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What is BAföG?


BAföG is the abbreviation for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, or Federal Training Assistance Act, which provides state funding for school pupils and students to pursue education and training. The stated aim of BAföG is to enable young people to take up education or training, even where their individual social and economic circumstances might not allow it.

Students receive 50 per cent of BAföG aid as a state grant and 50 per cent as an interest-free loan that must be repaid in installments when the maximum period of assistance expires. The maximum period of assistance is determined by the standard period of study, as set out in the study and examination regulations applicable to your programme. The first installment of the BAföG interest-free loan is due for repayment five years after the maximum period of assistance ends. Provisions have been laid down in law for the loan repayments requiring the individual social and economic circumstances of the borrower to be taken into consideration.

Loan Repayment

The special feature of the state loans is the interest-free, limiting the maximum redemption amount and the social conditions of repayment. Therefore, no serious difficulty in repaying needs to worry about. All grantees flows with the loan a considerable economic value, as a long-term interest-free loan means a high proportion of “free money”.

Basics are § 18 BAföG , § 18a BAföG , § 18b BaföG . Are essential for the repayment

The repayment limit : State loan to be granted for training periods, beginning after 28.02.2001 shall be reimbursed only up to a total amount of 10,000 Euros.

The late repayment beginning : With the repayment must begin in the case of an academy training five years after the end of the measures provided for in the training and examination regulations training time, so usually only after the end of the training phase of entry until five years after the end of the maximum period or.

The long repayment period : The loan can be repaid in minimum rate of 105 Euros per month for a period of up to 20 years.

The dependence of the repayment of income : When borrower / inside whose income does not exceed € 1,070 per month, repayment is suspended at the request; this income level increases further when a spouse or registered partner or children to provide them with.

The State shall also at the request of trainees, the pay off the loan in full or in part, prior to maturity – depending on the height of the detachment amount – from 8 to 50.5 percent of that amount.


For the collection of state loans is central, the Federal Office of Administration, 50728 Cologne, responsible. Those who have been promoted with free government loans obtained about 4 1/2 years after the end of the maximum period or, in the case of training at an academy or higher vocational school about 4 1/2 years after the end of the respective training and examination regulations provided training time by the Federal Office of Administration a declaratory judgment and redemption letter in which the amount of the total loan amount and the repayment rate can be determined reliably.

At the same time they are informed of the date of maturity of the first repayment rate. Address changes should be notified to the Federal Office of Administration before the beginning of the repayment obligation, so that difficulties in the delivery of the notice to be avoided as well as for trainees paid Address inquiries.

BAföG financial assistance for German and foreign nationals

As a student enrolled at a state or state-accredited German higher education institution, you already satisfy an important requirement for receiving financial assistance in accordance with BAföG. You satisfy a second requirement if you have German citizenship or are a foreign national who intends to remain in Germany in the long term. The Studentenwerk (student services organisation) at your higher education institution can give you more information about obtaining BAföG financial assistance as a foreign national.

Role of Studentenwerk (student services organisation)

The nationwide 58 student unions are an essential and indispensable guarantor of the German higher education system. They serve about 2.2 million students from 300 universities in about 200 locations and take care of the social, economic, cultural and health promotion. With their offerings they make a major contribution to greater equality of opportunity in higher education, they contribute to improving the framework for the study and thus the efficiency of the study and the profile of the universities, they provide equivalent bids for students, regardless of the size of the university and the university town.

Service Company with a social mandate The student services work on the one hand by modern commercial principles – which includes market and customer orientation, personnel qualification and development, and quality assurance. On the other hand, they follow the order of the constitutionally guaranteed (social) public interest. Therefore, the student unions also provide services in areas that are not profitable, and allow an almost identical supply structure also economically unprofitable location. Wide range of services Specifically offer a wide range of student services in the areas of higher food, housing, student finance, childcare, counseling and placement services, and culture. They are addressed to a heterogeneous group of students and also take into account the needs of students with specific handicaps, such as students with disabilities and chronic illness, international students and students with children. Economic factor.

In the course of recent years greatly increased number of students as well as new tasks has led to the student unions are as manufacturing, service and management companies comparable in size with medium or large business enterprises. In many regions, they are a major employer and economic factor.

Age restrictions and income levels

To receive BAföG support, you must be under a certain age when you begin your programme. For first degree programmes, you should be under the age of 30, and for postgraduate programmes, you should be under the age of 35 (with exceptions). Finally, neither you, your spouse/partner, nor your parents should have the financial means to pay for the full costs of your programme.

Details of how different sources of income are taken into account can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).

Age limit

Basically, cannot be promoted, who at the beginning of the training section already the 30th, has reached the age of 35 Master’s degree courses. However, there are a number of exceptions. In the following cases, training support can also be provided at each age limit is exceeded:

  • for graduates of the second chance
  • for students who were enrolled without a university entrance qualification because of their professional qualifications
  • in individuals in a further embodiment, which is legally required for the desired profession
  • with people in further education and training, to which access was opened by the previous training
  • for trainees who were prevented from family reasons in the earlier recording of training
  • with trainees who were in need due to a drastic change in personal circumstances.

The training must be taken immediately. When trainees who educate on reaching the 30th or 35th birthday own children under 10 years without interruption, thereby not work more than 30 hours per week, the age limit up to the 10th birthday of the child shifts.

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