Financing your Studies
Bafög (Public Student Loan)
Scholarships for foreign Students
Students and apprentices in Germany can get support from the Bafög (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz). Especially students whose parents cannot financially support the studies of their children are supported. Bafög is partially disbursed as scholarship and partially as loan. Therefore, Bafög-recipients have to pay back only half of the support to the state.
Foreign students who have a residence permit for study purposes cannot apply for Bafög.
The following foreign students may apply for Bafög-support:
- displaced persons,
- foreigners who are recoginsed as entitled to asylum,
- foreigners with an open ended residence permit,
- recoginsed refugees,
- foreigners protected from deportation (Abschiebungsschutz),
- foreigners with a parent or spouse of German citizenship,
- students who have the right of entry and residence under § 3 EU-freedom of movement act as spouse or child of a EU-citizen or who do not have these rights as children of a EU-citizen because they are 21 years old and do not get financial support from their parents or spouse,
- students who are citizens of a EU-country or a EEA-country and who have worked in Germany before the start of their studies; there must be a connection between this work and and the study subject.
- Foreigners who have lived and worked in Germany five years prior to their studies or
- at least one parent has lived and worked in Germany at least for three years during the last six years; exceptions are made if the parent was not able to work due to reasons he/she is not responsible for and if the parent has worked at least six months in Germany.
Foreign students may apply for financial aid during their thesis (Bachelor-, Diplom- oder Masterarbeit). The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) asignes funds to the Universities. You may apply under the following conditions:
- financial need
- good grades
- foreign citizenship
- foreign high-school degree (Bildungsausländer/in)
- entire study programme completed in Germany
- Registration for Diplom/Bachelor/Master existent or expected soon
- thesis will be written in Germany
Scholarships for foreign students are offered by different public and private institutions (i.e. political or religious foundations). The requirements differ between these institiutions. Normally they expect good grades and commitment to a societal/religious/political cause. It is worthwhile to do research on the different offers to find the foundation that suits you.
We have compiled two lists of foundations (in German):
Schoarships depending on citizenship (for foreign students from certain countries)
Scholarships independent from citizenship
The DAAD offers a web page with a schoarship database for foreign students: www.funding-guide.de