BAföG—What is it and who is entitled to it?
BAföG is the abbreviation for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (Federal Training Assistance Act). It is a financial support granted to pupils and students in Germany. The aim of BAföG is to enable young people to train or study, regardless of their social and economic situation.
Half of the BAföG consists of a non-repayable grant and of an interest-free loan that must be repaid in the future.
Who receives BAföG and how much?
In principle, all pupils and students who are training or studying in Germany are entitled to BAföG. The BAföG maximum rate is currently €943 per month.
Whether and how much BAföG is actually paid depends on various factors, such as your own needs and income, the cost of living, your marital status, or your parents' income. The following applies: The higher the income of your parents, the lower the BAföG funding.
By the way, with BAföG calculators like the one at Meinbafög.de, you can find out free of charge whether and how much you are entitled to before you apply.
What are the prerequisites for BAföG?
In order to receive BAföG, various requirements must be met. Firstly, you must have German citizenship or a residence permit. Secondly, you must be completing a vocational training or study programme that is eligible for support. Furthermore, one's income must not exceed certain limits and there must be a need for financial support.
How high may the parents' income be for BAföG?
The parents' income plays an important role in the calculation of BAföG funding. There is no general answer to the question of how high the parents' income may be in order to receive BAföG. Rather, various factors are decisive, such as the number of siblings or whether the parents themselves are still in training or studying.
A rough estimate is that students whose parents earn about €40,000 a year before taxes and social security contributions can expect partial BAföG funding. If the parents' annual net income is about €20,500 or less, full BAföG support can be considered.
When and how much BAföG must be repaid?
Part of the BAföG amount is usually awarded as a grant and does not have to be repaid. The other part is granted as an interest-free loan which must be repaid.
Repayment usually begins five years after the end of the maximum funding period and amounts to a maximum of €10,000. The repayment model is staggered and depends on one's income. If the annual income is below a certain tax-free amount, no repayment is required. If the income is higher, a certain percentage of the income is due as a repayment amount. As a rule, no interest is charged.
What do I have to do to receive BAföG?
In order to receive BAföG, one must submit an application. In order to submit the application, various documents must be submitted, such as proof of income, matriculation certificates, or certificates of previous educational qualifications. It is advisable to submit the application early, as processing can take some time.
How do you apply for BAföG?
You can apply for BAföG either online or in paper form:
How the BAföG application works in paper form
To submit a BAföG application in paper form, download the forms from the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Fill them out (if necessary, together with your parents) and send them, together with the required proofs, by post to the relevant office for educational support. You can find out which office is responsible for you here.
Bafoeg-digital—The official online portal of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Here you can submit your online BAföG application free of charge via the official portal of the Federal Government. An electronic identity card or a comparable identification procedure is required for the online application. After completing the online application, you only need to upload the required documents and submit the application online.
On Meinbafög.de you have the option of submitting your BAföG application conveniently online. This online portal has existed for some time and was created to simplify the former paper-based and bureaucratic process. A special feature of Meinbafög is that you do not need an electronic identity card or any other identification procedure to submit your application. In addition, no complicated official German wording is used.
It is important to note that a fee of €24.99 is charged for using Meinbafög. This fee covers the service and support for the application. The advantage is that you can fill out and submit the application quickly and easily online without having to deal with complicated technical procedures or bureaucratic language.
Please note, however, that Meinbafög is not an official platform of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. If you would like to opt for the free alternative, you can also submit your BAföG application directly via the official online portal of the Ministry. However, you will need an electronic identity card or a comparable identification procedure. The choice between Meinbafög and the official portal ultimately depends on your individual preferences and needs.