Applying for student support (BAföG)
Amount of support
You can receive student support for maintenance and training. It is intended that lump sum amounts will be paid as part of monthly grants. The amount of support depends on the type of accommodation (with parents or living away from home).
When calculating the grants, your own income and assets, as well as your parental income will be taken into account. If you are married, the income of your wife or husband, or your co-habitant will be taken into account.
In exceptional cases, student support will also be granted regardless of parental income. For example:
- if a three-year apprenticeship and subsequent employment for three years have been undertaken by the time of commencement of studies or
- at least five years of employment have been undertaken following the 18th birthday
The maximum support for new approvals is 735 euros as an example.
Type of support
As a student, you will receive half of the support as a
- grant and
- half of the support as an interest-free loan from the state.
Exceptions are possible.
The repayment of the loan proportion starts five years following the end of your BAföG support.
Duration of support
- Students at academies and higher technical colleges: for the duration of the intended period of training
- Students at universities: for the duration of the regular length of study The duration of support also depends on whether you have provided the requested proof of achievement on time for support from the 5th semester.
In addition, you will receive BAföG for a reasonable period of time if you have exceeded the maximum duration of support. This applies as an example:
- if serious reasons are present.
- due to work
- in committees and organs of the universities and states and
- in organs of the self-administration of students and students' unions,
- due to failure to pass the final examination at the first attempt.
Should you be required to exceed the maximum duration of support due to
- pregnancy or
- care and guardianship of a child up to ten years,
you receive BAföG as a full subsidy beyond the maximum duration of support.
Under certain circumstances, you can obtain assistance to complete your studies for a maximum of 12 months after you have exceeded the maximum duration of support. The assistance to complete your studies is granted as a bank loan which accrues interest.
Child care supplement
Should at least one child under the age of ten live in your household, you can also receive a child support supplement in addition to the fixed amounts. In case of new approvals, this amounts to 130 euros per child. For ongoing approval periods, you will receive this amount from October 2016.
the respective Student Union for your institution of higher education (Grants Office - Amt für Ausbildungsförderung)
The requirements are as follows:
- Attendance at the following places of education:
- Technical university of applied sciences
- College of music and arts
- Teacher training college
- University of co-operative education
- Fulltime course of studies
- Permanent residency in Germany
- Foreign students subject to certain requirements
- Right of permanent residence or unlimited residence permit
- Intention to remain in Germany, for example residency title due to family, humanitarian or political reasons.
- Five years of residency in Germany (prior to commencement of studies) and lawful employment.
- Students who are personally entitled to support as marital spouses will not lose their entitlement to student support because of separation or dissolution of marriage if they continue to lawfully reside in Germany. The rule applies to spouses of German citizens, spouses of EU citizens and spouses of foreigners.
- Personal suitability
Your performance must lead to the expectation that you will achieve your study goal. In order to receive further support from the fifth semester, you must submit the required performance record.
- under 30 years at the time of commencement of studies
- under 35 years at the time of commencement of a Master's degree
- the support of a person aged over 30 years is possible in exceptional cases:
- You have achieved the higher education entrance qualification via second chance education,
- You have registered at an institution of higher education solely due to the professional qualification,
- You were unable to start your studies in time due to the bringing up of a child under ten years of age,
- You have become in need of support due to significant changes in your personal circumstances. You were unable to conclude a course of study which can be financed by BAföG in a way which suffices for professional qualification.
The application for student support must be submitted to the competent body in writing. Please use the corresponding form and the application assistant, in order to receive the forms which you need.
You can hand in the filled in forms personally or send these by post.
You can also send the application online.
A formless application suffices in order to meet the deadline.
The students’ unions also offer the option on their homepage of filling the forms in online. The plausibility checks there and information concerning the proof to be attached will help you submit the application as completely as possible.
You should submit the first application once you have the acceptance from the university for the study place requested. In order for support to be granted, you must provide proof of the enrolment certificate later.
You will receive written notification in the form of an approval notice. In case of a positive notice, the competent body will transfer the payments to you monthly in advance to the nominated bank account.
Note: Persons who are not entitled to BAföG will receive notification to this effect. You require this as proof, for example for an application for housing support.
- First application: once you have the acceptance from the university for the study place requested. You must provide proof of matriculation at a later stage.
- Further approval: where possible two months after the expiry of the approval period of the previous application.
As a rule, you must reapply for BAföG each year.
The support starts
- in the first semester or
- from the month in which you submitted the application.
- Form 1
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of living away from home
- Proof of income and assets of the student
- Enclosure to form 1
- instead of form 2: Certification of higher education institute in accordance with § 9 BAföG
- Form 3 (respectively divided for father, mother, wife or husband - except in case of BAföG which is not dependent on parents).
- Full income tax notice of the parents two years prior to submission of the application.
- Proof concerning school attendance and, if applicable, income of brothers and sisters.
- Form 4 (only for the first application of students from abroad)
The competent body will inform you concerning further necessary documents.
Further information and guidance can be found in the
- information sheets of the Ministry of Education and Research,
- your local competent body or
- via the free-of-charge BAföG hotline 0800/223-6341 Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wissenschaftsmnisterium released it on 07.09.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.