Studentenwerk Göttingen has been commissioned to carry out one of the most important types of student financing - the BAföG.
Here, we answer all important questions about BAföG to give you a first overview on this topic. However, we would like to urge you to make use of our personal counselling sessions on the third floor of the Zentralmensa building. Our specialists are happy to advise you in a personal conversation and to answer you as partners at your side all questions about the financing of studies.
What is BAföG?
Actually, this is an abbreviation and stands for " Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (Federal Education Promotion Act)". Thus, the state provides funds for your studies under certain criteria.
In addition, the loan debt is capped at a total of € 10,000. If you received € 30,000 in funding from the BAföG during your studies, € 20,000 Euros thereof must not be repaid (half of the total donated and maximum loan debt capped at € 10,000 Euros: so, another € 5,000 for free). You would have to repay only € 10,000 in instalments of at least € 105.
Who gets BAföG?
BAföG is a social benefit and is granted when your financial conditions are insufficient to finance the education. The education itself must be eligible.
The following applies: A first education is generally eligible, usually also the second education and a subsequent education. A master's program is particularly encouraged if it is based on a completed bachelor’s degree program and you have not obtained another university degree.
Students may not have reached the age of 30 at the beginning of their studies and may not have reached the age of 35 for master’s degree programs in order to receive BAföG. There are exceptions. For more information, please contact our clerks.
I come from abroad, am I entitled to BAföG?
Under certain circumstances, foreign students may also be eligible for BAföG funding. If you belong to this interest group, we advise you to schedule a personal appointment with us. Important for this is that the residence status is clarified in advance.
How much BAföG can I get?
The amount of funding depends on the income of the parents, the spouse or registered partner, as well as on the student's income and assets and their statutory requirements. In exceptional cases, BAföG is also independent of the parents’ income.
The needs are based on the law and include the following amounts for studies in Germany:
Since autumn 2016 with parents
Basic requirements 451 €
+ own health insurance, max. 71 €
+ own nursing care insurance 15 €
Maximum rate 537 €
Since autumn 2016 own flat
Basic requirements 649 €
+ own health insurance, max. 71 €
+ own nursing care insurance 15 €
Maximum rate 735 €
Apprentices with children can also receive a child care allowance of € 130.
What happens during a change of the major?
Changing your major for the first time until the end of the third semester does not invalidate the BAföG claim if an "important reason" exists.
An unavoidable reason must always be taken into account, even after the third semester. This is an objective reason for the change of major, for example, a permanent physical restriction of a sports student after an accident.
How long can I get BAföG?
Education funding is granted upon written request from the beginning of the month in which the education is actually started. This is usually the start of the lectures.
However, at the earliest, education funding will be paid from the beginning of the application month. If you submit the application too late, you may lose benefits.
The funding ends with the passing of the final exam, the termination of the education or when reaching the maximum funding period. The maximum funding period corresponds to the standard period of study specified in the study regulations for your degree program.
Funding beyond the standard period of study may be granted in periods of special delays in the study period, for example for the upbringing of a child or work in a higher education institution as an elected member.
Do I also receive BAföG when studying abroad?
For studying abroad, there is the possibility of foreign BAföG. Special public institutions are responsible for this. The respective address - depending on the country in which you would like to study - can be obtained from your responsible clerk or under this link.
When must BAföG be repaid?
The Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt) is responsible for collecting the loan. The repayment of the loan portion starts five years after the end of the maximum funding period (not after the end of the study period) and lasts for a maximum of 20 years. About half a year before the beginning of the repayment obligation, the amount of the loan and the repayment start is communicated.
The repayment of the loan is income-dependent, which means low-income earners (up to € 1,145) can be released from the repayment.
Address and name changes must be reported to the Federal Office of Administration, even before receipt of the notice of repayment (BVA, 50728 Cologne, firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is a parent-independent BAföG?
In exceptional cases, a parent-independent funding is possible.
The individual requirements for this are:
You have been working for at least 60 months after the age of 18 and until the beginning of your studies, whereby you do not take into account vocational training periods.
After three years of vocational training, you were employed for at least three years; there must be a period of at least 6 years together with the training.
You are more than 30 years old at the beginning of the training period and further prerequisites are fulfilled - you can find out more about this from our student finance specialists.
With parent-independent funding, parental income statements are no longer required. The income of the spouse is, however, always considered.
What can I earn additionally as a BAföG beneficiary?
Within the twelve-month grant period, you can gross € 5,400 as non-self-employment income without this amount being credited to the BAföG rate. In other words, a mini-job is possible without changing the level of BAföG funding.
The child benefit is irrelevant for the calculation. It is not considered as income and is, thus, additionally available to you.
What is a hardship allowance?
Upon request, to avoid discriminatory severity, for example in the case of a disability for the student or the debtor, part of the income may remain additional free of charge. Considered are here, e.g., disability or care allowances.
If necessary, a recalculation takes place and a change notification is issued.
Which forms do you have to fill out? How often do you have to apply? We give answers to these and many more questions here!
Which forms are required for the BAföG application?
- Form 1 (Information on personal data and personal income and assets)
- Annex 1 to Form 1 (full details of academic and professional career)
- Form 2 (Enrolment Certificate according to § 9 BAföG)
- Form 3 (Income declaration father/mother/spouse - for each income recipient, an income statement is required separately, the supporting documents must be enclosed in full)
- Proof of own flat (presentation of a registration certificate or rental contract, if the inhabited flat is not the property of the parents)
- The declaration of income on Form 3 must be accompanied by proof of the respective type of income, e.g., as income tax assessment, pension notice, unemployment benefit notice, sick pay notice, earnings statements or the like.
Note: Child benefit is not considered income and does not have to be stated. For a repetition application you need the same forms except for the school and professional career.
Important: All application forms can be obtained from the Office for Educational Support (Amt für Ausbildungsförderung). Since the forms are uniform nationwide, you can also use those from other offices. The complete application is also available for download on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung).
What do I have to observe when completing the application?
To comply with the application deadline, an informal BAföG application is sufficient. However, the official application forms will be submitted later. Please plan that several weeks may pass between the application and payment of the BAföG amount.
However, you can speed up the process yourself: You have to fill in everything. Even if you think that you do not have to give any information, it is best to use a line or a zero instead of no information. Any gaps can lead to demands and delays. And in the worst case, you'll only get your money months later.
How often do I have to submit a new BAföG application?
Educational support is usually granted for twelve months. Your letter of support shows you on page 1, for which period you were granted education funding. In good time before the end of the approval period, about four months in advance, you should submit a signed, complete and fully documented repetition application so that no payment interruptions occur.
When must a proof of suitability be provided?
From the fifth semester onward, the education funding will only be provided after the usual course progress has been documented. In the case of Bachelor programs, proof is generally provided by proof of the ECTS credit score.
All universities within the area of ??responsibility of the Studentenwerk Göttingen require a uniform:
- 70 credits at the beginning of the fourth semester
- 100 credits at the beginning of the fifth semester
- 130 credits at the beginning of the sixth semester.
Exceptions are the study courses construction management, building technology, real estate economy and industrial engineer infrastructure of the professional school (HAWK) in Holzminden, for which only 66/96/126 credits are necessary.
Students of the University of Göttingen can print out a corresponding overview of their performance from the FlexNow exam system.
In other programs or as a substitute, an individual certificate of eligibility (form 5) may be submitted. The competent university professors can be found in our overview. Here you will find a list with the respective qualifiers of the universities.
Questions in connection with the proof of performance will be answered in a separate information sheet.
My parents refuse the required information or payments - what now?
If your parents refuse to provide information about their income or if they do not pay you the amount of income credited as maintenance payments, you have the option to apply for an "advance payment".
After a case-by-case examination, the Office for Training Support (Amt für Ausbildungsförderung) may pay the advance payments in addition to the BAföG claim. The maintenance claim, which you have against your parents, is assigned to the state of Lower Saxony.
Further information can be obtained from our specialists.
Below you find a link list of form sheets, applications and declarations which you can use for your BAföG application etc. (forms in German only):
- application forms – the official forms
- informal application
- deferral request
- tenancy certificate
- contribution statement private health insurance
- declaration parents unknown
- declaration no tax assessment
- application free allowance siblings
- declaration change of university
- certificate eligible semesters
- certificate graduation assistance