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Student finance

BAföG - state funding for students in Germany

BAföG ensures equal opportunities in Germany's higher education system. This need-based grants and loans system has provided state funding for students since 1971. Thanks to BAföG, almost four million students were given access to higher education. Today, one quarter of all students rely on BAföG for their academic studies.

BAföG (= “Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz” or Federal Education and Training Assistance Act) enables young people to choose a study programme that best suits their skills and interests. BAföG funding is need-based and granted if the student’s own financial means or those of his or her parents or spouse or partner are insufficient for this purpose.

  Half of the BAföG financial support is usually a grant, the remaining half an interest-free loan. A ceiling guarantees that students only need to repay a maximum of EUR 10,000 of the total loan amount. 

According to the 20th Social Survey carried out by Deutsches Studentenwerk, 24 per cent of all students in Germany received BAföG in the summer semester 2012.

Knowing how to finance one's education strongly influences the decision of whether to take up an acadamic training or not. In recent years, BAföG has ensured that students especially from low-income families did indeed enrol in a programme at a higher education institution.