Financing your Studies
Studying for a degree can be quite expensive. The Deutsches Studentenwerk publishes information on monthly student expenditure and what exactly the money is spent on. The information contained on the following pages should make you aware of some of the options available to help you fund your studies. For further information and advice you are welcome to contact the Student Advice Centre directly. Information on the services offered by the local and federal state authorities in Baden-Württemberg is available at service-bw.
The Studierendenwerk Stuttgart also offers advice on funding your studies.
People to contact: Student Advice Centre
Tel. 0711 397-3212
Thanks to BAföG (German Federal Law on Support for Education and Training), all young people should be able to complete a degree programme irrespective of their financial and social situation.
- Financial situation: Whether you are eligible for BAföG and how high your grant will be depends on your own income/financial means and the income of your parents.
- Nationality: German students are eligible for funding. Foreign students may also receive funding if they belong to one of the groups listed in § 8 BAföG (text available in German only)
- Age: Students must be under 30 years of age when they start their Bachelor's degree, and under 35 years of age when they start their Master’s degree. The regulation contains a number of exceptions e. g. for students with a child/children.
Suitability and compliance with the maximum period of funding: The maximum period of BAföG funding at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences is seven semesters.
Further information and how to apply
Students at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences can submit their BAföG application to the Studierendenwerk Stuttgart.
BAföG funding usually takes the form of a 50% grant and the other half as an interest-free loan.
Grants & Foundations
A number of funding options are available to help you finance your degree course. Grants are a marvellous possibility.
Basic information on grants
Grants are provided by foundations. The funding providers expect grant recipients to perform well academically, and almost always require some sort of social commitment as well. Foundations may also require applicants to fulfil their own specific stipulations. Funding may also be available for foreign students. Searching for a suitable grant can be a time-consuming undertaking, but is well worth the effort!
Several grant providers accept applications from students themselves, other foundations require prospective grant recipients to be proposed by their university, usually by a lecturer.
Foundations aim to provide students with financial and other career-related support for a predefined specific purpose.
Self-funding means a student has sufficient savings, their parents provide financial support for their studies, or they work part-time to have sufficient money for the duration of their degree programme.
Parents are fundamentally obliged to maintain their child financially until it has obtained its first vocational or professional qualification. This obligation also applies when their university studies follow on from and are related to vocational education or training they have undertaken previously.
If the income of their parents is insufficient, students can obtain BAföG funding. The amount of maintenance awarded is calculated on a case-by-case basis. Please find out about what applies in your own particular situation.
The Düsseldorfer Tabelle (in German) is a guide to the amount of maintenance and lists the current levels of payment.
Many students work part-time while they are at university to “improve their finances”.
Student jobs are often found by word-of-mouth, or from classified advertisements or notices posted at the university. Esslingen University of Applied Sciences also offers student assistant jobs on a regular basis. The University Career Centre can also help you to look for and apply for jobs. The Jobportal-Netzwerk is also worth looking at.
An overview of the tax and insurance issues you need to be aware of when working part-time is available from the Deutsches Studentenwerk. Further information can be found at students at work. When you work part-time during your studies, you must be careful not to exceed the maximum time allowed to complete your studies, and you need to plan things well and keep an eye on all relevant deadlines.
Entitlement to housing benefit
You may apply for housing benefit and your application will be successful only when “in principal” you are not entitled to receive BAföG (§ 20 Para. 2 Wohngeldgesetz). If you are not eligible for BAföG because the income of your parents/spouse/partner or your own income/financial means is/are too high, you are not eligible for housing benefit, either. The maintenance obligation then falls on your parents and/or spouse/partner.
Obtaining information and submitting your application
You must submit an application and prove your entitlement in order to receive housing benefit. Application forms can be obtained from the local housing benefit authority (Wohngeldbehörde), or the municipal, metropolitan, local or district administrative authorities. They can also provide you with comprehensive advice.
If you cannot (fully) fund your studies from your own financial resources, you can consider taking out a student loan. Before you take out a loan, you should always check whether other options are available, because student loans have to be repaid with interest.
A wide range of options are available: some loans help you to pay your tuition fees, others also cover your living expenses as you study. Please seek advice and compare the various options.
An overview of the student loans currently on offer can be found at Studis online, for example.
At CHE-Studienkredit-Test 2017 you will find a comparison of 43 student loans and educational funds.
A study fund or educational fund is a kind of student loan. Unlike a student loan you get from a bank, the loan repayment in this case is coupled to your future salary and not to a rate of interest. Moreover, the funding body provides you with financial as well as other career-related support as you study.