support to incoming mobility students. However, since you will still be enrolled at your home university, you do not have to pay any tuition or fees to UZH. Please inquire about financial support at your home university. The Global Student Experience website contains more detailed information.Global Student Experience UZH.
  • I don't meet the requirements for receiving cantonal student financing. Can I still submit an application to the Student Financial Aid Office?
    In certain circumstances, yes. We recommend contacting us by phone beforehand for a nonbinding clarification of your situation.
  • I have just submitted my scholarship application to the canton but have not yet received the decision. Can I still submit an application to the Student Financial Aid Office?
    Yes. The Student Financial Aid Office provides supplementary support. The decision of the cantonal scholarship office can be included in the scholarship calculation later on.
  • I have inherited/earned some money. Can I still receive scholarships?
    Your personal asset situation will be considered when determining the amount of your scholarship. If the amounts are too high, your scholarship may be reduced or denied altogether. We grant an exemption of CHF 5,000 per person. Anything over this will be considered in the calculation.
  • How much can my parents earn before I am no longer eligible to receive a scholarship?
    The income limit is CHF 86,000 of taxable income and CHF 300,000 in net worth (federal tax assessment). The income limit increases by CHF 6,000 for each additional child who is completing their initial education.
  • My parents own real estate. Can I still receive scholarships?
    If their house still has a mortgage on it, you may still be entitled to receive a scholarship.

Application Process & Required Documents

  • Where can I apply for UZH scholarships?
    The online application form can be found at: Applications & Deadlines
  • Are applications processed in the order that they are received?
    To some extent. The earlier your application is submitted in full, the faster it will be processed.

  • How long does it take to receive a decision on my application?
    If your application is complete, you will receive a decision within 8-10 weeks of the deadline.

  • When and how will scholarships be paid out?
    Payments are made for the full semester. It might be the case that you receive several payments from us, depending on which foundation or foundations were applied to on your behalf. The amount will be disbursed to your account within one month of the decision.

  • Can I submit my scholarship or loan application along with the required documents via email?
    Unfortunately not. In the future you will be able to take care of everything online and upload the required documents. We are currently working on a solution.

  • I am new at UZH and don't yet have a university email account. How can I still submit my application on time?
    You can contact us by email or during our telephone consultation hours.
  • I need to indicate my assets on the application form. What do I need to include?
    Please list the total amount in Swiss francs of all your bank accounts, both in Switzerland and abroad. If you still have some scholarship money left over in your account from the previous semester or year, please indicate this on page 5 of the application form under the «comments» section.
  • What is a letter of motivation? (document to be enclosed in your first scholarship application)
    In the motivation letter you should describe your personal situation and your motivation for studying. It should be around one standard (A4) page long. This letter provides an important first impression of you as a student. Write it carefully and make it meaningful. Be sure to sign and date it as well.
  • What is a semester report? (document to be enclosed in follow-up applications)
    The semester report is a place to write about what you have dealt with academically over the past semester. Exceptional personal events that impact your studies should also be included. The semester report should be about one standard (A4) page in length.
    It only needs to be submitted in follow-up applications. Write it carefully and make it meaningful. Be sure to sign and date it as well.

  • What is the difference between a tax return and a tax bill?
    A tax return is what you fill out every year, and it's where you declare to the government what your income and assets are. The government uses this as a basis to create the tax bill or tax assessment that they send to you. You should fill out your tax return as early as possible and not apply for an extension (this also applies to your parents).

  • What is meant by taxable income?
    Taxable income refers to all income after the legally permitted deductions and exemptions (see your tax return for more information).

  • What is meant by taxable assets?
    «Taxable assets» refers to all assets after the legally permitted deductions and exemptions (see your tax return for more information).

  • What is meant by net worth?
    Net worth refers to assets minus debts, excluding the municipal tax exemption. The Student Financial Aid Office makes its calculations based on net worth.

  • I/my parents have not yet received an up-to-date tax bill. What should I do?
    You should always submit the most recent tax bill that you have. The current one can be submitted later. Please do not send us any provisional tax bills.

  • Meine Eltern gewähren mir keine Einsicht in ihre Steuerunterlagen, was soll ich machen?
    Es besteht die Möglichkeit, dass Ihre Eltern die Steuerunterlagen direkt an uns schicken, ohne dass Sie Einsicht nehmen. Falls Ihre Eltern auch diese Möglichkeit nicht nutzen möchten, nehmen Sie Kontakt mit uns auf.

Weiterführende Informationen

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If you have acquainted yourself with the ins and outs of student financing and have read our FAQs thoroughly, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.