How to finance my studies during the Corona crisis?


We answer the most important questions about financing and state aids

Status: 18.02.2022

Many students experience considerable losses due to the Corona crisis, e.g. because they have lost their jobs or their parents can no longer provide sufficient financial support. What possibilities do students currently have to secure their livelihood? Which kind of state assistance is available? We give  an overview of different financing options.

I have financial difficulties. Where can I get help quickly?

Emergency fund and loan fund of Studentenwerk Potsdam: The Studentenwerk Potsdam offers financial aid opportunities, e.g. one-time aid or a loan. An <link https: bafoeg-finances loans-scholarships stw-green internal link in current>overview for loans and aids.

Loans KfW Bank: German and international students can apply for a <link https: inlandsfoerderung privatpersonen studieren-qualifizieren kfw-studienkredit stw-green-extern internal link in current>temporary interest-free loans from the KfW Bank [in German]. The Studentenwerk Potsdam is not a distribution partner of the KfW and cannot check the legitimacy of your applications. Please contact a bank or Sparkasse for the obligatory identification check. Information on currently available partners can also be obtained from the KfW hotline from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm at 0800 539-9003. 

Federal government's financial aid for students: The federal government's interim financial aid could be applied for the last time at the end of September 2021.

What happened to my BAföG funding? Am I now eligible for more BAföG? Or: Up to now I have not been eligible for BAföG funding - does the fact that I have recently lost my job change my status?

BAföG application and update:

Due to the Corona pandemic you or your Parents may earn less. This means: Even if you were previously ineligible, this may now have changed. Students can receive up to 861 € of BAföG funding per month. If you are already eligible for BAföG and your income or that of your parents has changed, you can submit an updated application.

Longer BAföG:

With the <link en about-us news news-detail translate-to-englisch-ein-semester-laenger-bafoeg _blank internal link in current>implementation of the university pandemic ordinance the corresponding adjustments the individual standard period of study was extended by one semester for all students enrolled in the summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21 or summer semester 2021 and winter semester 2021/22. BAföG recipients will therefore receive <link https: en about-us news news-detail bafoeg-entitled-students-can-receive-bafoeg-for-one-more-semester-kopie-1 stw-green-extern internal link in current>up to four semesters longer BAföG. In addition, the certificate of achievement required by § 48 BAföG can be presented up to four semesters later.

What part-time jobs are there at the moment?

There are currently numerous job offers for students. More information about our <link internal-link internal link in current>job placement.

Can I apply for housing benefit?

You are only eligible for housing benefit in certain cases. As a student, you need to submit a BAföG application first. Only if you receive a BAföG rejection ("dem Grunde nach"), you can apply for housing benefit. As an international student with a residence title "for study purposes" (§ 16 AufenthG), the housing benefitor ALG II can possibly have a negative effect on your residence permit. Please contact our social counselling service or the International Office at your university before you apply. More information on housing benefit<link https: vv produkte stw-green-extern internal link in current>:

<link https: vv produkte stw-green-extern internal link in current>Potsdam

<link https: dienstleistungen service wohngeld-mietzuschusslastenzuschuss stw-green-extern internal link in current>Brandenburg an der Havel

<link https: de soziales wohngeld stw-green-extern internal link in current>Wildau

Can I apply for ALG II (social welfare)?

Full-time students are generally excluded from benefits according to the German Social Security Code II. There are exceptions (e.g. hardship cases). For more information, please consult our <link stw-green internal link in current>social counselling service.

What other financial aid is available? How can I save money? How can I continue to pay my bills?

Child Support: Students with children may be entitled to a child support supplement of up to 205 € per month. The application process  is also possible online. <link https: familie-und-kinder kinderzuschlag-anspruch-hoehe-dauer stw-green-extern internal link in current>Further information on the "Kinderzuschlag"

Health insurance, rent, mobile phone bill, etc.: Contact your health insurance company, your apartment rental service, your mobile phone contract company, etc. if you are currently unable to make the payments at all or only partially. You may be asked for a deferral or partial payment of the premiums and, if necessary, a reminder lock. Please also note: Health insurance coverage is a prerequisite for enrolment and re-registration at your university. If you are currently unable to pay contributions due to the effects of the pandemic, you should contact your health insurance company immediately. <link https: de themen fokusthemen corona miete corona_miete_node.html stw-green-extern internal link in current>Further information on payment deferrals from the BMJV

Scholarships: Although scholarships are a very inexpensive way of financing studies, they also require a longer period of preparation in the application process and are not the first choice for bridging financial shortages in the short term. <link https: stw-green-extern internal link in current>Further information on scholarships

Graduation loans: In addition to the Corona emergency loan, there are <link stw-green internal link in current>other loans available.

I have been made redundant or I am working less hours. What are my rights?

As an employee, you have protection against dismissal. There are various places that offer advice that is free of charge. The <link https: dgb_jugend ueber-uns wer-wir-sind external-link-new-window internal link in current>German Trade Union Youth provides a good overview of labour law issues. The AStA of the University of Potsdam has a job counselling service. You can call them every Monday between 3 and 7 pm. The<link https: de service buergertelefon buergertelefon.html external-link-new-window internal link in current> Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has set up a hotline for various focal points (e.g. labour law, mini-jobs, etc.).

Am I entitled to short-time work compensation in my job?

No, because students do not pay social security contributions.


Do you have any other questions? Our telephone consultation hours:

<link internal-link internal link in current>Social counselling: Monday to Friday | 8 am - 3 pm
<link internal-link internal link in current>BAföG-Office: Monday to Thursday | 9 am - 3 pm, Fridays 9  am - 2 pm