The most important information at a glance
As a rule, BAföG is granted to Germans, and under certain circumstances also to foreign trainees (e.g. EU citizens if they have a right of permanent residence or recognised refugees).
To find out whether you belong to the group of eligible persons, please contact the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (Office for Educational Support).
In principle, BAföG is only granted if you are not yet 30 years of age at the beginning of the training period for which you are applying for a training grant. An age limit of 35 applies to Master's programmes.
In exceptional cases, it is possible to deviate from these age limits (e.g. in the case of prolonged illness or if you were unable to start training on time for personal or family reasons). If you have exceeded the age limit and would like to know before you begin your studies whether you are entitled to BAföG on the merits, you can apply for a preliminary ruling. In this case, it is checked whether the prerequisites for funding are met for training after the age limit has been exceeded (Sec. 10 para. 3 BAföG).
You can obtain the application forms you need on the Internet at www.bafög.de or from the Office for Educational Support.
Please submit your application early, as several weeks elapse between the application and the first payment of BAföG.
This also applies to applications for further funding.
The amount of BAföG funding depends on the income of the spouse/partner, the parents (unless it can be subsidised independently of the parents) and the trainee himself. There are no fixed income limits.
Different amounts and varying numbers of allowances are deducted from income. These depend, for example, on marital status, the number of siblings and their type of education and income.
As a rule, it is possible to work in a minor employment/450-Euro job during one's studies without crediting the BAföG grant.
In addition, assets of the trainee exceeding an allowance of EUR 7.500 are taken into account.
Parent-independent funding does not take the parents' income into account.
In order to be eligible for parent-independent funding, you must as a rule have been gainfully employed for 5 years after the age of 18 or have completed a total of 6 years of training (after 3 years of training 3 years of gainful employment or, in the case of shorter training, a correspondingly longer period of gainful employment).
Those who are 30 years of age or older at the beginning of the academic education period are also eligible for parent-independent funding.
Parent-independent funding cannot be applied for. It will be verified ex officio.
The monthly funding amounts to 399,- EUR. This amount is increased by
- 52,- EUR if you live with your parents
- 250,- EUR if you do not live with your parents
71,- EUR for health insurance allowance (statutory health insurance)
15,- EUR for nursing care insurance allowance
This results in the following maximum funding:
- 537,- EUR (living with parents)
- 735,- EUR (not living with parents)
Childcare allowance: If you live in a household with at least one child who is not older than 10 years, the funding increases by EUR 130.00 per month for each child.
Income includes, for example, income from minor employment, income from self-employment or from a business enterprise, orphan's pensions, scholarships and remuneration for internships.
As a rule, an average monthly income of up to EUR 450.00 has no impact on the level of support.
This is not the case, for example, if you are receiving remuneration from an obligatory internship (this remuneration is fully deducted) or if you receive more than one income.
Of your assets, EUR 7,500 are exempt. Additional allowances are granted if you are married and/or have children.
Assets include e.g. cash, balances on current accounts, savings accounts, life insurance policies, building saving contracts, securities, motor vehicles, land, houses.
Any assets that have been improperly transferred are also attributable.
If you are not sure whether an asset is actually part of your assets, please contact the Office for Educational Support for clarification.
BAföG is granted to you for the first chosen subject (e.g. architecture) and the corresponding degree (e.g. Bachelor). Hence it does matter what you study.
Therefore, the Office for Educational Support must always be notified if you change your degree programme.
For example, there may be a change of the degree programme if you change from Biology (Bachelor) to Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor) or from Architecture (Bachelor) to Architecture (Diplom).
If there is an important reason (e.g. lack of intellectual, psychological or physical aptitude, change of affinities) for such change, BAföG will also be granted for the current studies. The condition is, however, that the change of the degree programme has been carried out immediately.
If you change your degree programme before the beginning of the 3rd semester, the important reason is assumed if it is your first change of degree programme. Justification is not required.
After the start of the 3rd semester, it is necessary to justify why you are changing your degree programme. You must also provide reasons for the second, third, etc. change of degree programme.
If the 4th semester has already started, you can only receive BAföG if there is an undeniable reason for the change of the degree programme (e.g. unexpected disability).
Please note that if you change your degree programme several times, part of your academic education may only be supported by bank loans.
There is no change in the degree programme but only a shift in focus, if the relevant education regulations state that the programmes concerned are identical until the change or that the semesters spent in the first programme are fully credited to the other programme.
In the case of a Master's programme, funding can only be granted after a change of the degree programme if this has taken place for irrefutable reasons.
Students with permanent residence in Germany can be funded for studies or internships abroad upon separate application (provided the minimum duration is fulfilled). For this purpose, certain Offices for Educational Support are responsible.
The responsibility depends on the country in which you would like to carry out your academic education. A list of those offices can be found at
Please direct your questions about funding abroad to the International Office responsible for you.
Unless the examination regulations stipulate that the stay abroad is absolutely necessary, it will not be taken into account for domestic funding (up to a maximum of one year), e.g. when determining the end of the maximum funding period.
In order to continue to receive BAföG from the 5th semester onwards, you have to submit the following once:
- a certificate issued by the educational institution after the start of the 4th semester stating that you have completed the coursework and examinations up to the end of the semester in question (Form 5, signed by the aptitude officer for the subject), or
- a certificate issued after the start of the 4th semester (performance overview/grading overview) showing the number of ECTS credit points acquired up to that point, if the number of ECTS credit points is not lower than the usual number of ECTS credit points for an orderly course of your academic education up to the end of the respective semester achieved (such a performance overview/grading overview can only be submitted for Bachelor programmes and if the department has communicated the usual number of ECTS credit points) or
- a certificate of a passed intermediate examination which, according to the educational regulations, can only be completed from the end of the 3rd semester and has been completed before the end of the 4th semester.
From the 5th semester onwards, you will be requested by the Office for Educational Support to submit the performance certificate if you have not already submitted one.
Since the law only stipulates that the performance certificate must be issued after the start of the 4th semester, the semester achieved can also be the 3rd semester. It is only important that the certificate is not issued before the start of the 4th semester. If the performance certificate is presented within the first 4 months of the 4th semester, it is therefore sufficient for the student to have achieved the usual performance of three semesters. If the degree programme is not changed afterwards, the performance certificate no longer has to be presented to the Office for Educational Support for further study.
The Office for Educational Support may allow the certificate of performance to be presented at a later date if there are reasons for this (e.g. prolonged illness, raising children, committee activity). Please let us know if you have such reasons and are unable to present the required certificate of performance.
Funding starts from the month in which the application is submitted, but at the earliest from the beginning of the degree programme (usually the beginning of the lecture period).
As a rule, a decision is made on the funding for one year (approval period).
Attention: BAföG is not automatically extended after an approval period. In order to continue to receive BAföG, you have to submit an application for continued funding.
The maximum funding period depends on the standard period of study of the respective degree programme - irrespective of whether BAföG benefits are received. Therefore, those who study one or more semesters without receiving BAföG funding will no longer receive funding.
In exceptional cases, funding beyond the maximum funding period is possible for an appropriate period of time.
Such exceptions pursuant to Sec. 15 para. 3 BAföG are
- serious reasons (e.g. illness)
- participation in statutory committees and bodies of the universities and the Länder as well as in statutory bodies of self-administration of students at these educational institutions and the Studentenwerke
- first failure to pass the final examination (does not apply to Bachelor's and Master's programmes)
- disability, pregnancy or care and education of a child up to 10 years of age
These reasons must be the cause of the study delay.
It is also possible to apply for help to complete your studies for the last 12 months of your studies according to Sec. 15 para. 3a BAföG.
Help with graduation is provided in the form of an interest-bearing bank loan, which is applied for at the Office for Educational Support but disbursed by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) [Credit Institution for Reconstruction].
Current interest conditions and additional information on this BAföG bank loan can be found at www.kfw.de.
Further information on funding beyond the maximum funding period and on assistance with graduation can be obtained from the Department for BAföG and Scholarships.
Students who are enrolled twice can already receive funding for the Master's programme, even if they have not yet passed the Bachelor's examination.
The funding is subject to recovery and is possible for a maximum of 12 months.
During the time of the dual enrolment, the final admission to the Master's programme must then take place (i.e. passing the Bachelor examination). You can prove this admission either by your Bachelor's certificate or by a certificate from the examination office that you have passed the Bachelor's examination.
As soon as you are enrolled twice, funding can only be provided for the Master's programme - even if the maximum funding period of your Bachelor's programme has not yet been reached.
A semester in which you are enrolled twice also counts as a Master's semester and is therefore taken into account when determining the maximum funding period for the Master's programme.
The BAföG for students is usually granted half as a grant and half as an interest-free loan. The loan portion to be repaid totals a maximum of EUR 10,000.00.
Repayment of the loan starts 5 years after the end of the maximum BAföG funding period of the educational period initially subsidised with the loan and lasts a maximum of 20 years. About half a year before the start of the repayment period, you will be notified of the amount of the loan and the start of the repayment period by official decision of the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt - BVA).
Questions about the loan, e.g. amount of the instalments, time of repayment, etc. will be answered by the competent Federal Office of Administration.
Address of the Federal Office of Administration:
Advances are not advance payments in the literal sense, but are only granted in certain cases.
- If your parents or one of your parents do not pay or do not pay the full amount of assistance stated in the decision on education funding and if this endangers your education, you can apply for advances in accordance with Sec. 36 BAföG (F form 8). Applications submitted after the end of the period of eligibility will unfortunately not be considered.
After hearing the parents or one parent, the funding can then be paid without crediting against this amount of child maintenance.
To the extent that you are entitled under civil law to maintenance from your parents or one of them, this assistance will be transferred to the country on payment of the advances. The Office for Educational Support will attempt to assert the transferred claim for child maintenance - if necessary also by way of legal action.
- Advance payment can also be made if it is not possible for you to obtain the information required for the crediting against the parents' or one parent's income and the parents/one parent does not provide assistance under BAföG. Again, an appropriate application (form 8) has to be submitted by the end of the period of eligibility at the latest.
In the event of child maintenance problems, contact the Office for Educational Support at an early stage, as it is not always possible to make retroactive advance payments.
BAföG receivers who do not live with their parents can apply for exemption from the obligation to pay broadcast license fees.
If proof is furnished that the conditions for exemption were met before the request for exemption was made, exemption may be granted retroactively for a period of up to three years from the date of the request.
You can obtain the online application for exemption and further information on the broadcast license fees at www.rundfunkbeitrag.de
Social benefit providers (e.g. offices for educational support, health insurance funds, employment offices, family funds), employers and other bodies are obliged to communicate important tax data to the tax authorities (e.g. pension expenses such as contributions to old-age, health and long-term care provision). This data is transmitted electronically in order to simplify tax administration and to relieve the burden on citizens. Your IdNo is required for forwarding the data.