The abbreviation BAföG stands for the financial support of the “Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz”. The initial goal of the introduction of BAföG was to make studying or a secondary education possible for those people whose parents cannot afford to do so. However, many requirements have to be fulfilled in order to obtain BAföG.
Generally only the first education is funded if a person is under 30 years of age by the time they begin their studies. Yet, not every course of studies is eligible for BAföG. It has to be an undergraduate degree. A first-degree course of studies without previous secondary education is eligible. Under certain conditions, foreign students can also obtain BAföG.
The maximum monthly amount a student can get as BAföG is 648 € for students that do not live with their parents and 478 € for students still living at home. However, the amount of money depends on different criteria like income of parent, own income or assets. The period of funding is tied to the standard period of study. Special regulations apply for students who change or discontinue theirs studies, stays abroad, illness, disability, work for the university committee, pregnancy or the upbringing of a child under ten. BAföG is partly subsidy, partly interest-free loan. Generally, the loan has to be repaid five year after the last BAföG payment. You can always try to hand-in a BAföG application at the Student Support Services. You can get the forms online: www.bafoeg.bmbf.de/de/432.php
Generally, parents have to pay for the secondary education of their unmarried child under the age of 27. The amount of money with which they have to support their child is regulated by the “Düsseldorfer Tabeller”. Relevant are the guidelines for funding set by each higher regional court that regulate the “Düsseldorfer Tabelle”. Therefore, students should find out which higher regional court is responsible and research their guidelines online.
According to the Higher Regional Court Hamm (responsible for Münster), the requirement for students who do not live with their parents is 640 € monthly (work-related expenses up to 90 € and living expenses up tp 270 € are included, fees for health and special care insurance are not included). Ultimately, the amount of funding depends on the parents’ economic resources. The parents can also decide if they pay in money or in kind but they have to consider the needs of their child.
Maintenance law is immensely complicated. According to § 1618a of German Civil Code, parents and children have to show consideration for one another.
In case of maintenance this means that parents are obligated to do everything they can to ensure that their children are able to cover their living expenses during their secondary education. On the other hand, children have to do everything to not make the financial burden harder or prolong it. The period of support is tied to the standard period of study. However, the jurisdiction is not as strict as with BAföG. If there are good reasons to study longer than the standard period of study, the maintenance obligation continues. In addition, parents have the right to check on the progress of their children’s study. That means that students who receive maintenance are obligated to show a proof of performance on their parents’ request.
Over 70 percent of Münster’s students have a job apart from their studies. Most students have a 450 €-job. You can can find more information on insurance in the article “Studies and Work”.
If you receive BAföG, you have to consider the yearly income maximum of 4,800 € (tax included). If your yearly income is higher than that, your BAföG is cut back. For a paid mandatory internship regulations are different. Regardless of that, you are allowed to earn 2,400 € yearly as sports coach, educator, child minder or instructor without BAföG cutbacks.
There are different ways to get a credit for your studies. Before applying for credit you should consider all conditions and how far you want to get into debt. You should never get credit thoughtlessly and spend enough time finding the right creditor for your needs.
This loan supports students who find themselves in financial difficulties because of a pregnancy. They might not be able to work due to their pregnancy or have further expenses that they cannot compensate with their regular income. The loan is granted until birth with a maximum amount of 5,760 € (9 x 640 €) and the following requirements must be met: proof of pregnancy and proof of financial difficulties as well as a guarantor.
Repayment is due three months after finishing your studies in monthly payments of 100 €. Interest-free rates and reduction of instalments is possible.
Support for Students in Need
AStA grants social loans to students who find themselves in financial difficulties due to unforeseen events. Loans consist of up to 500 € and shall facilitate the continuation of studies.
These loans are interest-free and must be repaid by an appointed date. Students that are in such a emergency situation should contact AStA-social counselling to fill in a form for an interest-free loan.