BAföG - state funding for students in Germany

BAföG (Federal Education and Training Assistance Act) stands for more equal opportunities in the German higher education system. This need-based state student finance has been in existence since 1971, and it has proven itself millions of times over. More than four million people have been able to study since 1971 thanks to BAföG.

BAföG (= Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) 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 10,010 of the total loan amount. 

According to the 21th Social Survey carried out by Deutsches Studentenwerk, 18 per cent of all students enrolled at an officially registered and state-recognised university in Germany received BAföG in the summer semester 2016.

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.