Frequently asked questions about BAföG

You cannot find your question answered here? Then your BAföG consultants will be happy to help you.

Under certain conditions, foreign students are entitled to BAföG payments. If you have a valid residence permit in accordance with § 8 BAföG, you might be entitled. However, the legal regulations are very complex, and each case is individual. We therefore recommend a personal consultation with our BAföG-Amt.

Please note: BAföG is in general dependent upon the parents' income. Only students, who are yet to turn 30 at the beginning of their course (or 35 for master's programs) are eligible. However, there are exceptions. For example, for those who are raising children under the age of 14.

 

 

BAföG is calculated individually. The student's own income and assets as well as the income of parents, and spouse are taken into account. The maximum grant for students up to the age of 24 who live with their parents is currently 483 €. Students who do not live with their parents receive up to €752 per month (as of February 2021 | These changes came into effect in October 2020).

These changes came into effect in October 2020:

  • Students up to the age of 24 who live with their parents receive a maximum of €483 per month.
  • Students up to age 24 who do not live with their parents receive a maximum of €752 per month.
  • The supplement on "Kranken- und Pflegeversicherung" was already increased to €109 in August.
  • For insured students over 30 years, there is the possibility to pay up to a maximum of 189 € per month.
  • The childcare supplement for children under 14 years is €150. Please fill out form 4.



- Initial applications: Apply for BAföG as soon as you have applied to a university within our area of responsibility. If you study at a university that is not within our area of responsibility, please let us know. We will forward your application and your file to the relevant office.

- Follow-up application: Submit your application as soon as possible (3 months before the end of the last approval period). Please note: BAföG payments are paid in advance - at the beginning of the month (If the approval period 09/2019 ends, the last BAföG payment will be made September 1st).

 There are several ways to apply for BAföG:

  • Online
  • By post or in person
  • Informal application: Documents and forms can be submitted at a later date. For example, you can hand in an informal application on October 31st and secure the BAföG benefits for the month of October, if eligible.

Tip: Hand in missing documents through the app BAföGdirekt.

Please note: E-mail communication is unsecured. The maximum size for files is 20 MB.

After all documents have been handed-in, the processing time is about 2 months.

Tip: You can also view your current status via the app BAföGdirekt.

 

 

Your income from employment during the allowance period must not exceed gross  5.400 €, as it will otherwise be taken into account with regard to the granted BAföG amount (except for internships and freelance work). Assets at the amount of 8.200 € at the time the application is filed will not be taken into account. Assets exceeding this amount will be allotted to the months of the allowance period and reduce the BAföG amount. You can earn up to 450 euros per month from non-self-employment (mini-job).

No, child benefit is not considered an income.

You are eligible for the so called parent-indepent Bafög if:

  • You begin your studies after turning 3
  • After turning 18, you have been in employment for five years (employment periods do not have to be linked, they can be make of up several smaller time periods)
  • You were in education or training for up to three years, and then in employment, and the combined time studying and working was at least six years.


After the intermediate examination or the third semester, a certificate of achievement or a performance overview (ECTS credits) must be submitted to the BAföG office in order to receive further BAföG funding (Form 5).

NEW:
On Oct. 14, 2020, the "Hochschulpandemieverordnung" of the state of Brandenburg went into effect with adjustments in February 2021.

It was decided that:

  • Students who started their studies in the summer semester 2020 or before are entitled to BAföG during the standard period of study + 2 additional semesters. The obligation to submit proof of academic achievement is postponed by two semesters.
  • Students who started their studies in the winter semester 2020/21 are entitled to BAföG during the standard period of study + 1 additional semester. The obligation to submit proof of academic achievement is postponed by one semester.

All information on the changes due to the Hochschulpandemieverordnung

The maximum funding period ("Förderungshöchstdauer") is determined by the standard period of study ("Regelstudienzeit"). Under certain conditions, funding is possible beyond the standard period of study.

Valid reasons are:

  •       illness or disability
  •       work in a university committee
  •       pregnancy
  •       care and education of a child up to ten years     
  •       first failure of the exam

NEW:
To ensure that students do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of the Corona pandemic, the "Hochschulpandemieverordnung" was issued on 14.10.2020 and amended on 03.02.2021.

What exactly does the new regulation entail?

  • Students who started their studies in the summer semester 2020 or before are entitled to BAföG for a total of 2 semesters longer than the standard period of study.
  • Students who started their studies in winter semester 2020/21 are entitled to BAföG for a total of 1 semester longer than the standard period of study.

If your parents refuse to provide the necessary information about their income situation or if your parents do not pay the calculated maintenance payments, you can apply for a so-called advance payment form (Form 8) if your education is at risk without the maintenance benefits. In this case, the Education Fund pays the open maintenance amount instead of your parents.

The existing maintenance claim is transferred by law to the state of Brandenburg, represented by the Studentenwerk Potsdam. If there is a maintenance claim according to BGB, we will assert this against the parents / parent, if necessary in court. If you have questions about the advance payment procedure, please contact us in the BAföG office.

You can change the field of study for reason only until the end of the third semester. After that, irrefutable reasons must be available.

If credits after a change of the field of study will be counted towards the new study, in certain circumstances a change of subject might also be accepted after more than 3 semesters. After that, there must be irrefutable reasons.

If you change your field of study during your master's studies, you must also give an irrefutable reason for doing so. If you have questions about the change of subject, your https://www.studentenwerk-potsdam.de/bafoeg-finanzen/bafoeg-beratung/BAföG consultants are happy to help.

Please inform us immediately of any changes that have occurred since the application was submitted. The BAföGdirekt app can also be used for this.

Students with permanent residence in Germany can receive a BAföG grant for a subject-oriented study abroad. This also applies to internships that are prescribed in the study or examination regulations.

Do not forget to apply for the ‘’Auslands BAföG’’! This application must be submitted to separate Education Support Offices.

 


One half of BAföG for students is given out as grant money and the other half as zero interest loan. A maximum of 10,000 Euro must be repaid of the zero interest loan.

The Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Administration Office) is responsible for collecting the loan. Repayment starts five years after the maximum assistance period ends and takes a maximum of 20 years. You will be informed in writing about the loan amount and the start date of repayment about six months before the repayment is to start. The instalment amount is usually 105 Euro per month. Repayment depends on income, i.e. low-income earners may be even exempted from repayment. If the loan amount is repaid prematurely, a discount will be granted – upon request (!).

You need to notify the Federal Administration Office in charge of the loan administration and collection directly about changes of your address or name (D-50728 Köln; bafoeg@bva.bund.de).

Remission of residual BAföG debt:
Students who still owe BAföG 20 years after the start of the repayment obligation can have the (remaining) debt finally cancelled.
Important:
This regulation only applies to students who took up their university course in the winter semester 2019/20 and later.

Students who receive BAföG and do not live with their parents, can apply for exemption from the obligation to pay the broadcasting license fee. For further information on the public broadcasting license fee and the application form for the exemption, please visit the Rundfunkbeitrag website.

ALG II:

Students and pupils, whose education can be funded by BAföG, are generally not eligible for ALG II. But there are exceptions, e.g. for the student’s children. If the study after BAföG is not eligible for funding or if it is interrupted for more than 3 months (for example due to illness, pregnancy or child-rearing), a claim to ALGII, §§ 7 (5), 6 SGB II, 27 (hardship regulation) may apply.

Housing allowance (Wohngeld):

Students who are entitled to BAföG are generally not eligible to receive housing allowance, regardless of whether or not they actually receive BAföG, § 20 WoGG.

Exepctions:

  • Students who receive BAföG as a bank loan
  • Students who are entitled to BAföG and live together with children and / or other family members or a partner can under certain circumstances be eligible for housing allowance, provided that there is at least one person in the household who has neither a basic right to BAföG nor vocational training allowance or similar funding
  • Students who have lost their BAföG eligibility