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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.

EU citizens can fulfil the personal requirements for BAföG in various ways.

Students who work in Germany while studying will need to meet the following criteria:

  1. When applying for BAföG for the first time, the student must have already been gainfully employed in Germany for at least ten weeks.
  2. In order to maintain BAföG entitlement, the student must continue their employment throughout their studies.
  3. The student's employment must allow for full-time study.
  4. Students will need proof of permanent residence. This mainly covers EU citizens who have resided legally in the territory of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland for at least five years. Proof can be provided through a permanent residence card issued by the foreigners authorities.
  5. Connection between studies and previous employment.
  6. Entitlement to BAföG can also require employment that is related to the student's studies which were taken up at least six months before the start of their studies. The employment must have been pursued in Germany.
  7. The personal BAföG requirements for EU citizens can also be fulfilled if the right to freedom of movement can be derived from a spouse, partner or own children.

International students who are not EU citizens can also receive BAföG benefits under certain conditions.

International students who are staying in Germany with a visa/residence permit for study purposes (§16b) are not entitled to BAföG unless they simultaneously meet one of the other following requirement:

Students with a permanent residence permit: Residence permits without an expiration date are unlimited.

Students holding a specific residence permit with the intention of residing in Germany will be one of the following:

  1. Recognised asylum seekers, recognised refugees or a granted residence permit on international, humanitarian or political grounds. (Ukrainian students/Students with a residence permit from Ukraine: Most Ukrainian students change their refugee status to study purposes, however, due to their background they might have simplified access to BAföG).
  2. Spouses or partners of a German nationals (German citizens).
  3. Students who have custody of a minor child with German citizenship.
  4. Spouses, partners or children of a foreigner with a German permanent residence permit. (§ 30 or §§ 32-34)
  5. In some unspecified cases, students must also have resided in Germany for at least 15 months.


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 (stw.berlin).

- 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 (stw.berlin).


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.

All UNINETTUNO courses based in Berlin (except DBA) are eligible. 


BA Tourism and Hospitality Management

MSc Digital Marketing

MA Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management


More courses will be added soon based on state approval.  

How to Apply

Every application is an individual case decision. Rejecting or approving BAföG is the department’s prerogative (Department for Grants: studierendenWerk Berlin).

The Studierendenwerk (student services) Berlin can offer advice and help with the application. studierendenWERK BERLIN

Once you have read the BAföG guide and completed the checklist, you may apply directly to https://www.bafoeg-digital.de/ams/BAFOEG.

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.