German public universities are usually free for students. Giving out student loans and grants is a way to pave the way to higher education for children whose parents can not afford to fund their children’s education otherwise. The Federal Law That Regulates thesis student loans and grants is called ” Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz ” (Federal Training Assistance Act) or “BAföG” [baːfœk] for short, and the loans, grants, and combinations thereof are usually Referred to simply as “BAföG” by Students (as in “I’m getting BAföG”). Eligible groups include high school students, full-time university students, secondary education students (ie, those starting to study after having been in the workforce),

Eligibility dependent on parent income

The eligibility for student loans is usually (as a result of family income), as parents are required by law to fund their children’s education (including higher education), and therefore students could theoretically sue their parents for For obvious reasons). For low-income families, BAföG loans take over when these obligations can not reasonably be met by parents.

BAföG-loans are usually given out as a half-zero interest loan (to be repaid only after the receiver to a certain income level after graduation) and half as grant money to university students. High school students get the full amount as grant money if they are eligible. The maximum amount per student is € 735,00 (2017). For every under 10 years old, children living in the students household, additional € 130,00 can be requested. This can be lowered gradually if student or parent income or student assets exceed certain amounts. Thus the amount paid out can be lower than the maximum amount and even loans of 1 euro per month are given out if the calculation returns that amount. Such low grants seem nonsensical at first, but they are usually accepted by the students,

Generally, BAföG loans are independent of student achievement or grades at least for two years. After that, a certain minimum grade level has to be met and proof of participation is required, but ungraded courses, needs to be provided to stay eligible. Change of field of study is allowed once during the first two years without becoming ineligible. For university studies, every field of study has a maximum duration duration, after which the student becomes ineligible for BAföG. Further funds can be granted as low-interest loans for a couple of years as certain criteria (like reasonable likelihood that the student will graduate during that time) are met.

To qualify for BAföG, one must be a permanent resident of Germany and / or have lived in Germany for five consecutive years. There are some exceptions. [1]

Generally, BAföG repayments are capped to 10,000 €, even if the sum received was bigger than that. Fast repayments can result in a lowered total amount.

Other than with BAföG you can also finance your studies with Bildungskredit from KfW, Bildungsfonds , or Scholarship. German citizenship, have EU citizenship and have resided in Germany for three consecutive years, or have graduated from a German secondary school.

Eligibility independent from parent income

BAföG eligibility is calculated from parent income, because parents’ obligation to fund their children’s education. Workforce full-time. BAföG eligibility and amount calculation.


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