Shivat Zion

Higher Education Benefits

lehascala gvo'ha
להשכלה גבוהה
Last updated: 02.07.2023
Home > Information portal > Aliyah Benefits > Higher Education Benefits in Israel
Israel hosts 61 higher education institutions, consisting of 10 universities and 51 colleges and various certificate granting programs throughout the country. 
As an Oleh Chadash (עולה חדש), new immigrant, you may be entitled to free higher education through the Minhal HaStudentim  (מנהל הסטודנטים) Student Authority as a part of your benefits package from the Israeli government.
Important Note: Application requirements and the transfer of foreign credits earned in a university or college abroad varies from school to school. For more details about the process, you need to be in direct touch with each school you are interested in.

The Minhal HaStudentim, which operates through the Misrad HaKlita (משרד הקליטה) Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, aims to make it easier for young Olim to get an academic degree in Israel. The services provided by the authority include:

  • Educational guidance and counseling
  • Mechinat Olim (מכינת עולים) Pre-academic preparation programs
  • TAKA (תק”א) Pre-academic program for students exempt from the Mechinat Olim 
  • Financial aid in the form of scholarships for eligible students.
  • Help in studying for the YAEL test (screening test for Hebrew level). Please note: The course offered by the Minhal HaStudentim is free and offered online and is an addition to the general assistance of the Minhal.

Most universities require a successful completion of a Mechinat Olim as a requirement for acceptance to a bachelor’s degree program. 

This requirement is relevant for students who completed their studies in countries where the high school matriculation is not considered equivalent to the Israeli Teudat Bagrut (תעודת בגרות) matriculation degree, for example, United States, Russia, Latin America and more. 

One must begin this program before age 27.

The program is open to anyone who is exempted from Mechinat Olim and includes:

  • A high school graduate from countries where the matriculation is equivalent to the Israeli Bagrut
  • A student who has completed at least one academic year of studies abroad
  • A student who came to Israel with a Bachelor’s degree and wishes to earn a Master’s degree in Israel
  • A student who wishes to study in colleges and academic institutions that do not require a Mechinat Olim
  • A student who intends to study practical engineering or other certificate studies which are not academic degrees

The maximum age to start the program:

  • Candidates for a Bachelor’s degree up to the age of 27
  • Candidates for a Master’s degree up to the age of 30
  • Candidates who do not meet the eligibility requirements but wish to take the TAKA course without any further academic funding – up to the age of 32

The purpose of the YAEL test is to classify levels of Hebrew; it is a common requirement of the leading academic institutions in Israel.

A person who has a Te’udat Bagrut/ a high school diploma / a bachelor’s degree that is not in Hebrew, or a person who takes the psychometric exam in a foreign language, is required to take the test. Success on the test enables acceptance to a variety of higher education institutions and will bring you closer to an exemption from a Hebrew language requirement during your studies.

The test is similar to the psychometric exam: it includes multiple-choice questions, comprehension, vocabulary, sentence completion and a written essay.

The grade on the test determines whether those taking it will be accepted to study programs and also to what level in Hebrew they will be assigned until achieving an exemption.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

An Oleh Chadash, Katin Chozer (קטין חוזר) returning minor and an Ezrach Oleh (אזרח עולה) Israeli citizen born abroad – as defined by the Misrad HaKlita.

Students must begin their studies within 36 months of making Aliyah, not counting army, national service or MASA programs. The period is determined by the date the student began their studies even if they were not funded by the Minhal HaStudentim.

The determining age for receiving financial assistance from the Minhal HaStudentim (age when studies begin):

  • Beginning a Mechina preparatory program – up to age 23.
  • Beginning undergraduate/practical engineering/certificate studies – up to age 27.
  • Beginning a graduate degree/career retraining for students with an undergraduate degree – up to age 30.

Important: The Minhal HaStudentim tuition subsidy is available only for studies from the date of Aliyah.

More information regarding eligibility can be found here.

If you are no longer eligible for a Mechinat Olim as a new immigrant and have served in the IDF or national service, you might be eligible for a tuition grant from the Ministry of Defense. See here for more details (Hebrew).

Financial Aid

All the information here is subject to change. For updated and more detailed information, please see the Minhal HaStudentim website

Tuition grants to cover the standard number of years per degree:

  • B.A. or B.Sc. – 3 year and 4 year programs
  • B.Ed. or BSc in engineering or nursing – 4 years
  • Architecture – 5 years
  • Medicine – 6 years
  • M.A. or M.Sc. – 2 years.

* It can be up to 3 years if a year of supplementary courses is necessary

Assistance for Mechinat Olim is given in addition to assistance for regular studies. Mechinat Olim is funded for students obligated by the university to do the Mechinat Olim. In order to check your eligibility for funding, contact the Minhal HaStudentim.

Undergraduate – approximately 10,932 NIS per year
Graduate – approximately 14,774 NIS per year
Mechinat Olim – approximately 17,800 NIS per year

Universities – The Minhal HaStudentim reimburses students directly after they have submitted proof of payment and other relevant forms to the Minhal office.

Colleges – Minhal HaStudentim pays the college directly after the student has been approved for tuition assistance.

Mechina Programs – Minhal HaStudentim pays the university directly after the student has been approved for tuition assistance.

One Year Masters Programs – An Oleh studying in a one-year MA program is eligible for up to 200% in funding (even though they fund 14,774 NIS per year, one-year MA students are entitled to approximately 29,548 NIS). Please note that the Minhal HaStudentim pays half of this amount in installments throughout the first year and the second half after graduation.

Hebrew Language Studies – The Minhal HaStudentim will fund up to 3,400 NIS for required language studies (Hebrew or English).

For all colleges and universities, deposits will be paid by the individual and then reimbursed by the Minhal HaStudentim. The reimbursement will not include the registration fee and security fees.

English language programs are not necessarily fully covered by the Minhal HaStudentim. Tuition ranges from $6,000-$25,000. Click here for a complete list of higher education institutions that are recognized by the Minhal HaStudentim.

The Minhal HaStudentim does NOT fund:

  • Dormitories or living expenses
  • Repeating an undergraduate degree – with exception of studying law, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
  • Registration fees, psychometric and other entrance exams, social services, health insurance, campus security etc.
  • University or college registration fee
  • Security fees

Students who receive more than 2.5 years of financial assistance are required to participate in the Shachak (שח”ק – שירות חברתי קהילתי) community volunteer service program. By participating in this program, Olim students are able to give back to society and hasten their integration.

Shachak offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, including working at community centers (Matnasim), hospitals, old age homes, emergency centers, schools, and more.
Bear in mind that the timeline of the volunteer service goes according to the standard school year.

Students who receive any other Government grant will not be able to receive the Minhal HaStudentim grant during the same academic year (such as the army grant). However, you may be able to receive other scholarships that are not governmental.

Students must study consecutively, and are entitled to a one year break during their studies, two years on completion of Mechinat Olim or TAKA.

For NEW students, the deadlines to file and present documents are as follows:

  • First Semester: November 10
  • Second Semester: April 1
  • Summer Semester: August 15

For CONTINUING students, the deadlines to request assistance each year are as follows:

  • First Semester: October 1
  • Second Semester: April 1
  • Summer Semester: August 15

For detailed information about the process, please click here

How to Apply

Before making Aliyah, check out the Minhal HaStudentim website and please fill out this form in order to open a preliminary account with the Student Authority.

We recommend opening an account as early as possible prior to your Aliyah.

For additional information, contact the Pre-Aliyah Services (English Desk) at the Minhal HaStudentim:
Telephone and WhatsApp: 073-3972510

Click here for a video by the Minhal HaStudentim explaining the process of applying for the tuition benefit.

Click here to login to your personal application page using your Teudat Zehut (תעודת זהות) Israeli ID card/number and upload the following documents:

  • Teudat Oleh (תעודת עולה) New Immigrant Benefits booklet and Teudat Zehut
  • For those entering undergraduate studies: original high school diploma and transcripts.
  • For those entering graduate studies: original degree and university transcripts
  • Certificates or permits from any additional studies (such as Ulpan, Mechinat Olim or Naale)
  • Record of army or national service, or exemption certificate (when relevant)
  • Michtav Kabala (מכתב קבלה) Acceptance Letter to an academic institution in Israel
  • For students studying at universities, you will need to provide an Ishur Gova Schar Limud (אישור גובה שכר לימוד)  Academic Financial Balance payment receipt and your bank account information.

For office hours, contact information and location of the student authority branches, click here.

We cannot guarantee that you will receive all of the above mentioned benefits since they depend on many factors as mentioned above. You can get detailed information on your specific benefits during the interview with your Shaliach before Aliyah and with Misrad HaKlita once you are in Israel.