Financing your studies
Before choosing to commence your studies, there is always the issue of finance to contend with. Students may make use of different forms of funding under certain circumstances.
Detailed advice on your finance options is provided by the Social counselling service team at the Studierendenwerk (German National Association for Student Affairs).
We have put together a summary for you of some of the key information regarding funding options:
BAföG - Federal Training Assistance Act
The Federal Training Assistance Act (or BAföG in short) governs state support for the education of students. This support is provided in two different ways, with half the value in the form of an interest-free loan to be repaid subject to favourable terms and conditions, and the other half granted as a state-sponsored subsidy.
Funding options provided by HWR Berlin
You may wish to consider applying for a scholarship programme. The HWR Berlin will provide funding for certain degree programmes falling under the Master's degree programme of continuing education, or offer (part) scholarships together with partners from business or associations as a reward. In addition, the University provides non-material support to its high-achieving students as part of the HWR Talent programme.
Scholarship providers from business and politics
Scholarships are awarded by so-called "Begabtenförderwerke", German institutions sponsoring the intellectually gifted, and “Studienwerke”, student associations. Some of these associations have already teamed up with the "Begabtenförderwerke", German institutions sponsoring the intellectually gifted, within the Federal Republic of Germany. They are linked to political parties or religions, or provide funding for certain groups of persons.
The associations are bound by the shared aim to foster the development of young academic talent who will protect our democratic society and ensure its future existence.
This is achieved by way of
- financial support in the form of monthly grants and subsidies for study trips, language courses and internships abroad
- diverse and inter-disciplinary seminars, symposia, academies, meetings and workshops
establishing contact with speakers, Liaison
Upgrading scholarships for professionally experienced people
The funding programme implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is specifically designed to cater for professionally experienced people with vocational training who wish to continue their studies.
Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V.
This programme caters for young migrants who want to obtain a higher education entrance qualification in Germany, prepare for studying at University and pursue an academic career, and who are residing in Germany as refugees, legal immigrants or ethnic German immigrants and/or their relatives.
Studienkolleg zu Berlin
The Studienkolleg zu Berlin offers leading young talent in Europe knowledge about the objectives and values of Europe in preparation for their future duties and responsibilities in science, business, politics, culture and administration. It enables participants to experience European diversity and provides them with an opportunity to explore their own questions - beyond the borders of academic disciplines, the different European countries and the university system.
Grant for the completion of studies - DAAD’s STIBET scholarship and support programme
The grant for the completion of studies enables students from abroad to prepare for their final examinations without being burdened by financial costs (whilst preparing their theses).
The Scholarship Database of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides an overview of the various scholarships available:
A comprehensive scholarship database with more than 600 funding programmes can be found here:
In order to motivate and mobilise people to enjoy lifelong learning, the Federal Government has come up with a new financing model in the form of the ET (education and training) bonus. The principle behind this is simple; individuals who invest in their education will be supported in doing so by way of state-sponsored subsidies and financing options. The Federal Government assumes 50% of the advanced training costs with its grant voucher, albeit no more than 500 euros.
Banks and savings banks (Sparkassen) offer a private financing option for your studies in the form of a student loan. The terms and conditions for student loans differ with regard to the amount and type of effective interest rate (fixed or variable), monthly disbursement amount, payout term, start date and term of repayment. Taking out a student loan is something that really needs to be considered carefully; disbursement amounts and interest accrue quickly on a significant sum. Furthermore, it is hard to say exactly how high the repayment amount is going to be at the time the contract is concluded. The offers provided by many banks include a variable interest rate. If interest rates begin to rise over the next few years compared to their current low level, this will result in monthly charges being higher too. Fixed interest contracts are therefore much easier to calculate. The general disadvantage compared to grants awarded under the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) is that students will have to start repaying the majority of loans one or two years after completing their degree - regardless of income. The Federal Office of Administration and the Deutsche Studentenwerk (German National Association for Student Affairs) are able to provide information about student loans.