STOISITS: IS 35 TOO OLD TO RECEIVE STUDENT GRANTS ?
N.N. turned to the Ombudsman Board in April of this year with the following problem: N.N. is 35 years old and after 20 years on the job he decided to absolve the Enrolment Eligibility Examination. Afterwards he was planning to become a teacher. He was hoping to receive funding in form of a student grant. However, after having turned to various offices N.N. had to learn that there is no possibility of financial help since student grants are provided solely for persons younger than 35.
The Ombudsman Board was only able to verify the information N.N. had received concerning age limits for student grants. The provision of a student grant requires that the course of studies is completed before turning 30. This age limit is raised one year for every four years that the applicant has provided for him or herself in the past, never exceeding five years. Hence the Student Grants Law foresees the age of 30 as the general age limit. In some exceptional cases the age limit can be increased to 35 years at the start of the course of studies.
The Ombudsman Board has dealt with similar complaints various times before that. The objective problem has been described repeatedly in reports of the Ombudsman Board to the Austrian National and Federal Assembly. In its reports the Ombudsman Board suggested to re-examine the objective age limit especially in regard to increased life expectancy and increased age of retirement and to assess its time limits. Solely the legislator is in the position to increase the age limit. The Ombudsman Board plans on sustaining the objective suggestion.