Government Grant/Loan (BAföG)

Eligibility

Interest-free state loans in accordance with the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz - BAföG) help students to complete training or an education which matches their aptitude and inclination.
In addition to German citizens, also fundamentally eligible for support are foreign students who have prospects of long-term residence in Germany and are already socially integrated (§ 8 BAföG). This applies, for example, to persons with a permanent residence permit in accordance with freedom of movement legislation (Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU), a European Community permanent residence permit or other permanent residence permit.
Applications for such a grant can be submitted up until the age of 30 years. Exceptions are graduates of second educational channels, employed persons with no formal entitlement to university admission who are enrolled at a university on the basis of their professional qualification, or persons who for personal (e.g. illness) or family reasons (e.g. parenting) were prevented from commencing their studies earlier.

Payout phase

Within the standard period of study, half of the money is paid out as a grant and half as an interest-free loan. The maximum is currently 643 euro. When calculating the individual level of payment, parents’ income is generally taken into account. Students’ own assets up to a sum of 5200 euro must be used to finance their education or training. For married students with children, the exempt sum both for the spouse and for each child increases by 1800 euro. Students and trainees at higher technical colleges (Höhere Fachschulen) and academies always receive half as a grant and half as an interest-free state loan.

Applications for funding in accordance with the BAföG act are submitted to the relevant Student Services (Studentenwerk). The money is paid out until the maximum time limit for funding (standard period of study) is reached. From the fifth term onwards, payment only occurs upon presentation of a certificate of achievement which documents that progress is being made in the course of study as foreseen in the relevant examination regulations. This includes, for example, successfully passing the intermediate examination or a certificate issued by the university confirming that the results usual at the end of the term reached and within orderly studies have been produced (a so-called “48 certificate” (48-Bescheinigung)).

Important for terms spent on academic leave:
Payment of the loan is suspended during such periods. 

Repayment phase

State loans granted for periods of education or training which commenced after 28.02.2001 must only be repaid up to a total sum of 10.000 euro. Repayment generally only begins five years after the end of the maximum period of funding. The loan is repaid in monthly instalments of 105 euro over a period of up to 20 years. In the case of borrowers whose monthly income does not exceed 960 euro (or from 1st October 2008 1.040 euro), repayment is suspended upon application. This income limit is raised if the borrower must provide for a spouse or children.

Further information can be found under undefinedwww.das-neue-bafoeg.de

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