BAföG is a financial support from the german government for students, who can not afford their subsistence in other ways (like parents that earn enough money to pay for their child’s subsistence). It is payed out monthly and for the time of your studies.
In general, BAföG is meant to be a credit that the student has to pay back when he already works and earns enough money to do. How much of the money the student received has to be payed back, is related to the time he needs to graduate.
About 35 % of german students receive BAföG.

In some cases, e.g. if you already finished a Bachelor program or if you’re 30 years old or older, you probably won’t get BAföG but money from Jobcenter. So please do read the Jobcenter section also.
If you have questions left after reading this section, ask your buddy or contact Mr. Zangerle, who is responsible for refugees’ BAföG applications. Mr. Zangerles office is in D4 1 UG, room 028. You may make an appointment: 0681/302-4976 (Mr. Zangerle’s office).

There are two two different kinds of BAföG, which are explained below.

Pupil BAföG

As soon as you attend the German language course and are matriculated, you can apply for pupil BAföG. You cannot apply for student BAföG because the course is a study-preparing course, but no regular study yet. Pupil BAföG is limited to 504€. The good thing is you won’t need to pay back pupil BAföG at all.

Student BAföG

As soon as you start your regular study you can apply for student BAföG. Student BAföG is limited to 649€. After you have finished your studies in time and have been working for some time, you will have to pay back the half. The rates will be adapted to your financial situation then.

Applying for BAföG

In general, you only need to fill the “Formblatt 1” (if you don not speak german, ask someone who does, to help you – it is written in complicated administrational german) and add

  • a copy (back and front) of your residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)
  • a copy of your higher education degrees (or courses) with translation
  • a copy of your rental contract
  • copy of a current bank deposit
  • an evidence about your health insurance
  • a certificate accordingly to §9 BAföG, which you can get at the university administration (Uni-Sekretariat)
  • “Formblatt 2”, signed by Frau Keller (Studienkolleg) or an enrollment certificate, which you can find in English, French and German at → Studiumsverwaltung → Studienbescheinigungen after logging in at