The term BAföG stands for “Federal Education Funding Act” (“Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz”) which is a state-funded financial aid programme. Under certain circumstances, every student who cannot finance their studies themselves (or with the support of their parents, partner/spouse) can apply for BAföG. Students cannot receive assistance from the Jobcentre or Social Welfare Office- so BAföG plays an essential role in enabling many students in Germany to continue their studies. BAföG consists of two parts: a grant (which you do not have to pay back) and a zero-interest government loan. That means after you finish your studies, you will only have to pay back half of the money you have received without any interest.
How can I pay for my studies?
Financing your studies is one of the major issues you have to deal with before enrolling at a university. Fortunately, most public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees, but studying, in principle, costs money: Every semester, you have to pay a semester fee, buy books and, of course, continue to maintain your livelihood.
You have various possibilities to finance your studies. If you or your parents have insufficient income, under certain circumstances, you can apply for state-funded financial support known as BAföG. Many students also work alongside their studies. There are also numerous scholarships, as well as loans and other funding programs available for students in Germany.
What is BAföG?
Can I apply for BAföG?
How do I apply for BAföG?
How do I receive the money?
How much do I have to pay back?
If you do not receive a BAföG or the amount of your BAföG is not sufficient, you have other possibilities to finance your studies. You can try to win a scholarship, or apply for a specific credit for students, or find a part-time job. You can also combine the options above to earn a living during your university years.
What options do I have?
Educational grant for the particularly gifted students ("Begabtenförderung")
National Scholarship ("Deutschlandstipendium")
Training loan programme ("Bildungskreditprogramm")
How can I save money as a student?
As a student, in principle, you aren’t entitled to receive benefits from Jobcentre. If you start to study but hide it from Jobcentre to continue receiving benefits, upon discovery you would have to pay back all the money you’ve collected.