Finance your studies – Tips for financing your studies

According to statistics, about 2.8 million students are currently enrolled at German universities. Most of them rely on financial support or income to pay for their own livelihood, the semester contribution and necessary study material. Students have access to various financing options. It is advisable to find out before starting your studies how much money costs studying and how you can finance your studies.

How much money do I need to study?

How much money do I need to study?

The amount of money a student has to expect for his or her studies depends on several factors and can not be answered flat-rate. Living situation, place of residence, lifestyle, insurances as well as obligations for maintenance and much more, provide for strong fluctuations in the area of ​​the necessary money.

Compared to many other countries, horrendous tuition fees are not required in Germany. However, a semester fee is due every new semester. Depending on the university and study subject, this is between 85 euros and 290 euros .

Looking at past generations, the way of studying has undergone a change. Today, students get much more home support. If the student does not live with the parents, the rent in the university vicinity usually accounts for the largest part of the expenses during a study. The average price for your own student apartment is around 360 euros. A shared room is much cheaper and available from an average of 160 euros. It should be noted here that cities such as Hamburg or Frankfurt have noticeably more expensive rents than, for example, Berlin. The German Studentenwerk has summarized the data throughout Germany and determined a minimum monthly requirement. Thus, a student needs an average of 794 euros per month for living expenses such as rent, electricity, insurance and semester contributions.

Further costs during studies:

Health insurance for students
It is more expensive when a student has to insure himself ill. Until the age of 25, students may be co-insured through their parents’ health insurance. If your own income is above the tax-free allowance of 405 euros , a student must take out his own health insurance. The same applies if the age limit of 25 years has been exceeded. A small consolation: Students are usually offered by the health insurance companies much cheaper rates.

Mensa eating and food
Another cost factor shows up in the food. Whoever uses the cheap offers in the refectory more often, needs between 150 and 170 euros per month for food and local cuisine. The visit to the restaurant is not included here.

Money for learning material
As a student you can not get along without learning material. Depending on the field of study, the costs vary between 20 euros and 60 euros per month , if additional study material is borrowed from the university library.

Cost of telecommunications
Telephone and Internet are also in the money. Special student rates are offered by almost all communication companies. Nevertheless, the costs are usually around 30 euros a month . Broadcasting fees hit with an additional 17.53 euros, but are not to pay at Bank reference.

Clothing, leisure and car
According to surveys, students spend around 50 euros a month on clothing and need about 60 euros to 70 euros a month for leisure activities . With about 100 euros is a car in the month count. By contrast, public transport costs on average only 40 euros with a student card.

This results in a monthly cost statement for students, which averages between around 600 and 1,200 euros . With higher demands and in particularly expensive cities, no limit is set to the top.

Ways to finance a degree

Ways to finance a degree

Around 80 percent of students do not get their studies funded by their parents or grandparents. This raises the question of how to cover the monthly costs of student financing. There are several ways to do this as financial help:

Opportunities for financing at a glance:

  • Bank
  • child benefit
  • scholarship
  • student loan
  • Part-time Jobs
  • housing benefit

Financial support from Bank

In order to receive financing from the Bank office as a student, various requirements have to be met.

  • German citizenship integrated foreigners with residence permit and residence permit
  • Regular visit to the university to ensure successful completion
  • Regular submission of certificates
  • Under 30 years of age – Exceptions apply if caring for children or relatives justified a later beginning
  • Income of student and / or parent may not exceed minimum level
  • Parents independent Bank possible after five years of employment, three years of vocational training and / or over 30 years old
advantages disadvantage
Bank is only partially repayable Already in debt after graduation
Maximum repayment sum 10,000 euros Height usually insufficient to cover normal costs
interest-free Is to apply each year again
Repayment in small installments  
Repayment starts up to 5 years after completion of studies possible  

The application must be made by yourself or through the legal representative and submitted in writing on the forms provided for this purpose.
The responsibility lies with the Studentenwerk of the respective university. The processing time usually takes about six weeks.

TIP: It is advisable to submit the application with the enrollment in order to obtain Bank from the beginning of the study. Bank is not approved retroactively.

Child benefit as a financial aid for studying

Child benefit is usually paid up to the age of 18 years. If a degree is desired, the age limit increases to 25 years . In certain exceptional cases, a child benefit is also possible. These include military or civilian services already provided or work as development aid workers. Disabled persons are also entitled to child benefit if the disability has existed before the age of 25.

The basic prerequisite for the receipt of child benefit is that the child allowance is in a general, not yet completed training. Continuing education at a private level is not considered as a training period.

advantages disadvantage
Will be paid monthly Payment to parent or guardian
Fixed amount regardless of income or benefits When applying for dependent on parents

The application is submitted via the Federal Employment Agency. The application must be submitted by the parent or guardian. The application must be accompanied by various proofs such as birth certificate and proof of study at a recognized university. The processing time is about four weeks.

Promotion of study with a scholarship

Contrary to numerous opinions, the basic requirement for scholarships is not that the applicant has an above-average performance. On the other hand, the prerequisites increasingly relate to the individual personality of the candidate and depend on the requirements of the various scholarship holders. For example, social commitment, personal motivation, as well as characteristics and interests are among the selection criteria for a scholarship.

However, a main requirement is that the applicant is entitled to Bank. This means that in order to apply for a scholarship, the requirements for the receipt of Bank must be met. Some providers grant scholarships without taking into account the parents’ income. Here, however, an outstanding academic achievement is usually expected as a prerequisite.

advantages disadvantage
Scholarships are not repayable Compliance with the performance target
Will also be granted for semester abroad Scholarship is subject to the rules of the carrier
Additional services for learning material  
usually covers the average living expenses  

The application for a scholarship is made via the respective foundations or gifted sponsors. There are application deadlines that end no later than two months before the semester break. An application always takes place for the following semester.

Some scholarship holders keep some applications for rejection and let them enter the next application phase. So it is possible that applicants for scholarships will not receive the scholarship until six months or one year. The applications are processed only after the application deadline. This is followed by a processing time of up to three months.

Note: A very unusual example of a scholarship is the “Bad Grade” grant from Small Lender. Students from all programs can apply here provided that they have below average scores in at least one subject.

Finance studies through student loans

Those who not only have to bridge bottlenecks, which they can master for 30 days with our loan, are primarily using long-term student loans. Here are several models to choose from.

Education Fund for Student Finance
Loan sums between 5,000 and 40,000 euros are available for student loans through an education fund. The amount depends on the future job prospects and the expected income. The student does not have to fulfill any special requirements for a student loan from the education fund. However, not all fields of study are funded. The application is usually made via private providers. The processing time is on average between one and three weeks.

Tuition Fee Loan
A tuition fee loan can be applied for in the federal states where the tuition fee has not yet been abolished. The tuition fee loan is designed to enable young women and men to study if tuition fees are not immediately available.

The maximum age is 35 years. For students who have educated children under the age of 14 and therefore start studying late, the age limit is lifted. A separate application must be made in this case.

The tuition fee loan is only granted for the standard period of study in the Bachelor or Master, whereby a maximum of four semesters can be added. The application is to be processed through the German Studentenwerk. The processing time usually extends up to four weeks.

Finance your studies with a KfW education loan
KfW’s education loan provides students with financial support if they are not entitled to Bank and are nevertheless exposed to an above-average burden due to high costs. With KfW’s education loan, study periods are secured and accelerated.
Up to € 300 a month is offered for a maximum timeframe of 24 months. Neither collateral is required, nor is the educational loan dependent on the income of the parents.

Student loans through KfW Förderbank
As a student with German citizenship or from another EU country with a stay of at least three years in Germany, with a preliminary diploma after six months at the latest and under the age of 30, a student loan from KfW Förderbank is available as financial support. It is granted for a maximum of 10 semesters and under certain conditions also up to 14 semesters. Another requirement is the straight-line course of study.
Applications must be submitted via Studentenwerke or directly through a Volksbank, Raiffeisenbank or Sparkasse. Within two to four weeks, processing is usually complete.

Bank bank loan

With a Bank bank loan , students receive financial support if they want to complete supplementary, advanced or additional studies at the end of their studies. If Bank authorization is no longer available because the duration of the study lasts too long, the Bank bank loan offers an alternative to financing. Further prerequisites and collateral can not be met.
The application must be submitted to the responsible office for training support or to the Federal Office of Administration. The processing takes about three to six weeks. Following a permit, the Bank is to accept bank loans.

advantages disadvantage
No collateral is required Often earmarked cash benefits
Few conditions too Additional financial burden due to interest
Monthly payouts or grand total Career start with debt
Independent of Bank or parent income  

Finance your studies with a part-time job yourself

Another way for more financial freedom in the study is to gain a side job. If funds or social benefits are used, the weekly working time of 20 hours during the lecture period may not be exceeded. Apart from that, many benefit cuts or cancellations threaten.
Numerous opportunities for part-time jobs as a marginal employment offer restaurants and bars, but also newspaper publishers or boutiques and kiosks.

In the semester break, the time restrictions of working hours do not apply. Many companies are especially looking for students for internships or temporary jobs, especially during the summer holiday season. It is advisable to send applications directly to companies in good time, to introduce themselves to the suburb and to personally ask for a side job.

advantages disadvantage
Income is at leisure High resilience in addition to studying
Up to 450 euros without reduction of subsidies From 450 Euro benefit cuts possible
No safe source of income Less free time and time for learning

Relieve the cost of studying with housing allowance

Housing benefit according to § 22 WoGG is available to students if they have no Bank entitlement. However, housing allowance can be applied for with a Bank bank loan.
The prerequisite is that the student lives in a household where no member of the household buys Bank . Exceptions are shared apartments, as here the student room is recognized as the sole household, unless the residential community consists of relatives or family members.

The income of the student must not exceed a certain income limit. In addition, the rental costs must be in an unbalanced relationship to the income. From this then also the calculation of the height of the Wohngeldanspruchs composes.
The housing application can be downloaded via the Internet or directly from the Housing Benefits Office. The submission of the application must be made there. In many cases, the processing time for a personal application will be shortened because open questions or missing documents directly reach the applicant. An initial application has a processing time of between three and six weeks.

advantages disadvantage
Monthly fixed payments Only for non-Bank beneficiaries
No limitation of the duration of benefits  

How much money can I earn as a student?

How much money can I earn as a student?

As a student, unlimited money can be earned. However, due to the necessary university visits and study periods, there is usually no time to pursue a full-time job. Most of the work is limited to part-time jobs during the semester. During the semester break, many students earn money full-time.

It should be noted that if you have your own income, you may be able to reduce government subsidies. For most student loans, one’s own earnings are usually irrelevant. Upon receipt of Bank or housing allowance, own income reduces the remuneration . Also, the health insurance may be more expensive if the merit of a student is too high.

The income limit is usually 405 euros per month or 4860 euros per year. This puts the student in an income frame where he is not subject to tax and social security contributions. If you receive Bank, you can earn 450 euros per month or 5,400 euros per year without Bank deductions.

Caution is required when working hours. Anyone receiving financial support from Bank, child benefit or a scholarship may not work for more than 20 hours during the lecture period. During the semester break, the weekly restrictions on working hours do not apply.

When do parents have to finance their studies?

When do parents have to finance their studies?

Basically, according to the German Civil Code ( 1601 BGB), parents are obliged to financially support their children until the end of their vocational training. A degree course is part of the education.

The obligation to provide and the amount of the Uunterhalts depend on the economic efficiency of the parents. Benefits such as child benefits and tax allowances are added to their income. If the parents have a low income or the maintenance is economically unreasonable for the parents, the maintenance amount is reduced or the maintenance obligation is extinguished.

The maintenance of the parents during a study is regulated as the child maintenance according to the Dusseldorf table. Currently, the amount of parental maintenance is 735 euros a month.

Whether parents are subject to maintenance is also dependent on other factors. So you have to accept the change of fields of study, but not if this unnecessarily lengthens the course. If there is a suspicion of deliberately prolonging the duration of the study, then no maintenance has to be paid. Students are only entitled to parental leave if they study goal-oriented and quickly.
The maintenance obligation of the parents ends with the first degree with professional qualification.

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