Frequently asked questions

Before contacting us, please check out the most asked questions

Student Loans
Applying for a student loan

Students can apply for a student loan through the website of the Menntasjóður. The Student Council recommends all students to familiarize themselves with the allocation rules before applying for a student loan.

Additional information can be found on the Menntasjóður’s website or with the Student Loan Officer of SHÍ.

When is the deadline for applications?

Applications for student loans shall be submitted for each year of support.

The deadlines are as follows:

Student Loans for the autumn semester 2020: until 1 September 2020
Student Loans for the spring semester 2021: until 5 January 2021

Student Loans for the summer semester 2021: until 1 June 2021

Who can take a student loan?

General conditions:

  1. Be enrolled in a qualified studies (Higher education, preparatory education for higher education, Vocational education and training, additional studies in secondary school),
  2. Be legally competent to manage one‘s finances,
  3. Fulfil the minimum progress of study according to the allocation rules (73% or 44 ECTS- credits or equivalent per year),
  4. Not being in default on a student loan,
  5. Not receive study aid from another country for qualified studies,
  6. Fulfil other conditions that are listed in the student loan bill regarding repayments and distribution of loans.

You can read more about the conditions in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Who can take a student loan for an education in Iceland?

General conditions:

A student has a right to study aid, for an education in Iceland, if they fulfil all of the general conditions (Who can take a student loan?) and fulfil at least one of the following conditions:

  1. is an Icelandic citizen,
  2. is a citizen of Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden,
  3. is a citizen of an EEA or EFTA state in addition to being an employee or self-employed person in Iceland and continues to work in Iceland during their studies or maintains their status as such,
  4. is a close relative (descendant or a partner) of a citizen that fulfills point no. 3,
  5. is a citizen of an EEA or EFTA State and has acquired the right to indefinite stay in Iceland,
  6. is a close relative (descendant or a partner) of a citizen that fulfills point no. 5,
  7. is a foreign citizen and is married or has been in registered cohabitation with an Icelandic citizen for two years and has been domiciled in Iceland for at least two years of the last five years before the start of studies,
  8. has a residence permit in Iceland as a refugee,
  9. has an indefinite residence permit in Iceland.

Allocation rules may stipulate in more detail the conditions for study aid in Iceland, e.g. minimum employment contribution to be considered employed or self-employed.

You can read more about the conditions in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Who can take a loan for an eduaction abroad?

General conditions:

A student has a right to study aid, for an education abroad, if they fulfil all of the general conditions (Who can take a student loan?) and fulfil at least one of the conditions listed for study aid in Iceland (Who can take a student loan for an education in Iceland?) and fulfils all of the following conditions:

  1. Has lived in Iceland for at least two years for the past 5 years prior to the beginning of their studies,
  2. Has a strong connection to the Icelandic community according to the Menntasjóður.

You can read more about the conditions in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

How many ECTS units does the loan cover?

Each student can get a loan for up to 480 ECTS (according to the limits that the ECTS have been divided between the levels of education).

A student has a right to a loan for 180 ECTS credits in their undergraduate studies

A student has a right to a loan for 120 ECTS credits in their graduate studies (masters).

A student has a right to a loan for 60 ECTS credits in their doctorate (Phd) studies.

A student has a right to a loan for additional 120 ECTS credits for their graduate-, master-, doctorate (Phd) studies.

You can read more about the maximum credits in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

What is the income threshold?

The income threshold is how much a student can earn per year before their loan is deducted. 45% of a students yearly income beyond the income threshold will be deducted from the student‘s loan.

The income threshold of the Menntasjóður is 1.364.000 ISK for the school-year 2020-2021.

Due to special circumstances in the country in the year of 2020, the income threshold for a student coming from the work market may be multiplied by five if it is demonstrated that they has not been enrolled in studies in the last 6 months.

You can read more about the income threshold in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

What are the exemptions from requirements for academic progress?

If a student is unable to fulfil the minimum study progression requirements per semester (22 ECTS credits), they can apply for exemptions due to their situation if it corresponds with the exemptions listed below.

  • Illness
  • Childbirth
  • Disability
  • Dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities
  • The number of units completed under special circumstances and at the completion of studies

You can read more about the exemptions in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Interests

Student loans are consumer-indexed but do not accrue interest during ongoing studies. Interest is calculated after graduation.

At the end of their studies, borrowers can choose whether to convert their loan into non-indexed loans.

The interest rate cap is 4% on consumer-indexed loans.

The interest rate cap is 9% on non-indexed loans.

You can read more about the terms of bonds in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

When do I start repaying my loan?

Repayments begin one year after the student ceases to receive the loan.

Students can apply for postponing the closure of their bonds for a maximum of 1 year. Students can postpone the closure for up to four years from the first time the fund‘s first aid was granted, provided the student continues to pursue credit-eligible studies without taking a student loan

The repayment period of student loans depends on the borrowing amount (applies to consumer-indexed loans) but must generally be paid in full in the year when the borrower reaches the age of 65.

You can read more about repayments in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

How do I repay my loan?

Repayments are on the first day of each month.

Repayments are split into annuity loan payments (where the repayment period depends on the amount of the loan) and  income-related loan repayments (where the repayment period depends on the borrower‘s income, but with a certain fixed minimum amount).

The borrower is only allowed to choose an income-related repayment if their end of studies is before or during the year which the borrower turns 35 years old. (Interim provision: 40 years until 2023).

Attention. Loans are automatically set as annuity loan repayments. Borrowers have to specifically select the income-related repayment method.

You can read more about repayments in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Study grant at end of studies

If a student completes a degree within the period of time expected in the
organisation of the school, they qualify for a study grant.

The study grant amounts to
30% reduction of the principal of the student loan debt including index
compensation as of the date when the bond is closed.

Students have some leeway in delaying their studies without reducing their eligibility for a study grant and this can be:

  1. One year beyond period specified in the organisation of an apprenticeship, internship or preparatory studies.
  2. One year beyond the period specified in the organisation of a bachelor degree and masters degree.
  3. Six months beyond the period specified in the organisation of a diploma degree.
  4. Two years beyond the period specified in the organisation of a doctorate degree.

You can read more about the study grant in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Grant for children

A student has the right for a grant for the maintenance of a child below the
age of 18, amounting to single child support per month if they meets the
following conditions:

  1. They have met the minimum requirements for academic progress,
  2. The child’s legal residence is with the borrower or the borrower is paying child support for the child.

The amount of the additional loan for each child dependent on the student’s
support shall be ISK 5,340 for each completed ECTS unit.

A student shall be
entitled to a grant to cover child maintenance payments of a child
below the age of 18 and these payments can be confirmed. The amount of
the grant for child maintenance payments shall be ISK 5,340 for each
completed ECTS unit for each child for which the student demonstrably pays
child support.

A student will not receive additional loans for a child or children unless they exercise custody over the child or pay child maintenance for the child. An additional grant for child maintenance and an additional loan in respect of child support payments for the same child may not be made to the same student.

You can read more about the grants for children in the allocation rules of the Menntasjóður.

Appeal procedure

If a student believes that their loan application has not been processed in accordance to the law/or regulations, then they can send an inquiry to the board of the Menntasjóður and request that the board review the decision made by the student loan fund.

There is further information in chapter 17 in the allocation rules, which addresses questionable cases.

If a student is not content with the decision made by the board and the rationale for it, they can appeal the board’s decision to the appeal committee.The committee shall determine whether rulings made by the
Board are in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations. The committee may confirm, amend or invalidate the decisions by the Board of the Fund.

The Student Loan Officer of the Student Council is ready to assist students with matters concerning the Menntasjóður, to the best of their ability.

 

Student rights
Who can I contact if I suspect that my rights have been violated?

If you want to submit an inquiry or book a meeting you can send us an email at shi@hi.is, come visit us at the office on the third floor of Háskólatorg, right above Bóksala stúdenta (the bookstore), or call +354 570-0850. Office hours are between 9 am and 17 pm all work days.

Can I request to see old exams?

Students have the right to see and get a copy of old exams, should they wish for it. Access to a part of an old exam, for example only the front page, or only a few exams, for example only from 2007-2009, is not sufficient. All exams in full should be accessible should a student ask for it.

It is up to the teacher where the old exams are accessible, whether it is on Canvas, Ugla or anywhere else. The main rule remains that students should have both unrestricted access and to be able to make a copy.

Do I have the right to an explanation to my grade?

All students have the right to an explanation from the teacher on their written resolution assessment within 15 days after the grade is posted. Some exceptions can authorize students to receive the explanation earlier, for example if a student is graduating. The teacher can also host a viewing of the exam for all the students in the course.

How long do teachers have to post grades for exams or assignments?

Teachers have two weeks to post the grades after each exam or assignment, but three weeks during exam season in December. Some exceptions can apply to these rules.

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