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​​​​​​​​​Education grant - FAQs

See also:  Education grant​ and Education Grant Travel

Note:  Changes for the 2017/2018 school year onwards are highlighted here:  OHR FAQ on the school year 2017/2018 changes​. The Education Grant Estimator where you can estimate your Education Grant is based on the changes in effect from the school year 2017/2018. 


1.  Am I eligible for a claim for the education grant entitlement?

You are eligible to claim for the education grant entitlement if you meet the following requirements:

1. You are an International Professional staff member with a fixed term, continuing - or permanent appointment servicing outside of your home country or country of nationality.
2. Your child is between the age of 5 and 25. You may claim an education grant for a younger child if an earlier compulsory start date at school is required by national law (for example in Geneva and in Panama).
3. Your child has not completed a post-secondary degree or 4 years of post-secondary education - whichever is earlier.


You are a FTA staff member (GS/NO/IP who has a child with a disability and you have obtained a certificate from the UN Medical Services providing you with the right to claim for the special education grant.

2.  How do I submit an education grant application?

Below is a link to a 5-10 minute video providing a step-by-step guide on how to submit both an education grant claim and an education grant advance request:

3.  What is the difference between an Education Grant Claim and an Education Grant Advance?

The education grant claim and the education grant advance serve different purposes.
The education grant claim is a claim for reimbursement that a staff member submits at the end of a school year to claim back the costs of educating his/her child/ren for that school year.

Some schools charge all their fees at the beginning of the school year.  If the fees are high this can cause financial hardship to our staff members in having to wait until the end of the school year to submit an education grant claim to us.

To overcome this issue, we offer an education grant advance, whereby a staff member can request for an advance payment for their educational grant.  Education grant advances can only be provided within the first four months of the school year.

This education grant advance is a little like a free loan and will need to be settled with an education grant claim at the end of the school year.
It’s important to note that any education grant advances not settled with an education grant claim at the end of the school year will be recovered from the staff member’s salary.

4.  How many years of post-secondary (degree/university level) education can I claim for per child?​

Under the education grant, one can claim for educational expenses for each school year until the child has obtained a post-secondary degree or completes 4 years of post-secondary studies, whichever is earlier. 

School years completed prior to your employment with UNDP will count towards the 4 years maximum entitlement. 

The entitlement is always ended with the school year where your child turns 25 years old, regardless of whether 4 years of post-secondary education has been completed or claimed for.

5.  Can I claim expenses for summer courses outside of the normal school year?

Summer courses are not normally reimbursable. However, if the school confirms that the summer course was a prerequisite for the child to proceed to the next school year then the cost of the summer course can be added to the previous school year's education grant claim.

The request is included on the eService application form.

6.  How long will it take to receive the payment of my education grant?

It normally takes 1 to 2 months for your education grant to be processed and paid.  Education grants are paid along with your monthly salary and the deadline is usually early in the month.  

If your application contains errors or omissions the processing time can be longer.  During our peak season from May to September, processing times can be longer owing to the very high volume of applications we receive during this period.   

7.  Can education grants be paid in another way, other than along with the monthly salary?

No, education grants can only be paid along with your monthly salary.

Education grant advance and claims are calculated in USD. Expenses and payments are converted to USD using the UN Official Exchange rate applicable for the payroll month. 

Upon receipt of the education grant advance, it is the responsibility of the staff member to convert the amount to the relevant currency. UNDP does not take any responsibility for any losses or gains due to exchange rate fluctuations.

8.  How will I know the status of my education grant or when it will be paid?​

You will receive the following automated notifications:

  1. On submission of your request in eService.
  2. On the HR verification of the eService request. The eService application can also be returned to you for rework or denied (if you are not eligible in respect of the child requested).
  3. On clearance for disbursement, you will receive a notification with the amounts applicable per child.
  4. On your salary statement (page 2) includes an overview of the education grant elements included for the month.
Education grants are normally paid within 1 to 2 months. However, during the summer season, it can take longer due to the high volume of requests.

9.  What costs are reimbursable through the education grant entitlement?

Admissible expenses are tuition fees, mother tongue tuition fees (subject to certain conditions), and enrollment-related fees. Enrolment-related fees are only fees that are strictly related to the enrolment such as admission fees and administration fees. All other fees are inadmissible.

Board is not an admissible expense, but a lump sum for board is included in the entitlement if you are assigned to a field duty station and your child is in primary/secondary education level and studying outside the country of your duty station. For boarding schools, the tuition fee will be the fee applicable for day students. 

Capital assessment fees with the purpose of building/facility maintenance, improvement, and investment are reimbursed separately, but only one capital assessment fee scheme per assignment (whether paid annually or one-time). This means that if a child changes school in the cause of an assignment then only the capital assessment fee at the first school is reimbursed. The capital assessment fee for the other school is not. Only in cases where the change in school is in connection with a reassignment will a second capital assessment fee scheme be reimbursed. One-time registration fees over 1000 USD are considered to be capital assessment fees.

10.  What is the maximum amount I can receive each year for an education grant application?

There is a maximum ceiling you can receive per child, per school year.  

From the school year 2017/2018 the amount is based on a global sliding scale consisting of seven brackets, with declining reimbursement levels. 

As of the school year in progress on 1 January 2022 the sliding scale has been adjusted to:

Sliding scale.png

11.  Can I claim expenses for meals through the education grant entitlement?

No, lunch is not an admissible expense.

12.  Can I claim expenses for board (accommodation) for my child through the education grant entitlement?

The education grant entitlement includes a lump sum for the board under the following conditions:

  1. The staff member is assigned to a field duty station
  2. The child is in primary or secondary educational level
  3. The child is studying outside the country of the duty station
Board is included as a lump sum of USD 5,000 for all locations if the above conditions are met. As of the school year in progress on 1 January 2022 the board lump sum is USD 5,300. Actual expenses are not admissible under the education grant entitlement.

13.  Can I claim for the transport of my child(ren) to and from school?

No, transportation is not an admissible expense under the education grant entitlement.

14.  Can I claim for tuition in my mother tongue language?

To be eligible for claim reimbursement for tuition in the mother tongue, you must fulfill the following criteria:
  • The child attends a local school in which the instruction is given in a different language from the staff member’s mother tongue (please note it is the staff member’s mother tongue, not the child’s).
  • The staff member serves in a country whose language is different from his or her mother tongue.
  • Private tuition is given by a qualified teacher certified in the language of instruction who is not a member of the staff member’s family.
Mother tongue is the mother tongue of the staff member or other parent if the other parent is also a staff member of a UN organization. The mother tongue is listed on the P11 or defined as the official language of the country of nationality. If the child’s mother tongue is different, there will not be an entitlement to mother tongue tuition for that language.

15.  How do Scholarships and Non-UN Grants affect my claim?​

Education grant advances and claim settlements will be issued following the new policy guidance whereby a scholarship issued towards tuition fees is deducted from the tuition fee firstly and scholarships towards boarding are deducted from boarding. Other scholarships are deducted firstly from inadmissible expenses and secondly from admissible expenses. This means that if you or your child receive any non-UN scholarships, grants, or funding from any other organization or government, then you are required to list these on your application. Government funding for accommodation whilst studying or general support whilst studying should also be listed. Scholarships are deducted from the expenses for which they were paid. A scholarship received for the purpose of tuition will be deducted from the tuition fee and only the remaining part of the tuition fee will be included in the calculation of the education grant entitlement. 

16.  Can I claim for the education grant entitlement if my child is in a non-family duty station?

No.  You are not permitted to take your child to a non-family duty station.  However, if the non-family duty station is the child’s home country then they are eligible for the education grant entitlement.

17.  Is distance learning or online education reimbursable?

No, it is not.  

The only time distance learning or online learning is reimbursable is if your child is residing with you at your duty station and the Resident Representative of your duty station confirms that there are no suitable educational institutions within the duty station or a commutable distance.

18.  Is part-time education reimbursable?

No, it is not.

19.  Are short courses reimbursable?

No, they are not.

20.  My child attends a public school and there are no fees, can I still claim an Education Grant?

Generally speaking, if you have not incurred any expenses in relation to your child’s education then you are not eligible to claim reimbursement. However, if your duty station country and the country your child is residing in are different (and you are also not within commuting distance), then you are eligible for a board lump sum. 

To request for the board lump sum, please complete the education grant claim form, add a comment in the comments section of the form stating that you are only requesting board, and submit it in the normal way.
For additional information on board, please refer to the section ‘Can I claim for board (accommodation) for my child through the education grant?’

21.  What is the Special Education Grant?

The special education grant is for children with special educational needs owing to learning difficulties or disabilities. The entitlement is certified by UN Medical Services Division.

Under the special education grant entitlement expenses for the mandatory curriculum as well as special needs training/teaching is reimbursed at 100% up to a maximum of USD 40,600. As of the school year in progress on 1 January 2022 the maximum is adjusted to USD 46,285.

22.  How do I apply for the Special Education Grant for my child?​

UN Medical Services Division has the responsibility to certify the eligibility of a child. Your HR focal point should send an official request to UN Medical Services Division for review of the eligibility of the special education grant entitlement and you forward the needed reports and certifications directly. 

UN Medical Services Division reports back to you and your HR focal point on your child's eligibility. When requesting a special education grant the form in eService will automatically show that your child is eligible when the status of your child has been updated by your HR focal point.