Status: 20 July 2020
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?
Bridging aid for students: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing bridging assistance totalling 100 million euros to help those students who are demonstrably in an acute, pandemic-related (economic or financial) emergency and require immediate support. You can apply for bridging assistance if you are a German or international student enrolled at a public-funded and government-recognised higher education institution in Germany. Further information on how to apply for bridging aid
Loans KfW Bank: The German Federal Government (BMBF) announced an emergency aid programme for students on 30.04.2020. German students can apply for temporary interest-free loans from the KfW Bank [in German] from 8 May, international students from 1 June. The BMBF has also promised to provide temporary financial aid in the form of grants. 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.
One-time aid of 300 € from the Studentenwerk Potsdam: Brandenburg's Minister of Science, Manja Schüle, announces additional aid for students who have fallen into financial hardship due to the corona pandemic and who have not received any help from the federal government's bridging aid. The hardship funds of the Studentenwerke Potsdam and Frankfurt (Oder) will be increased by 500,000 euros. The criteria for awarding the one-time grants of 300 € will soon be published on our website. Until then, we ask you to refrain from making further inquiries.
- 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?
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 853 euros 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. The State Government of Brandenburg is planning changes to the Brandenburg Higher Education Act. This means that students will be able to extend their individual standard period of study in an unbureaucratic and simple way. This will automatically extend the maximum period of support under the BAföG if there was a coronabrelated delay in studies in the summer semester due to cancelled courses, problems with online teaching or postponed examinations. Further information on BAföG
- 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
Brandenburg an der Havel
- 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 social counselling service.
- What other financial aid is available? How can I save money? How can I continue to pay my bills?
Students with children may be entitled to a child support supplement of up to 185 € per month. The application process has recently been made easier and is also possible online. Further information on the "Notfall-KiZ"
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. Further information on payment deferrals from the BMJV
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. Further information on scholarships
In addition to the Corona emergency loan, there are other loans available.
- Are there any job openings at the moment?
Yes, there are still jobs for students, especially from private households in the areas of tutoring and homework assistance. But also warehouse workers, retail sales assistants and harvest workers are currently in high demand. Various jobs are offered through our job placement service as well as throught the employment agency.
- 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 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 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.