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BAföG entitlement - do I even get BAföG?

The BAföG (abbreviation for Federal Training Assistance Act) is a grant for people whose parents cannot or insufficiently finance their studies or further education. Whether you are eligible for BAföG depends on several factors. We will show you the most important criteria and explain to you when you can receive BAföG funding as a student, pupil, trainee or internship!

Free BAföG entitlement rapid test!

Within 1 minute you can use our BAföG quick test to determine whether you are entitled to BAföG and how much.

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Who is eligible for BAföG?

The entitlement to BAföG initially depends on the type of training facility you are attending, i.e. your university, college or school.

There are also personal requirements such as citizenship and your age (you can find more information about this below).

Eligible type of school:

Some schools and even those that are not officially recognized do not entitle you to receive BAföG.

If you attend one of these training centers, you are entitled to BAföG

  • Universities (colleges)
  • Technical colleges and academies
  • Evening secondary schools, evening secondary schools, evening grammar schools
  • Vocational schools
  • Colleges
There are apprenticeships where you have to have completed vocational training in order to be eligible for BAföG. This is the case with:
  • Technical schools
  • Technical colleges
You do not have to have completed vocational training at these schools, but you must obtain a professional qualification after at least 2 years:
  • Vocational school
  • Fachoberschule (FOS)
You also get BAföG as a student if you attend a general school from the 10th grade, e.g .:
  • high school
  • comprehensive school
  • secondary school
  • secondary schools
When attending one of these schools, you are only entitled to BAföG if you meet other requirements.
  • You no longer live with your parents and
    • Your school is too far from your parents' home so that you have to live alone
    • You run your own household and look after your own children there
    • You are already married or divorced

BAföG as a student

As a student, you are entitled to BAföG if you attend a recognized college or university. You can find information about part-time studies and studying at a distance learning university below.

What are the personal requirements for being entitled to BAföG?

Nationality:

In principle, BAföG is only available to German citizens. There are exceptions for foreigners.

Compliance with the training goal:

Adhering to the training goal means that you have to do your best to achieve the training goal on time. In plain language, it means that after the fourth semester you have to submit the necessary performance records to the BAföG office and prove that you are not exceeding the maximum funding period. Incidentally, as a student, you will receive support throughout your school days, even if you repeat a class.

Your age:

The age limit for BAföG is 30 years, for the Master it is 35 years. This means that you have to start the training that is to be funded before the end of your 30th year of life, for the Masters before the end of your 35th year of life. The later funding is only an exception and is paid in any case as parent-independent BAföG.

When do I have BAföG entitlement, even if I am over 30?

One reason for receiving BAföG, even if you are over 30, would be that you obtained the advanced technical college or university entrance qualification on the second educational path and are therefore older than 30. This happens, for example, if you have attended a college or evening grammar school to get your high school diploma. In this case, however, you have to start studying immediately after graduation. Even if you obtain the higher education entrance qualification through your professional qualifications, you can be over 30 for BAföG. However, there are also personal and family reasons that can postpone your studies, e.g. raising children and pregnancy, looking after disabled or needy children, an illness or disability, failing the selection process or at least 8 years of service with the armed forces or police that you started before you were 23 years old.

  • Emergence of need

When your spouse or life partner dies, this sometimes creates a personal need due to the financial situation. Then you will also be supported after the age of 30. The prerequisite for this is that no BAföG-eligible training has yet been completed.

How much BAföG do I get?

The BAföG can support you with up to € 861 as a student and € 832 as a pupil. You can find more information about this in our text about the maximum BAföG rate!

By the way: If you submit your application using our tool meinBaföG, our BAföG calculator shows you exactly how high your BAföG entitlement is! Also works with AuslandsBAföG!

When do I have BAföG entitlement for a semester abroad?

Whether you want to study abroad for one or more semesters, do a student exchange or do an internship abroad - BAföG is also available for your stay abroad!
You can find out when you are entitled to BAföG abroad in our article about BAföG abroad!

Do I also have BAföG entitlement if I change my degree program?

When does BAföG entitlement end?

If you do not provide the required study achievements and thus the necessary proof of performance, then your entitlement to BAföG ends.

Special forms of study and BAföG

Studying doesn't always mean going to university all day. Many students study part-time - because they work on the side, raise children or look after relatives. Other students study for their distance learning - because they want to be more flexible or their university is too far away. We will introduce you to possible types of study for which you can be eligible for BAföG.

Can I be funded with BAföG if I study part-time?

The basis that you are entitled to BAföG is that you study full-time and thus spend more than 40 hours a week with your studies. It is assumed that you can achieve 30 ECT points per semester with a full-time course (there are of course differences depending on the course).

In the case of dual study programs, it is also possible that your studies are accepted as full-time studies.

You can get information about the form of your degree, i.e. whether it is full-time or part-time study, in different ways: In the description of your degree you will find information about the type of study. You can also get the necessary information from the secretariat of your university and from the module handbook.

What does part-time study actually mean?

Many students cannot afford to study full-time. Reasons for this can be that you already have one or more children and are strained by the upbringing of the children. Or you take care of someone, volunteer or want to travel a lot while studying. But maybe you have to work so much besides your studies that you don't have time to study full-time. Then this type of study is called a part-time studies.

Some universities therefore offer part-time courses. The subject matter, which otherwise has to be mastered in the standard study period of usually 3 years, is stretched. As a result, you are less involved in terms of time and have 4 or 5 years for your studies instead of three years.

What if I just study longer with full-time studies?

If you simply study longer in full-time studies and go beyond your standard study time, you are doing an unofficial part-time study. So you are not really enrolled in part-time studies, but you post your lectures and exams as if you were doing part-time studies.

What then happens to the BAföG during unofficial part-time studies?

After the 4th semester you have to provide proof of performance. In this way, the BAföG office wants to ensure that you are actually studying and that you are entitled to receive your BAföG. The proof of performance shows that you will most likely finish your studies within the standard period of study. If you cannot achieve this, you will no longer receive BAföG!

And how do I get support when studying part-time?

Unfortunately, BAföG funding is not possible for part-time studies.

All information about income in addition to BAföG, i.e. how much money you can earn with a part-time job alongside your studies or school, can be found in our article about BAföG and your part-time job.

Extension of the maximum funding period under special conditions

There are a few reasons why your maximum funding period can be extended. In plain language, this means that you have more time for your studies, so you can complete a kind of part-time study and still receive BAföG funding.

Based on these cases, you can apply to the BAföG for an extension of the maximum funding period:

  • Pregnancy or raising a child. However, there are further restrictions: Your child must be under 10 years of age and you must continue to spend at least 21 hours per week on your studies.
  • Illness. If you have a chronic or long-term illness, you can apply for your maximum funding period to be extended.
  • Disability. If you are unable to complete full-time studies due to your disability, your funding period may be longer.
  • Participation in university committees. If you work in a committee that is required by law and is elected by elections, you can extend your studies as long as the work has affected your studies.

Can I receive BAföG funding for distance learning?

When can I get BAföG for distance learning?

The first condition for the promotion of distance learning is that the distance learning has the same entry requirements as a comparable face-to-face study. The degree must also be the same. In addition, distance learning must be approved and / or organized by a public institution.

But there are other conditions for entitlement to BAföG for distance learning:

BAföG for distance learning is only paid in the last 12 months of the course. This means that you will only receive BAföG if you can achieve your degree within the next 12 months. You also have to work at least 40 hours a week for this degree so that it counts as a full-time degree.

Your distance learning university or distance learning institute must prove these conditions.

If these conditions cannot be proven, for example because less time is planned for your studies or the distance learning provider is not approved, you are not entitled to BAföG.

If these conditions are met and you are in the last 12 months of your studies, you are entitled to BAföG. If 3 years and therefore 36 months are planned for your degree, the first 24 months of the degree will not be funded.

Distance learning as a student

Sometimes there are also students who complete their degree as a distance learning.

There are some rules which courses are equivalent.

Preparation for the secondary school leaving certificateafter completion of the 17th year of life like students from evening main schools
Preparation for secondary school leaving certificateafter completion of the 18th year of life like students from evening secondary schools
Preparation for the technical college entrance qualificationafter completion of the 19th year of age, such as students from technical high school classes whose attendance requires a completed vocational training
Preparation for the general or a subject-specific higher education entrance qualificationafter completion of the 21st year like students from evening grammar schools

These courses are on an equal footing. This means that you can be entitled to BAföG if you meet the requirements.

Deduct the costs of distance learning from tax

You can deduct the costs for your distance learning from your tax!

However, there are also some conditions and peculiarities here.

Because if your distance learning is a first degree and therefore a first-time training, a lump sum of € 4,000 per year can be deducted as special expenses for this degree. The course may not be classified as further education.

Is your degree a second degree, so you are doing a master’s degree or are you using distance learning as a further education? Then this course must have been preceded by a first degree. Because then you can deduct the expenses as business expenses or advertising expenses. This means that you can deduct all fees for studies, specialist literature and travel expenses, as well as your laptop and required software.