What happens to my BAföG during the pandemic?

|   BAföG & Finances

The most important questions and answers about your BAföG funding

Update (Status 20 July):

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.

  1. Do I still receive BAföG?
    Yes, students entitled to BAföG do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of the postponement of the summer semester. Pandemic-related closures of training facilities within the meaning of § 2 BAföG and of eligible training facilities abroad (short-term closures of training facilities or extension of their lecture-free periods) do not affect the funding law. These closures are treated as lesson or lecture-free periods within the meaning of § 15 para. 2 BAföG. You will receive your BAföG payments as usual for the above-mentioned approval period.
  2. I start a university course in the summer semester 2020. Will I still receive BAföG with immediate effect?
    Even first-year students whose semester start has been delayed due to a pandemic will receive their BAföG as if the lectures had begun at the originally planned time. Provided that the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (BAföG-Amt) has received a complete application and the BAföG application has been approved, you will receive BAföG from the month in which the application is submitted (but not before March 2020 at the earliest).
  3. I will exceed my studies due to the pandemic Will this increase my maximum duration of funding (Förderungshöchstdauer)?
    Unavoidable pandemic-related delays in training constitute a serious reason within the meaning of § 15, paragraph 3, no. 1 BAföG, and funding is therefore provided for an appropriate period of time beyond the maximum funding period. This also applies if, for example, examinations are postponed to periods after the standard period of study. In accordance with § 48 paragraph 2 BAföG, the submission date for performance certificates may also be postponed accordingly.

  4. I receive BAföG funding and am currently helping out in the health sector, in a social institution or in agriculture in order to contain the pandemic. This means that I earn more during this period. How does this additional income affect my BAföG?
    The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announced in a press release on 08.04.2020 that additional earnings from all system-relevant industries and professions will be completely excluded from crediting to BAföG. Those who work in systemically relevant sectors during the current crisis will retain their full BAföG support.
    To take these circumstances into account, students must submit the relevant employment contract to the BAföG office.
  5. So far, I have not been eligible for BAföG. My parents are financially affected
    by the Corona crisis. Am I eligible for BAföG now?

    If you have not been eligible for BAföG based on your parental income, but your
    parents are earning less now, you can submit a new BAföG application at any time
    and have the current parental income used as a basis with an update (Form 7).
  6. I already receive BAföG funding, but my parents are financially affected
    by the Corona crisis. How does this affect my BAföG?

    If your parents' income is currently reduced due to the pandemic, you can apply for a BAföG update (Form 7) and the BAföG-Amt will take your parents' current income into consideration when reviewing your BAföG entitlement.
  7. My university offers online classes. As a BAföG recipient, am I obliged to participate?
    As soon as the universities offer online courses, students, who are eligible for BAföG remain obliged to participate as a prerequisite for receiving BAföG funding.
  8. BAföG and study abroad: Do I receive BAföG under these circumstances?
    The individual regulations can be found on the BMBF website (DE).
  9. Because of the Corona crisis I would like to take a semester off. What do I have to consider?
    You are not eligible for BAföG when you are on leave ("Urlaubssemester"). Please consider if you can afford to take time of your studies. You can schedule a session with our social counsellor, who will let you know whether you are eligible  for any social benefits during this time (i.e. "Hartz IV"). Please note that a leave semester is not a part of your university course; you are not allowed to do any academic work while you are on leave.
  10. How do I contact the BAföG-Amt?
    We do not offer personal consultation until further notice, however, you can contact us by phone from Monday to Thursday between 9 am and 3 pm and on Friday between 9 am and 2 pm. You can also send an e-mail to bafoeg@studentenwerk-potsdam.de. If you would like to post a letter, you can leave it in our Studentenwerk mailbox at the entrance Babelsberger Straße 2 (Lange Brücke). Our upload portal is available for the transmission of documents. Please also read our BAföG FAQ.  
  11. I need to contact my university in order to complete my BAföG application, however, I cannot consult them in person. What can I do?
    If your BAföG application requires a confirmation from the university (e.g. form 5), please contact the responsible person, department or the examination office electronically and request the documents digitally. If this is not possible, please contact the BAföG-Amt.
  12. I receive a graduation grant (Studienabschlusshilfe). What changes for me during the pandemic?
    Students who receive graduation assistance and who are unable to complete their studies as planned within the duration of the assistance due to disruptions in the teaching programme of their university, the postponement of the start of lectures or entry restrictions, will continue to receive graduation assistance even during the pandemic-related restrictions. However, they too remain obliged to take part in the online course offerings if necessary and to complete their training quickly.