How can I finance my studies?

Parental obligation

Contrary to a widely held notion, your parents' obligation to provide financial support does not end after you have reached the age of maturity. The obligation continues until you have officially completed a first program of education that qualifies you to practice a profession (Art. 276/277 ZGB.) Your right to financial support may be enforced by law should your parents refuse to fulfill their

(Parental) obligation, in German (PDF, 127 KB)

Personal income

Many students contribute to financing their studies with a part-time job. To be financially savvy, you should make sure that your personal income does not exceed the amount calculated by the various financial aid offices. And, in order to finish your studies on time, you should limit your employment to about one day per week.


Financial aid from the cantons

Regulations concerning financial aid in Switzerland are managed by the individual cantons and are subject to diverse legal provisions. These provisions set the limits on income and assets for students to be eligible for financial aid. Please inform yourself about such limits in your parents' canton of residence before submitting an application. Your parents' canton of residence bears responsibility for you, regardless of whether you live with your parents or in another canton.


  • You must submit an application in your own canton of residence if you have a first program qualification
  • Foreign nationals living in Switzerland who have no parents or who have parents living abroad must apply for financial aid in their canton of residence. The regulations concerning eligibility for financial aid for foreign nationals differ from canton to canton. Please inform yourself about grants from the cantons at the corresponding cantonal office for financial aid.
  • If you are a Swiss citizen living abroad, please submit your application for aid in the canton where your place of origin is located.

University financial aid

Most Swiss universities offer subsidiary financial aid to their students, subject to certain restrictions. The Student Financial Aid Office at the University of Zurich provides students who fulfill the requirements with information about funding from the university and private foundations.


There are many private-law foundations in Switzerland. They have clearly defined and often very specific purposes and generally offer subsidiary financial aid.