Studying for a degree that's right for me – thanks to the BAföG financial support package

One in four students in Germany today receives financial support through the federal education and training funding programme BAföG. The acronym 'BAföG' refers to Germany's Federal Training Assistance Act, which governs state financial assistance to students. BAföG enables thousands of students to access higher education irrespective of their own financial situation or that of their parents.


How do I apply?

To receive financial support from the BAföG scheme, you will need to submit an application in which you provide information about your current circumstances, including your income and your parents' income. As the application process is rather complicated, you should start it as soon as possible – ideally immediately after enrolling at university.

The BAföG application forms are available online or you can pick up a paper copy from the Studierendenwerk. Your application can be submitted electronically via the BAföG Digital portal.

You will need to reapply for each year that you require funding, but follow-up applications are simpler. For each application, you will need to provide a statement of your income and assets in the calendar year before last.

How much money will I receive? Do I need to pay it back?

The maximum financial assistance available to students from the BAföG scheme is currently €934 per month. If you want to know whether you are eligible for support and how high your grant might be, we recommend that you make use of the online BAföG calculator.

Half of the financial assistance provided to you is a non-repayable award. The other half has to be repaid after you have finished studying, but only once your earnings are above a certain minimum threshold. A lot of students wrongly believe that BAföG financial support has to be repaid in full and that getting support from BAföG means racking up a lot of debt. But that's not correct. The BAföG system is designed so that nobody gets into financial difficulties by paying back their grant.

Further information and who to contact

Assistance is available from the BAföG Office at the Studierendenwerk.
Answers to many BAföG-related questions can be found at Studis Online. It's definitely worth taking a look.