In all other cases, the responsibility of your BAföG office is based on the following:
For students at institutions and pre-study-internships, the local Studierendenwerk is typically responsible. More information can be found here.
When attending a foreign university or internship, the responsibility depends on the respective state.
Students at academies as well as students at night schools, colleges (including business and technical high schools) and vocational colleges must contact the BAföG office of the region or city in which the educational institution is located.
Other students should contact the BAföG office of the district or city in which their parental guardians have their permanent residence.
The BVA processes BAföG loans on a nationwide basis, regardless of the office from which you received BAföG funding.
When should I apply?
First-semester students can receive funding at the earliest starting the month that courses begin. Requirements are that the application be submitted by this date, otherwise the funding will begin, starting the month that the application is submitted. If you are in a higher semester and have not already applied for BAföG, then you can submit your application at any time. In this case, funding will begin in the month that the application is submitted.
Tip: Submit an application right after enrollment, even if you are missing some documents. You can provide any missing documents at a later time. Important! Always provide the institution you are enrolled in and your degree of studies.
BAföG typically is granted for two semesters. This is the so-called approval period (German: Bewilligungszeitraum). You should submit your renewal application by the end of the month following the last month of the current approval period at the latest, as BAföG is not paid retroactively.
Tip: If you submit your application at least two months before the end of the current approval period, you can almost always continue to receive funding without interruption. Important! A requirement for continued funding without interruption is that your application contains all the necessary forms when you submit it.
Application for Funding Abroad
It is also possible to receive financial assistance for your study abroad. To apply, you must submit the same forms as you would normally, with the additional Form 6.
Tip: Apply early (at least six months before your study abroad), because processing can be very time-consuming. Important! Apply through the responsible International Office
How and when does repayment begin?
Approximately four and a half years after the end of the maximum funding period, the BVA, based in Cologne will send you a repayment notice.
Only the BVA can provide you with the information about the amount of repayment and other details concerning, as the various Studierendenwerk are not responsible for this.
Information about BAföG-repayment can be found here:
To check the amounts paid out, please use the informational notices that have been sent to you.
When is parental-independent support possible?
§11 Extent of Support (non-legal translation)
(3) 1Income of the parents will not be taken into account if the student
1. attends a night-school or college
2. Has reached the age of 30 at the start of their study period
3. Has been gainfully employed for five years after the age of 18 at the start of their study period, or
4. Has been gainfully employed for three years at the start of their study period following completion of a previous study program of at least three years, or for a longer period.
²Sentence 1 Numbers 3 and 4 only apply if the student was able to support themselves from their income during the years of their employment.
The following documents are required:
- Employment verification (based on social security certificates or annual tax statements).
- Proof of military or civil service
- Proof of maternity or parental leave
- Proof of parental allowance
- Proof of school/professional qualifications
Is my application complete?
Your application will be looked over for completeness by the responsible administrators. Outside of the regular processing procedure, we unfortunately do not have the capacity to check your application for completeness in advance or to confirm receipt of all documents that were handed in at a later date.
If your application is incomplete, you will receive a notice in a timely manner to provide the missing documents.
If your application is complete, it will be processed as quickly as possibly in the order in which the applications are received.
How much am I allowed to earn and still receive BAföG?
For applicants themselves, any gross income from a non-self-employment (no income from a mandatory internship) below an average of €520.00 per month will not be taken into account. This means that you can earn a total of € 6,240.00 in a 12-month approval period without being deducted.
In contrast to the calculation for income from non-self-employed work, the operating expenses are deducted for self-employed work instead of the lump sum for employees (€ 1,230.00 for 12 months). The business expenses are taken into account at a flat rate of 25% of the income, up to a maximum of € 613.55 per year.
As a rule, income from self-employment of up to approx. 5,040.00 € per 12 months is not taken into account for BAföG purposes.
The deduction of the social contribution takes place for both types of income in the same proportion. The monthly allowance for the applicants' income is also the same.
The proof of income must be submitted collectively at the end of the grant period without being requested. After receipt, your income in the grant period will be checked and corrected if necessary. This may result in a recalculation and, if necessary, a claim for repayment in accordance with Section 20, Paragraph 1, No. 3 BAföG if your income is offset against the grant amount during this period.
How do I obtain proof for the housing allowance office?
As a rule, the housing allowance authority requires a rejection notice stating that you are not entitled to BAföG.
Therefore, please submit a complete application for educational support, because it must be completely ruled out by examination that a BAföG claim exists. Only then can a rejection notice be provided. You can find the application forms on our BAföG Service Center or on BAföG Digital. In an informal letter, you can also state that the application is being submitted with the aim of obtaining a rejection notice for the housing allowance office.
Do I receive support during a semester of leave?
During a semester of leave, you are no longer entitled to BAföG support. The maximum period of support is increased by the semester of leave. Please inform the BAföG-Office immediately in writing (copy of the application for leave, proof of the semester of leave based on the enrollment certificate according to §9 BAföG or curriculum).
What can I do if I cannot make repayment?
If it is currently not possible for you to pay back your repayment amount within the specified period, you have the option of applying for a deferral. The documents required for this purpose can be found in our BAföG Service Center.
Who is responsible for student-BAföG?
For students attending a night school, college or a vocational school, the BAföG office of the district/city administration at the location of the school is responsible.
For all others, the following applies: The BAföG office in the region at the parents' place of residence is responsible.
How and where do I receive funding for my semester abroad?
BAföG can also be received during the semester abroad, but in this case we are not responsible for the support, but rather specific international offices. Depending on the desired destination country, there are different offices distributed throughout Germany. For example, the office responsible for the USA is located in Hamburg, the one for Great Britain in Hanover, etc. It is important to submit the application at least 6 months before the start of the training period. For more information about financial support abroad can be found at https://www.auslandsbafoeg.de/.
When does the proof of performance have to be provided?
In accordance to Section 48, Paragraph 1, Sentence 1, No. 2 BAföG, financial support can be granted from the 5th Semester onwards only when the student submits a certificate from the institution regarding proof of performance by the end of the fourth semester. Form 5 or the Transcript of Records or a status report with details of all passed and failed examinations with seal and signature serve as proof. The evidence is considered to have been submitted at the end of the previous semester if it is submitted within the first four months of the following semester and it is clear from the evidence that the work shown in it has already been completed in the previous semester. If the form 5 or the proof of the ECTS points achieved is only submitted in the 5th or 6th month of a semester, funding is only possible from the month that it is received. If the proof is submitted by the 4th month of the 3rd semester the standard performance up to the end of the 3rd semester is sufficient.
How is the proof of assets to be provided?
Assets worth up to an exemption amount of € 15,000 until your 30th birthday and € 45,000 from your 30th birthday onwards are exempt from deductions.
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