Applying for BAföG state funding for students in Germany

BAföG stands for more equal opportunities in the German higher education system. This need-based state-funded student finance has been in existence since 1971, and it has proven itself millions of times over.

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

BAföG for International Students

EU citizens and other international students can receive BAföG under certain conditions.


Students will need to also fulfil the following points before applying for BAföG:
  • Under 45 years old.
  • Personal finances or those of the parents, or spouse or partner are insufficient. (Visit this link for more information: studierendenWERK BERLIN – 04. Advice on Completing Applications (
  • Have no income or the income as an employee (mini-job, student assistant) of up to 520 euros gross per month will not be deducted (your income is always calculated for the entire approval period and then divided by the number of months, i.e. an average income is calculated).
  • In general, students should apply for educational support as early as possible (6 to 8 weeks before the start of the semester). In Germany the breakdown of your study time is in semesters (not terms) therefore students must follow the timeline of semesters in this matter: the summer semester starts on 01.04.2023 and the winter semester starts on 01.10.2023 (same dates for 2024).
  • From the fifth semester, BAföG funding is paid only after a performance check. In addition to the application for funding, the submission of proof of achievement (Leistungsnachweis) is necessary.


The studierendenWERK BERLIN takes care of all BAföG applications and advises students interested in student financing and performs checks to see if they are entitled to BAföG. Students can book appointments for counselling here: studierendenWERK BERLIN – Appointments for Counselling (


IMPORTANT: Only students studying with BSBI through Uninettuno or UCA are entitled to apply for BAföG. Students are now able to apply for BAföG (when meeting the criteria) due to the change of the law of higher education for non-university cooperation institutions based abroad (Berlin Higher Education Act / BerlHG – section 124a) and a positive examination of equivalence run by the Berlin Senate beginning in 2023.

Please note that 50% of BAföG must be repaid after the end of the maximum period of support (five years) and an idle period of five years. If you are receiving a low income at the time of repayment, you are still obliged to repay the loan but you may request to begin repaying your loan at a later date.