More SU cheaters getting caught

About 400 students cheated the student grant system last year and were forced to pay a total of nine million kroner back to the state

Four young people from Aarhus were caught last week lying about their place of residence in order to gain more money from the state-allocated student allowance, SU. They are not alone. The number of young people getting caught cheating their way to SU has doubled in the past year, netting the state millions of kroner.

The minister for higher education, Morten Østergaard (Radikale), said that the high number of people being caught, and the seriousness of the consequences, deter other young people from committing the same crime.

“There is just cause to praise the exemplary co-operation between the social authorities and the police in Aarhus,” Østergaard told DR News. “The efforts have been increased, and twice as many are now being caught. The best advice we can give the young is to stop cheating with your SU. We will find out.”

If students report that they live on their own in order to receive more SU allowance, but are found to actually live at home with their parents, it is considered social fraud and can result in a criminal record if caught.

The number of young people being discovered committing SU fraud has risen drastically over the past few years, prompting Østergaard and the education minister, Christine Antorini (Socialdemokraterne), to launch a campaign in early 2012 in order to catch the many cheaters.

The effort resulted in around 400 discoveries of SU fraud last year, and nine million kroner that the cheaters have had to repay to the state.

“The noose is tightening and it’s becoming more difficult to cheat. The suggestion is to stop cheating because we have the world’s best SU system and there is simply no need to cheat,” Østergaard told DR News.

SU recipients who live away from home receive 2,860 kroner more per month than those who live at home with their parents.

The news come in wake of the government's new SU reform proposal that is expected to save the state two billion kroner by 2020, a move that was widely criticised by the students