Previous research has established convincingly that there is a strong positive relation between educational attainment and trust. There is less agreement however, about the precise determinants of this relation. In this article, we assess how education is related to generalized and political trust, controlling for cognitive ability and occupational prestige, based on the results of the representative NELLS population survey in the Netherlands (n=1,931). The analysis confirms that education is strongly related to trust, but most of this association can be explained by the intermediary mechanisms of cognitive ability and the occupational prestige associated with the level of educational attainment. We close with some observations on how the remaining direct relation between education and trust could be explained.