What is BAföG?

BAföG (short for "Bundesausbildungsförderungs-Gesetz") is a type of governmental funding for students. It is a combination of federal grants and interest-free loans. Depending on the income of the parents students receive funds for their studies. The current maximum BAföG-funding-rate is at 861 € per month.

Important information at a glance:

  • up to 861 € per month
  • 50% are free
  • 50% interest-free
  • maximum loan repayment: 10.010 €

If you are unsure whether of not you qualify for a BAföG funding you can find all important information and a first consultation at the SWFR. Our advisers will also provide help filling out an official application.

Zum Herbst 2022 ist eine umfangreiche BAföG-Reform geplant, die weitreichende Verbesserungen bringen wird. 

Nachfolgend ein kurzer Überblick über die wesentlichen Änderungen:

  • Erhöhung des Bedarfs für Studierende auf 511 Euro (bei den Eltern wohnhaft) bzw. 812 Euro (nicht bei den Eltern wohnend)
  • Erhöhung der Krankenversicherungs- und Pflegeversicherungszuschläge
  • Erhöhung der Freibeträge beim Elterneinkommen um durchschnittlich 20,75 %
  • Erhöhung des Einkommensfreibetrags für Studierende (ein 520 € Minijob bleibt anrechnungsfrei)
  • Erhöhung der Altersgrenze auf zukünftig 45 Jahre sowohl für Bachelor als auch für Master (bislang 30 bzw. 35 Jahre)
  • Der Freibetrag für das Vermögen der Studierenden steigt von 8.200 Euro auf 15.000 Euro


Das Deutsche Studentenwerk hat eine Übersicht mit den wichtigsten Änderungen erstellt, die am 23.06.2022 vom Deutschen Bundestag beschlossen wurden.

For students who are still receiving BAföG in the summer semester 2020, the maximum duration of support for BAföG was also increased by one semester due to the pandemic-related extension of the standard period of study by one semester.

However, if your maximum funding period (FHD) ends in August/September 2020, you must submit a resubmission application in good time, as the extension of the FHD and thus the resubmission after reaching the FHD will only take place after submission of a new application.

If you are in the 4th semester of the current summer semester 2020 and cannot present the number of ECTS credits required for the proof of academic achievement to be submitted for WS 2020/21 (Form 5) due to the pandemic, it is possible to grant a corresponding postponement upon informal application.

The maximum BAföG funding period is based on the standard study period which is stipulated in the study and examination regulations for the respective subject.

According to  § 15 Abs. 3 BAföG there are the following exceptions:

  • due to grave reasons such as sickness or desease
  • as a result of participation in legally prescribed bodies and statutory bodies of the universities and the student union
  • as a result of failure to pass the final examination for the first time
  • as a result of a disability, pregnancy or the care and upbringing of a child up to 14 years
  • as a result of caring for a close relative who is at least classified in nursing level 3

In addition, certain conditions allow a student to receive assistance beyond the maximum funding period within the framework of the assistance for graduation  (§ 15 Para. 3a BAföG). This funding is provided in the form of an interest-free government loan.

Wording of § 15 Abs. 3a BAföG:

Trainees at higher education institutions who are enrolled in an independent course of study shall be assisted in completing their studies for a maximum of twelve months of educational support, even after the end of the maximum period of support or the period of support in accordance with Paragraph 3 number 1, 3 or 5, if the trainee has been admitted to the final examination within four semesters of that date at the latest and the examination office certifies that he or she can complete the training within the period of assistance in completing his or her studies. If a final examination is not intended, sentence 1 shall apply provided that the trainee submits a confirmation from the training institution that he/she can complete the training within the duration of the final assistance.

Help with graduation can also be provided if no funding has been given beforehand. For modularised degree programmes it is required to complete the training within the maximum funding period of 12 months.

NEW: For BAföG recipients who are the first in their family to aim for a university degree additional funding is available through cooperation between the Studierendenwerk and the Arbeiterkind.de initiative. 

Info here