What is BAföG?

The German Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz - BAföG), commonly known by its short form BAföG, is understood to mean the financial assistance which is made available through this act. Half of the support students in higher education receive is in the form of a grant, the other half is an interest-free state loan totalling not more than €10,000 which must be repaid in instalments after completion of the standard period of study. Whether or not students receive BAföG depends on whether their financial means and those of their spouse, life partner or parents are sufficient to cover their financial requirements during their training or education.

Who is entitled to BAföG?

Non-Germans are also entitled to BAföG payments. As a rule, foreigners who have prospects of remaining in Germany and are already integrated in society are entitled to support.

To be eligible, you must:

  • hold German citizenship
  • hold non-German citizenship with appropriate residence status
  • show general suitability for the chosen course of studies
  • be below the relevant age limit

University students generally have to present proof of academic performance (Leistungsnachweis) at the beginning of the 5th study semester (Formblatt 5) to show that their study programme is still worthy of funding. If study abroad is to be funded by BAföG, other assessment thresholds apply and proof of academic performance is possibly required earlier than in the 5th semester. At Furtwangen University the BAföG coordinators (see below) are responsible for issuing the documents.

Students can only receive funding if the study programme for which they are applying for funding begins before the end of their 30th year, or for Master's programmes before the end of their 35th year. Exceptions are possible, for example for those who are applying through the bridging or second chance education programme (zweiten Bildungsweges), those who are applying without university entrance qualifications on the basis of their vocational qualifications, or those who have been bringing up their children.

Funding can only be continued under special circumstances in the case of someone changing degree programmes by the end of the 3rd semester at latest.

Students who have exceeded the maximum funding period can receive assistance to complete their studies for a maximum of 12 months, if they take the final exam within 4 semesters of exceeding the maximum funding period. Assistance to complete the studies will take the form of a bank loan.

Detailed information and examples:

www.das-neue-bafög.de
www.studentenwerke.de
www.bafög-rechner.de

Application for BAföG

Although applying for BAföG is quite a lot of work, it is worth it. The application for funding should be sent by post to Student Services Freiburg (Studierendenwerk Freiburg) and must be re-applied for every year. The application forms are available at the Student Union (AStA), the BAföG counselling office of Student Services Freiburg or online.

Where can I get more information about BAföG?

Information sessions for freshman students
At the beginning of each semester Student Services Freiburg gives a BAföG information session. The dates are listed in the semester calendar and on the AStA internet page.

Student Union (AStA)
The BAföG coordinator in the Student Union (AStA) office can supply the application forms, lots of insider tips and independent, neutral advice on the main aspects of BAföG.

Contact:
Siegfried Fien
Tel: 07723 920-2097
fis(at)hs-furtwangen.de
Furtwangen Campus, Room B 0.04

Student Services Freiburg (Studierendenwerk Freiburg)
Student Services Freiburg offers regular BAföG advisory sessions on all three university campuses. The staff at Student Services Freiburg can answer any questions you have about BAföG, for example whether you are eligible for BAföG, how much funding you are likely to get and how the information that you give affects BAföG funding. 

Please note: international students should seek advice before applying for BAföG as the application can affect residence status.

The application is also submitted and processed here. Find out which member of staff is responsible for your application: Contact information for BAföG staff

Please contact the BAföG staff by E-mail for an appointment at latest by 12.00 noon 2 days before you wish to meet the counsellor.

Consultation hours:

Furtwangen Campus
Ground floor of the Dining Hall (Mensa) from 9.15am - 12.00 noon

Schwenningen Campus

Ground floor of the Dining Hall (Mensa) from 1.30 - 3.30pm

Tuttlingen
Room A2.17 from 10.00am - 12.00 noon

BAföG Coordinators at HFU
The BAföG coordinators at HFU are responsible for issuing the proof of academic performance documents under § 48 of the BAföG Act. The coordinators can help with questions regarding extension of study time, missed deadlines and legal questions regarding the proof of academic performance.

The BAföG staff at Student Services are responsible for more detailed questions, in particular with regard to BAföG applications.

Where do I hand in the application?

Student Services Freiburg
The application is submitted to and processed by Student Services Freiburg.

The staff members responsible for the applications can be found here.

The application can be handed in during one of the regular BAföG consultation dates at HFU.

Where do I get the academic performance documents I need?

BAföG Coordinators at HFU
The BAföG coordinators at HFU are responsible for issuing the proof of academic performance documents under § 48 of the BAföG Act. The coordinators can help with questions regarding extension of study time, missed deadlines and legal questions regarding the proof of academic performance.

The BAföG staff at Student Services are responsible for more detailed questions, in particular with regard to BAföG applications.