BAföG - FAQ

Read out and MP3 download   Read out

BAföG provides state funding for students in Germany. In many cases, also international students can receive BAföG if the requirements of the BAföG law are met. Citizens of the European Union in particular are often entitled to BAföG funding.

Citizens from other countries can be entitled, for example, if they are recognized as refugees or asylum seekers (additional requirements apply). In addition, employment of the parents in Germany or marriage to a German citizen can justify the claim.

Please note that you have to fill out the German-language application forms to apply for BAföG. There is no official translation.

You can also get information on the website of the DSW or the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Dealing with BAföG applications is often delayed by the fact that incomplete applications are submitted or required documents are missing.

We therefore ask you to carefully read through our notifications and make sure to answer all questions. Hand in all the required documents. Please use the app BAföGdirekt for uploading documents and the online application for filling in forms. The online application helps to avoid mistakes when filling in the forms.


The following FAQs are a direct translation from our German website. Please be aware of the fact that different regulations may apply for international students.

 

Content

General Information      Illness
Other Funding Options      Funding Abroad
BAföG Application      Amount of Funding and Repayment
Coronavirus Pandemic      Leistungsnachweis
Duration of Funding, Change of Subject Area      From Bachelor’s to Master’s Programme
Your Own Income      Deduction of Assets
Parent-Dependent Funding  

a) General Information

Who is entitled to receive BAföG funding?

BAföG funding is granted to students who are studying at a state university or academy for their first education qualifying them for a profession, provided they do not possess sufficient means themselves to provide for their living expenses during their studies. This includes parental support a student is entitled to.

Students studying at private universities or academies can receive BAföG if their university has been approved for it. Many educational institutes for psychotherapy are treated equivalent to universities.

Under certain conditions, also a second course of studies, international studies as well as pupils can be supported by BAföG.

Please note! You need to submit an application to receive funding!

Have a look at the next question to find out whether or not you are entitled to BAföG funding as an international student.

Am I entitled to BAföG as an international student?

Yes, under certain conditions. Especially EU citizens (and EEA citizens) can receive BAföG provided

  • they have been living in Germany for 5 years,
  • they themselves are working in Germany or
  • they are accompanying their parents or spouses who are working in Germany.

Non-EU citizens can also be entitled to receive BAföG. This is mainly the case if they themselves have been living or working in Germany for at least 5 years or if their parents have been working in Germany for at least three years.

All other cases need to be decided on individually.

Does my age matter?

You must be under 45 years of age before starting your studies.

Exceptions:

  • graduates of the “zweite Bildungsweg”
  • enrolment due to vocational qualification (with no university entrance qualification)
  • second education
  • starting the education at an earlier stage was not possible for family reasons *)
  • special need due to extreme changes regarding your personal situation (only without having completed a first education)

In these cases, you must however start your education as soon as it becomes possible (except in the case of enrolment due to vocational qualification).

*) for instance, if you were raising your children under the age of 14 without any interruption before turning 45 and were not working more than 30 hours a week during this period (exceptions are possible for single parents).

Can I be exempted from having to pay the Rundfunkbeitrag?

Yes, if you receive at least €10.00 BAföG a month and do not live with your parents. Please turn to the “Beitragsservice” to be released from payment; your BAföG notification will contain a document issued for this purpose. You will only be exempted from payment if you specifically apply for it with the Beitragsservice. More information can be found here.

Where can I find more information?

Information can be obtained with every “Amt für Ausbildungsförderung” (BAföG offices with the Studierendenwerke as well as local and city administrations) or online at: www.bafög.de

Whom can I turn to with questions regarding BAföG?

Before applying: If you are thinking about studying at a university or have already started your studies and have general questions about BAföG or on financing your studies, you can turn to our General BAföG Advisory Service or the Student Loan Advisory Service. There is also an information hotline provided by the Federal Ministry: 0800-223 63 41.

If you have already applied for BAföG, you can contact our staff members dealing with applications.

Special BAföG offices are responsible for studies abroad.

Should you have any questions concerning Schüler-BAföG (BAföG for pupils), please refer to the local BAföG office.

What are the regulations for dual studies?

Studies are funded with student BAföG from the enrolment at a university (full-time). That also applies after the vocational training has ended until your studies have been completed.

The training allowance, however, will be – after deducting professional expenses – fully deducted from your BAföG funding. This does not apply if it is paid for a specific purpose, such as compensating tuition fees.

Funding can also be possible with “Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe” (BAB), provided that a considerable part of the training has already taken place before enrolling at university. Schüler-BAföG is granted for certain apprenticeships, such as training to be a geriatric nurse or physiotherapist.

Information regarding Schüler-BAföG can be obtained with the local BAföG offices and regarding the Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe with the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.

b) Other Funding Options

Are there other funding options?

Besides BAföG, there is also a large number of scholarships available. You can receive more information with the Scholarship Advisory Service of the Studierendenwerk, with your university’s scholarship office or at www.stipendienlotse.de.

If you’re not sure which options are available for you personally for financing your studies, you’re very welcome to turn to the General BAföG Advisory Service.

What is the “Bildungskredit” (education loan)?

The Bildungskredit is a federal loan available for up to 24 months as additional funding. More detailed information can be found at www.bildungskredit.de.

What is the “Deutschland-Stipendium”?

The Deutschland-Stipendium is a scholarship based on academic achievement, which is awarded via the universities. Further information can be obtained with the Studierendenwerk’s Scholarship Advisory Service as well as here: www.deutschland-stipendium.de.

Amounts up to €300 will not be deducted from your BAföG.

c) BAföG Application

How do I apply?

The best option is the online application as it offers several advantages.

For instance, the information you enter will right away be checked for mistakes and will be available in digital form. BAföGdigital makes it possible to apply online without a wet-ink signature or authentication being necessary. You can make a valid digital application by creating a simple user account.

And you can also upload the required documents when using the online application, so you won’t need a photocopier or letter box.

More information regarding the application can also be found on this page: What do I need to think of?

If you insist on filling out the forms by hand, you can get them with any of the BAföG offices (Amt für Ausbildungsförderung). The forms can also be downloaded online as PDF files at www.bafög.de.

If there’s not much time left to meet the deadline, there’s a special form to fill in. The regular application, however, must be handed in soon after so that your application can be dealt with.

When should I apply?

There are no general deadlines for making an application. It can, however, take several weeks until your application is dealt with.

Be aware – there is no back payment for any months preceding the month in which you submit your application!

For first-semester students:

We advise you to make your first application as early as possible, at the latest, within the first month of your education. Please note! The relevant date is when the office receives your application. In order to meet the deadline, an informal – signed! – application is sufficient, also via fax (see Schnellantrag – fast application). But without forms it always takes longer until funding is received.

If you have not yet been accepted by a university, it does not make any sense to apply because it won’t be clear yet which office will be in charge.

For follow-up applications:

The second or third application should be made as soon as possible, at least 2 months before your current BAföG runs out.

Because then it is possible that you continue to receive funding without any interruption (“Weiterleistung”), even if your follow-up application has not yet been officially approved.

We advise you to take care of your follow-up application four to five months before your current BAföG funding runs out. Then you won’t have to deal with it during the exam period.

The application for continued funding (“Weiterleistung”) is the same as for your first application, you need the same forms. If there were no changes regarding your income and assets, you can also use the simplified Form 09.

Why should I apply online?

If you fill in your application online, possible mistakes will be pointed out to you. You will be told which documents are still missing. Your entered data can be accessed directly and our staff does not need to type it in separately. All of this will save time that will then be available for dealing with your application.


If you apply online, your application will be effective right away – even on a Sunday. Sending a letter to the BAföG office is no longer necessary.

Where do I apply?

The Studierendenwerk München Oberbayern is responsible for several universities.

In general, you apply with the Studierendenwerk at your university’s location (in some cases, with the university itself).

Special offices are responsible for studies abroad.

For Schüler-BAföG, please refer to the local  BAföG office.

Can I apply without using the forms?

Yes, it’s possible to make an informal application to keep the deadline.

That can make sense if your education has already started and you won’t manage to hand in the forms in time before the end of the current month. Because, what counts is when the office receives your application. You would thus also receive funding for the ongoing month. But please don’t forget your signature!

In order to clearly assign your application, we require the following information:

  • surname and first name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • course of study
  • university

And also, your letter must clearly state that you are applying for BAföG funding. To do so, you can also use our Schnell-Antrag (“fast application”).

However, the informal application also has a definite disadvantage. There are several thousand applications that need to be dealt with in the winter semester. If you merely send us a letter, our staff member dealing with your case will first need to send you a notification requesting the forms. That leads to delays – for all of us.

If you still have enough time left then it’s better to use the online application.

Should I get some advice before making my first application?

In general, it should be possible to apply online or by letter without any problems. But if you’re unsure about certain information required, have a look at the explanations provided or feel free to contact our advisors.

Do I apply for the whole duration of my studies?

No, BAföG is in general approved for 12 months (in exceptional cases up to 15 months). If we don’t receive proof of your academic achievement (“Leistungsnachweis”) or you have already planned to take a semester off or have planned a semester abroad, it can even be fewer months. This regulation is intended to ensure that the amount of funding is adjusted to your current financial situation regarding income and assets.

Thus you must submit a new application before the end of your current funding period, otherwise you won’t receive any more payments (see: What is the “Weiterleistungsantrag” (continued funding)?).

Can I withdraw my application – and apply anew at a later stage?

You can withdraw your application at any time, provided you have not yet received an official BAföG notification. Of course you can submit a new application at a later stage.

But still, you’re not allowed to “store” assets someplace else. Thus, when you apply again, we will verify if the reasons for a reduction of your assets can be accepted. Normal living expenses, including for your studies, are permitted.

But don’t forget that it is not possible to receive any funding for preceding months! The new application will only be valid from the month in which it is received.

Withdrawing your application can make sense in order to defer the period of receiving funding if the parents’ income will be considerably lower for that period of time (i.e. applying only in January). The parents’ income of the year before last before applying is taken into account.

However, should your parents’ income during your BAföG period definitely be less than in the year before last before you submit your application, we advise you to apply to having the income adjusted to the current situation (“Aktualisierungsantrag”), using Form 07. This way you won’t lose any months – compared to withdrawing your application. An “Aktualisierungsantrag” can also have disadvantages; we therefore URGENTLY advise you to have a consultation with one of our advisors.

Once you have received your “Bewilligungsbescheid” (BAföG notification), it’s no longer possible to withdraw your application. The amount of funding you’re entitled to for the given time period will then have been decided upon finally. It is however possible to stop further payments. In that case, your BAföG loan debt will not increase any further and you can perhaps avoid high reclaims if your entitlement will no longer be valid from a certain month (the period will then be shortened after your message has been checked).

What is the “Weiterleistungsantrag” (continued funding)? (IMPORTANT, PLESE READ)

It’s simply the term used for a follow-up BAföG application which the BAföG office receives in time.

However, the “Weiterleistungsantrag” is very important!

In the case of a “Weiterleistung” (continued funding), you will continue to receive the amount of your previously received BAföG even if your new application has not yet been approved. If your follow-up application is only received shortly before your current funding period (Bewilligungszeitraum) comes to an end, there will almost definitely be an interruption of payments for perhaps several months.

The amount paid for a “Weiterleistung” can of course be higher or lower than the amount that will actually be granted, so that there might be a reclaim or additional payment. But at least you will still receive money onto your account!

And how does it work exactly?

The forms are the same ones as you used for your first application. If there were no changes regarding your income and assets, you can also use the simplified Form 09. Please note! Your parents’ information is nevertheless required before the deadline!

Important – a Weiterleistung is only possible if your application is submitted at least two months before the end of your current funding period (Bewilligungszeitraum). Also, the application must be, basically, complete.

For example: If your current funding was granted from 10/2020 until 09/2021, the “Amt für Ausbildungsförderung” needs to receive your application for the next funding period at the latest by 31 July 2021.

In general, basically complete means (filled in completely!):

  • Form 01 (information regarding the student’s income and assets) OR
    Form 09 - if your income and assets haven’t changed
  • Form 03 (information regarding the parents’ income – except in the case of parent-independent funding – and, where applicable, of the spouse or registered partner)
  • possibly Form 05 (“Leistungsnachweis”: proof of academic achievement once you’ve reached the 5th semester) – or valid alternative

Please include all the documents requested in the forms in order to quicken the application process! The BAföG office always requires a copy of all the pages of a document – especially in the case of tax assessment.

Next semester’s certificate of matriculation (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung) can be handed in at a later stage.

More information regarding the application can also be found on this page: What do I need to think of?

What happens if I can’t yet provide all the requested information or required documents?

Your application can only be processed completely if all the requested documents are handed in. We will notify you if there are still some documents missing.

In order for your BAföG to be approved, we definitely need:

  • Form 01 (or Form 09 in the case of follow-up applications provided nothing has changed)
  • Form 03 for every parent, each including proof of income (except in the case of parent-independent funding)
  • Immatrikulationsbescheinigung (certificate of matriculation)
  • proof of assets (from the day your application is received, at the most 14 days old)

Please don’t forget that there is no funding for past months. So don’t wait too long with your application. Missing documents can be handed in at a later stage. However, a complete application will be processed a lot quicker.

d) Coronavirus Pandemic

Do the semesters summer 2020 until winter 2021/2022 count for BAföG?

Yes, basically, they do count, but:

A change in the Bavarian university regulations has prolonged the “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study) for all students who were enrolled in the 2020 Summer Semester to the 2021/2022 Winter Semester by one semester for each of these semesters (see Art. 99 BayHSchG, Bavarian university regulations). BAföG will be granted for one additional semester for each semester you were enrolled during this period.

This special provision does not apply if you suspended your studies during that time.

That also means that funding with a 100% loan will start at a later stage (in the case of a self-caused delay of your graduating) and the reason for a longer period of funding – such as illness – must only be put forward at a later stage. The new legislation also defers deadlines and dates of the universities which depend on your individual semester by one semester.

You can thus submit your “Leistungsnachweis” at a later stage if you should have handed it in during the pandemic. However, if you have reached the required academic achievement, you can submit it at any time.

What happens if my parents can no longer support me financially?

If you have already started your studies and have not yet made a BAföG application, please do so. We will verify if you are entitled to receiving BAföG and whether or not your parents are required to support you financially. Considering their current income, it’s possible that they have to pay less or nothing at all. Should your parents not be paying – or paying less than deducted from your BAföG – legal proceedings via the BAföG office are possible.

Please consult our advisors should you be in that position.

In some cases, BAföG funding can be approved independent of your parents’ income. For more information, please have a look at the section “Parent-Dependent Funding”.

My parents are earning less due to the pandemic. Can I apply for BAföG?

BAföG is there to help you finance your studies if your parents are not able to.

Normally, your parents’ income of the calendar year before last is taken into account. However, should their income have decreased – for instance due to unemployment, a drop in profits or short-time allowance –, it can make sense to apply for BAföG even if their income from the year before last would have ruled out any funding. In that case, you would need to fill in the additional “Antrag auf Aktualisierung” (Form 07), in which you can provide up-to-date information regarding your parents’ income. You should get in touch with the responsible BAföG office for more details. Because, in the case of an “Aktualisierung”, there might be reclaims, should the income in the end turn out to be unexpectedly high.

In order to apply for BAföG, please fill in Form 01 – or to meet the deadline fill in the Schnell-Antrag (fast application). We ask you to only use the PDF version if it’s not possible for you to access the online application.

BAföG funding can only be granted from the month in which your application is received. You need to count with your application taking several weeks until it is processed – with back payments from the beginning of your funding period.

What happens if exams are being postponed in my course of studies (also finals/state examinations)?

Postponement of exams concerns two situations:

  • You’re not able to submit your “Leistungsnachweis” (proof of academic achievement).
  • You cannot complete your studies in the “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study)
    (Please note! In Bavaria, the “Regelstudienzeit” has been prolonged due to the pandemic, see: Do the semesters summer 2020 until winter 2021/2022 count for BAföG?)

In both cases, your BAföG funding will still be granted if postponed exams were the reason. There is no form to specifically apply for it. Please simply inform us that your studies have been delayed.

Important! You need to submit a new BAföG application. Your current funding period will in general not be prolonged by us. Have a look at your “BAföG-Bescheid” (notification approving your funding) to check the duration of your current funding period. BAföG can only be granted from the month in which your application is received. So make sure you apply as soon as possible, stating the reason for the delay. Dealing with your application will presumably take several weeks.

What about loan repayments?

Please get in touch with the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration). It is responsible for loan repayments.

What about studies abroad?

The Studierendenwerk München Oberbayern is not responsible for studies abroad. Have a look at this information and get in touch with the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung in charge.

The office in charge of the individual country will continue to grant international funding if you cannot start an already planned education abroad or cannot continue it. Nevertheless, we still ask you to inform us should you not be able to carry out your studies abroad or if they will be delayed or cancelled.

You are required to attend online lectures provided by your university. If you don’t use this service, you will no longer be entitled to any funding.

e) Duration of Funding, Change of Subject Area

From when can I receive funding?

Funding can be received from the month in which you apply (at the earliest from when your studies begin).

BAföG is always granted for entire months. Thus, if your lectures start on, for example, 15 October, you will receive the complete amount for October provided you applied for BAföG in October or before. If your funding is only approved at a later stage, you will receive a back payment.

For how long can I receive funding?

The maximum period of funding for university is equivalent to the “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study). You can find it on your “Immatrikulationsbescheinigung” (certificate of matriculation).

For each of the semesters summer 2020 until and including winter 2021/2022, your individual “Regelstudienzeit” will be prolonged by one semester (except if you suspended your studies)

The universities define the “Regelstudienzeit” in the regulations for your course of study (“Studien- und Prüfungsordnung”, SPO).

Funding will end at the end of the month in which you receive your overall result for that successfully completed part of your studies (at the latest, however, at the end of the second month after the month in which you took your last exam).

What is the “Bewilligungszeitraum” or “BWZ” (funding period)?

“Bewilligungszeitraum” is the term used by the BAföG office for the months for which you were granted funding in your BAföG notification.

It is always stated on your notification and normally covers a period of 12 months (2 semesters). After your funding period (Bewilligungszeitraum) has ended, you will only continue to receive funding if you submit a new application; there is no automatic prolongation! So please don’t forget to submit a follow-up application in time (at the latest two months before your current BAföG runs out)!

In the case of already planned semesters abroad, due “Leistungsnachweise” (proof of achievement), completion of the “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study) or continuation of your education abroad, the funding period might also cover less than 12 months. Be sure to check the information provided on your BAföG notification!

Can I receive BAföG after my “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study) has ended?

Yes, if the reasons are accepted by legislation – e.g. delay due to illness, disability, caring for close relatives, pregnancy, child raising (under the age of 14) or being part of the student self-administration. There must be a clear connection between the stated reason and the delay of your studies. In the case of pregnancy and raising your children, you will receive a fixed prolongation.

Please note! In the case of chronic or long-term illnesses, we require proof of medical treatment. For instance, it is not sufficient if a doctor issues a certificate which states that someone was presumably restricted by an illness. Medical certificates that are issued for the past (without there having been any medical examination or treatment) will in general not be accepted.

What happens if I don’t have (no longer have) a reason for the delay, but still will not be able to complete my studies within the “Regelstudienzeit” (intended period of study)?

After the maximum duration of funding (and possibly of prolonged funding) has been reached, 12 additional months can be funded by an interest-free loan. The “Hilfe zum Studienabschluss (support for completing your studies) can only be granted, however, from the month in which you are admitted to your final exams or the requirements for attending the final exams are met. If there is no official final exam, it depends how long it will presumably take you to complete your studies.

The university must certify that the requirements are met.

If you are no longer entitled to receiving BAföG, there might be the possibility of receiving a loan for up to four semesters from the Darlehenskasse der Bayerischen Studierendenwerke e. V.. The conditions for this loan are very good.

You are welcome to get in touch with our Student Loan Advisory Service to find out more about further options.

Can I receive BAföG after having changed my subject area?

Please get in touch with an advisor before changing your course of study!

If you’re studying for a Bachelor’s degree (or Diplom / Master’s degree), there must be a serious or irrefutable reason, depending on when you change your subject area.

In the case of a Master’s degree, there always has to be an irrefutable reason.

If you change your course of study before reaching the fourth semester of your Bachelor’s programme, the other course of study can be funded if there is a serious reason. A serious reason can be, in particular, personal lack of suitability or a profound change of mind. Judging your professional possibilities after having completed your studies is no serious reason. You must state your personal reason in writing if you want to switch during or after your third semester. If you change your course of studies immediately after your second semester, you are not required to give your reasons in writing.

If you change after the beginning of the fourth semester of a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme, only “irrefutable reasons” can be accepted (e.g. allergy in the case of chemistry students, paraplegia in the case of sports students). Failing your intermediate or final exams is no irrefutable reason.

If your new course of study accepts certain semesters, they do not count when establishing how long you have been studying your previous study programme, in your favour.

Should your new course of study accept all your semesters so far, it’s not considered a change of subject area and you won’t be required to provide any reasons (“Schwerpunktverlagerung”) However, you must provide proof that the semesters will be accepted, e.g. through your Immatrikulationsbescheinigung, which will show that you are placed into a higher semester.

It’s not permitted to meanwhile further attend your previous course of study. Otherwise we presume that there was no serious or irrefutable reason (you must change immediately).

Can I get funding for a second or complementary course of studies or advanced studies?

One single further education can be funded (§ 7 (2) BAföG)

- if it carries on from the university education, inasmuch as being legally required for admission into the desired profession,

- if, in connection with the previous education, access to the education was gained, it’s independent and continues the education in the same area,

- if the admission criteria for the further education to be funded were acquired at a “Fachoberschulklasse” (which requires completed professional training), an “Abendhauptschule”, a “Berufsaufbauschule”, an “Abendrealschule”, an “Abendgymnasium” or a “Kolleg” or by a “Nichtschülerprüfung” or a “Zugangsprüfung” at a university or comparable institution or

- if the first vocational education was an at least three-year training at a “Berufsfachschule” or in a “Fachschulklasse”, which does not require completed professional training, and was completed.

Furthermore, educational funding for one single further education is only granted if the special individual situation, especially the desired educational goal, make it necessary.

Can I get funding for a Master’s programme?

Yes, if the only other degree you got so far was a Bachelor’s degree. In individual cases funding can be granted as “further education” (“second course of studies”).

f) Your Own Income

Are scholarships deducted?

Scholarships up to an average of 300 euros a month are not counted in your income, provided they are dependent on talent and achievement.

If you receive support from “Begabtenförderungswerke” (organizations for promoting talented students), you are not entitled to any BAföG (see list of Begabtenförderungswerke).

How much extra money am I allowed to earn?

From October 2022, 6,240 euros before tax will not be deducted from your BAföG for a 12-month funding period. The amount is equivalent to a permanent 520-euro job. However, it’s the overall amount that counts, not your pay in individual months. You can therefore also earn more in certain months, if they are balanced by lower earnings in the other months. The actual months of your funding count, not the calendar year. It depends on when you receive the payments, not for what months they were paid for.

Please note! Stricter regulations apply in the case of payments from a mandatory internship, maintenance from a divorced or permanently separated spouse, scholarships and orphan's allowance/pension. This type of income is in general deducted from your funding.

Are payments from internships deducted from my funding?

In the case of a mandatory internship, the “Werbungskosten” (professional expenses) will be deducted first. Anything that is left, will be fully deducted from your BAföG.

A voluntary internship is treated like having a side job. There’s a limit of an average of 520 euros before tax per month (for all internships/jobs) for voluntary internships.

What all counts to my income?

Basically, the same rules apply as with your parents; positive income in terms of tax law is relevant (income from: agriculture and forestry, businesses, self-employment, employment, capital assets, renting and leasing and other income in accordance with § 22 EStG/Einkommenssteuergesetz). Income from a side job is in general income from employment.

Also, orphan's allowance/pension, “Ausbildungsbeihilfe” (educational grants) and further income for necessities of life in accordance with the income regulations are included.

Unlike with your parents, your actual income during the funding period is considered. You therefore need to estimate your income in advance when applying for BAföG. If your income turns out to be different, you must inform the “Amt für Ausbildungsförderung” of the changes. Should you have estimated your income too low, funding could be reclaimed.

g) Parent-Dependent Funding

What can I do if my parents don’t give me the required documents or won’t fill in Form 03?

Please also have a look at the information provided under BAföG and Parental Support.

If your parents won’t cooperate concerning your application, you can apply for advance payments by submitting a Vorausleistungsantrag (Form 08). You can arrange an appointment for receiving advice especially on advance payments under the phone number 089/38196-297 (only students studying at a university under the jurisdiction of the Studierendenwerk München Oberbayern).

Your parents are legally required to cooperate. They must at least send the required documents to the “Amt für Ausbildungsförderung”. If they refuse, legal proceedings can be initiated or a fine imposed.

Only by submitting this application can we verify whether or not you actually are entitled to parental support. In certain cases, parents no longer need to provide support.

Please note! You need to get in touch with your parents first, as you too are required to cooperate. When you submit the “Vorausleistungsantrag” you need to confirm that the requirements were met. That also includes that you actually asked your parents to cooperate or asked them to support you financially.

This information will be verified at your parents’ hearing.

How much are my parents allowed to earn?

There is no generally valid answer to this question. It mainly depends on how many siblings are going through an education at the moment. But also other factors are important, e.g. whether or not your parents are married.

Examples of calculations can be found at www.bafög.de.

How is my parents’ income ascertained?

Positive income in terms of income tax law is used (i.e. “loss” is not considered!) In general, positive income is taken from your parents’ tax assessment. In the case of your parents, the relevant income is the one from the calendar year before last before submitting the application. That is always the case, except if you apply to having their income adjusted to the current situation (“Aktualisierungsantrag”).

Especially taxes and social security contributions (or private insurance) are deducted – in the case of the latter only a fixed amount.

There are also certain exceptions for additional income (§ 21 (3) BAföG, also cf. BAföG-EinkommensV) and what is not considered as income, even if it actually is considered income in accordance with income tax law (§ 21 (4) BAföG). More detailed information can be found at www.bafög.de.

My parents are divorced / not married and I don’t have any contact to one of my parents. Do I need to provide information regarding that parent’s income?

Yes, you do. Both parents’ income must be provided so that it can be taken into consideration when calculating your BAföG. That also applies if you don’t have any contact to one of your parents.

Only if your parent’s residence can definitely not be determined, that parent’s income won’t be taken into account.

Is Kindergeld (child benefit) deducted?

No, it’s not. However, other regulations apply in the case of a “Vorausleistung”.

I am married. Is my parents’ income still taken into account?

Yes. Your marriage does not alter your parents’ obligation to support you financially. However, your spouse’s / registered partner’s income will be primarily taken into account.

In what cases is it possible to receive parent-independent funding?

First of all – there is no separate “application for parent-independent BAföG”. It will always be officially checked whether or not your personal situation will allow funding without taking your parents’ income into account.

Your parents’ income will not be taken into account if you

  1. are at least 30 years of age when starting that part of your studies (however, don’t forget the age limit).
  2. were gainfully employed for five years after turning 18 when starting that part of your studies or
  3. were gainfully employed for three years after completing a previous (at least three-year) professional training (or if the training was shorter, a longer period of working) when starting that part of your studies.

Please note! Points 2 and 3 only apply if you were able to support yourself from your income during the period of employment. You need to have earned at least 120% of the corresponding BAföG amount per month. Certain periods can be counted as employment (e.g. military service).

What happens if my parents can’t or won’t pay the amount deducted from my BAföG?

If your parents won’t pay the deducted amount – no matter for what reasons – you can apply for advance payments (“Vorausleistungsantrag”, Form 08). Proceedings will consequently be introduced to check your parents’ obligation to support you financially.

Don't worry – there won’t be immediate legal proceedings. First, their actual maintenance obligation will be determined. If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with us. You can arrange an appointment for receiving advice especially on advance payments under the phone number 089/38196-297 (only students studying at a university under the jurisdiction of the Studierendenwerk München Oberbayern)

Further information on BAföG and parental support.

Please note!

1. You yourself need to get in touch with your parents first. When submitting a “Vorausleistungsantrag” you need to confirm that the requirements were met. That also includes that you actually asked your parents to pay the amount stated in your notification (check “Festsetzung des monatlichen Förderungsbetrags” in your notification)

2. The information you provide will be verified at a hearing with your parents.

3. Advance payments can be granted from the beginning of the month in which the “Antrag auf Vorausleistung” is submitted. Backdated advance payments can only be granted if you inform the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung about your parents refusing to pay at the latest two months after having received your BAföG notification and you submit your “Antrag auf Vorausleistung” within your funding period.

Are my parents’ assets taken into account?

No, they’re not.

h) Illness

I’ve been ill for a long period of time. How will that affect my funding?

First of all – if you are ill and cannot continue your studies, you will continue to receive funding for up to three months. After that you will no longer be entitled to funding. If you don’t suspend your studies, the semester will however be counted concerning the overall duration of your funding. Prolonging your funding is possible if the illness causes an (unavoidable) delay in your studies.

Please note! Even if you suspend your studies retroactively, you will lose your entitlement to funding for the entire semester! Students who are ill during the semester must therefore carefully consider whether they want to continue to receive funding for up to three months and let the semester count (with the possibility of prolonging funding and postponing the “Leistungsnachweis” - proof of academic achievement) or suspend their studies and do without funding (there might be the possibility to receive ALG II. Get in touch with the Jobcenter in charge). If you suspend your studies, the semester won’t count for your BAföG funding.

If you choose not to suspend your studies, the BAföG office will verify whether there was a valid reason for the delay when your “Leistungsnachweis” is due as well as at the end of your studies.

That means that the date your “Leistungsnachweis” is due can be postponed if the illness was responsible. The same applies for prolonging your funding to a period longer than the “Regelstudienzeit”. Postponement or prolonged funding is, however, not possible if you are (in the long run) incapable of continuing your studies. In that case, you cannot avoid suspending your studies or disenrolling.

If you are ill for a long period of time, please get in touch with the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung and get some advice!

i) Funding Abroad

Can I receive funding for studying abroad?

Yes, studies in EU countries and in Switzerland can be funded from the 1st semester until graduation. That also applies for studying abroad as part of an international cooperation between universities. Studies in non-EU countries can partly be funded under certain conditions.

More details can be found here: www.bafög.de.

The Studierendenwerk München Oberbayern is not responsible for international studies. Detailed information on international funding can only be provided by the individual BAföG offices in charge.

j) Amount of Funding and Repayment

How much BAföG can I expect?

From the 2022/23 Winter Semester: Students studying at university can receive up to 511 euros (living with their parents) or 812 euros (not living with their parents) per month; with their own health insurance a maximum of 934 euros (1018 from 30 years of age).

For every one of your own children living with you under the age of 14 you will additionally receive 160 euros.

The exact amount of funding depends on where you live, your type of health insurance, your income and assets, your parents’ income as well as the current situation of siblings and other persons entitled to maintenance.

Can I get a rough estimate of how much to expect?

You cannot receive reliable information on how much funding you will receive without submitting an application.

There are several privately run BAföG tools online. Please be aware of the fact that in many cases an exact classification in legal terms – e.g. of income – can make a difference. Thus, it might happen that you’re not entitled to any funding even though the online tool shows a positive result, or that you actually are entitled to funding although the online tool says you’re not.

Reliable calculations can only be made by the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung in charge – and only if you submit an application!

Examples of calculations can be found at www.bafög.de.

Do I need to repay my BAföG funding?

Half of regular BAföG funding is a grant, the other half is an interest-free loan. Thus, you only need to repay half of your funding – without interest! It is even possible to get a further reduction on your loan if you repay at an early stage. More information can be obtained with the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration).

Only in certain cases, funding is restricted entirely to a loan without a grant; this is the case if there is a delay in graduating due to insufficient academic achievement or after a second or further change of subject area.

The “Kinderbetreuungszuschlag” (additional amount for children) is always entirely a grant. The same applies in the case of prolonging your studies due to disability, pregnancy and child raising (under 14 years of age).

When do I need to repay the loan part?

Loan repayment starts five years after the maximum duration of funding (“Regelstudienzeit”) of the last funded course of studies of the first part of your studies (in most cases, Bachelor’s degree) has been reached. You will receive a notification concerning repayment stating the amount of the loan as well as the instalments roughly half a year beforehand. The Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration) is responsible for collecting the state loan.

The “Ämter für Ausbildungsförderung” cannot provide any information regarding your loan repayments to the Bundesverwaltungsamt.

Is there a maximum amount for the loan part?

Yes, the loan that needs to be repaid can currently only reach a maximum of 10,010 euros for all parts of your studies (e.g. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree).

Can the loan be reduced?

Yes, if you repay it early. Further information can be found on the website of the Bundesverwaltungsamt.

k) Leistungsnachweis – Proof of Academic Achievement

When do I need my “Leistungsnachweis”?

You need to provide the “Leistungsnachweis” for receiving funding from the 5th semester onwards. You can hand it in within four months from the beginning of the 5th semester in order to receive back payments. But in that case there will be an interruption in payments.

Up to the fourth month of the 4th semester it’s sufficient to provide proof of your achievements you reached at the end of the 3rd semester. The date on which the BAföG office receives your “Leistungsnachweis” counts. We advise you to submit the “Leistungsnachweis” in time during your 4th semester in order to ensure uninterrupted funding.

Medicine and dentistry students please note the information provided by the LMU.

All semesters completed in your subject area count, even if you changed university and were placed in a lower semester.

The “Leistungsnachweis” only needs to be handed in once during your studies. If you apply for BAföG for the first time after the fifth semester (or if funding was interrupted and a “Leistungsnachweis” has not yet been provided) you need to hand in proof of your achievements for the higher semester. The same regulation applies that the status of the last semester is sufficient until the fourth month of the current semester.

Special regulations apply for the 2020 Summer Semester until the 2021/2022 Winter Semester. The “Leistungsnachweis” can be submitted at a later stage – except in the case of having suspended your studies – if it would already have been due.

Where do I get the “Leistungsnachweis”?

There are three options for the “Leistungsnachweis”:

  1. Form 05
  2. confirmation of an official “Zwischenprüfung” (intermediate examination, of the 3rd or 4th semester)
  3. confirmation of the ECTS credits you have received

The Leistungsnachweis on Form 05 is made by the university. Each university appoints BAföG officers for their faculties who are in charge. Please make sure that the form is filled in correctly. The date on which the academic achievements for that semester was reached must not be after the end of that semester.

Using ECTS credits is only possible if the university has established the necessary credits at the end of the fourth semester. Unfortunately, that is not the case in many faculties. If that applies to your faculty, you will generally need to have Form 05 filled in. Proving your academic achievement with ECTS credits is furthermore only possible if the university’s document states on which day the total amount of credits was reached.

Further information for:

What achievements do I need?

You must prove that you have achieved the usual results for that specific semester. The regulations set out in the “Studien- und Prüfungsordnung” are relevant, not the average achievement reached by students  (see judgement of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht [Federal Administrative Court] from 25 August 2016).

The standard for usual results is thus set by the university and the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung is bound by these decisions.

If you’re unsure when to hand in your Leistungsnachweis, please have a look at: When do I need my “Leistungsnachweis”?

Further information for:

Are there exceptions for the Leistungsnachweis?

If it’s impossible for you to avoid a delay in your studies due to reasons you are not responsible for yourself, it’s possible to hand in your Leistungsnachweis at a later stage. Make sure to get in touch with the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung in charge at an early stage to clarify the matter. You’re required to clearly explain the reasons that caused the delay in writing.

For instance, following reasons can be accepted:

  • illness
  • disability
  • pregnancy
  • child raising (under 14 years of age)
  • home care for close relatives from “Pflegegrad 3” (care level)
  • being active in bodies or organs of the university, the student self-administration, the Studierendenwerke and the Länder
  • not having passed an intermediate examination which, according to the “Studienordnung”, is necessary for achievements in higher semesters

Your explanation must show the connection between the stated reason and the length of the delay. If you are ill on an exam date, we require a medical certificate. If you are ill for a long period of time, we require a medical certificate that states the extent of the delay. The connection between your illness and your studies must be clearly indicated.

If a prolongation is not appropriate in terms of law, no further funding at all can be granted. Prolonging your studies is appropriate if the delay in your studies could not have been avoided with reasonable efforts and if you were not incapable of studying. In that case, you must disenroll or suspend your studies – perhaps, exhausting all options, even retroactively – until you are able to continue your studies. Furthermore, insufficient results or organisation of your studies must not have significantly contributed to the delay.

Please note! If you suspend your studies retroactively, you will lose your entitlement to BAföG for that semester. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to get some advice!

What happens in the case of chronic or psychological illnesses?

In the case of a chronic or psychological illness we also require a medical certificate of your doctor or psychotherapist stating when the illness started and how much it has been affecting your studies. General findings that you have presumably been ill for quite some time are not sufficient proof that the illness affected your studies in the past.

In order to determine when the psychological illness started, it can be sufficient to have gone to a counselling service if a diagnosis was made or your illness treated at a later stage and the doctor or therapist confirms the course and extent of your illness.

If you are experiencing psychological problems during your studies, we urgently recommend getting in touch with our counselling services. Any information you provide will naturally be handled strictly confidentially and will only be used within the counselling service.

You can therefore also contact the counselling service without the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung knowing anything about it. No information from your counselling session will be passed on. However, the counselling service can issue a confirmation, which you can hand in with the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung.

l) From Bachelor’s to Master’s Programme

I am simultaneously enrolled in my Bachelor’s and Master’s programme. What funding can I receive?

The law provides that you can receive funding during a Master’s programme if you are temporarily enrolled in two study programmes. The semester will then be counted to the maximum number of semesters for which you can receive funding during your Master’s programme.

Funding is provided on the proviso that you will in fact successfully complete your Bachelor’s programme.

What happens if there is a one-month break between the Bachelor’s programme and Master’s programme?

In this case funding is also possible for that month, in accordance with § 15b (2) BAföG.

m) Deduction of Assets

What assets am I allowed to have?

Before October 2022: Assets exceeding 8,200 euros will be fully deducted (plus perhaps a further 2,300 euros for every child of yours and your spouse)

From October 2022 onwards: Under the age of 30, assets exceeding €15,000 will be fully deducted. Over the age of 30, assets exceeding €45,000 will be fully deducted.

Please note! The information you provide regarding your assets can be verified!

Your assets on the day you submit your application (i.e. when the BAföG office receives your application) will be used for the calculation. The documents showing your assets must not be from more than 14 days from that date.

Please note! Debts must never be balanced. Assets and debts must be provided separately.

Does a car or motorbike count to my assets?

Yes, in accordance with a judgement of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court) a car or motorbike is to be deducted. In particular, it’s not a (not to be deducted) “household article”. You must provide its current value from the day you apply.

How is real estate counted?

Real estate is assessed with its market value. Its assessed value (Einheitswert) is irrelevant.

It depends on the applicant’s ownership interest. The applicant must provide its amount in the application and submit suitable proof.

In the case of owner-occupied property and in some other cases, you can apply for a “Härtefreibetrag” (higher amount of assets not being deducted). Please get in touch with us.

What if the amount of my assets or debts changes after I have applied?

Changes regarding your assets that occur after having applied are not taken into account for that funding period (Bewilligungszeitraum). Only in rare cases can a “Härtefreibetrag” be granted (“total loss through no fault of one’s own).