BAföG: Which education is funded?

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First, you must be suitable for the training you are applying for. Aptitude means simply that you are suitable for this degree. As a rule, you already fulfill your qualification with your university entrance qualification. communication

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Studying until the bitter end?

Say: The BAföG Office assumes that if you have attained the university entrance qualification you will also successfully complete your studies.

But do not worry: you are under no obligation to continue your studies until the bitter end and have no financial disadvantages from a study break. But: The BAföG Office wants to make sure that its assessment was correct and therefore requires proof of performance from the fifth semester onwards.

BAföG supports training and further education - but not all and not all in the same way. The following articles summarize the most important regulations:

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Even if you are still going to school, you can get BAföG from the tenth grade. This is because the further education of general education begins, which, together with that of vocational training, forms part of initial training as defined by the BAföG and is thus eligible for support. Further general education means that your education leads to a Haupt- or Realschulabschluss, to the Fachhochschulreife or to the Fachgebundenen or general university entrance qualification.

This includes, among other things, the attendance of secondary schools, vocational colleges and training centers of the second educational path (evening schools, colleges), but not vocational schools, which are only visited by a dual vocational training program, which in turn is not eligible for funding (see Grundförderung)

If you are attending a regular high school, real school, etc., or a vocational school or Fachoberschulklasse, you only get BAföG, if you are lodged abroad, for example in a boarding school. In any case, you will receive the BAföG as a grant, which means you will not have to repay a loan, unlike BAföG for students. In addition, there is no time limit for the payments, ie as a student you are funded as long as they go to the training center, even if you have to repeat a class.

Studienkolleg and German courses

If you want to study in Germany, but your foreign school diploma in Germany is not recognized, you must first complete a Studienkolleg to prepare for the university. On for this training you can get a student BAföG.

Even if you want to learn German in a language course, you can receive educational support for students if you no longer live with your parents. If you still live at home, you can apply for maintenance allowance from your municipality instead of BAföG. Note: In both cases, your age does not matter, but the fact that you as a foreigner BAföG-entitled only under certain conditions (read by citizenship)

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Basic funding, first degree, university degree and degrees

In principle, training is only provided for initial training, which is made up of further general education (see also school) and vocational training. Vocational training is an education that provides basic vocational training or professional qualifications, as well as a professional qualification (eg vocational training, vocational school, university of applied sciences, academy, university). According to the BAföG, vocational training is promoted for at least three years, in addition to continuing general education.

But: not all vocational training courses are eligible, a dual company training, for example, where you also receive a salary, can not be funded. This also means that you do not consume your basic training entitlement to BAföG (in accordance with § 7 Abs. 1 BAföG) in such an apprenticeship (eg as a trainee apprentice).

However, if you study, you will not be able to earn your basic training subsidy if you complete your studies in less than three years. In this case you are even entitled to a new basic promotion! Whether you get BAföG or not, however, does not matter.

Incidentally, it does not matter which form of higher education you choose and which degree you wish to pursue as part of your first degree program: You can obtain BAföG if you attend a university, a university or an academy, be it state or private. All degrees, whether diploma, Fachhochschuldiplom, Magister or Bachelor are supported. So you can also get BAföG for a degree if you already have an in-company training, ie a first professional qualification.


The Master's program has a kind of hermaphrodite position in the German education system: on the one hand, it is the second part of a coupled Bachelor-Master course, on the other hand it is considered to be an independent further education after a first degree or in professional life. Consequently, you only get BAföG for a master’s course if it is based on a bachelor’s degree. That means: If you have a bachelor's degree in biology, for example, and now want to add a master's degree, then you have the prospect of success with your BAföG application. However, if you have already obtained a diploma or another university degree, a master's program is only funded as a second training in special cases. On the other hand, if you want to pursue your master's degree alongside your job, you cannot count on any funding - according to the BAföG, only full-timeCourses have been funded so far. Even if you are aiming for an MBA, you can only get BAföG for a first degree with an MBA.

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Important: Even if you want to do the Master's degree after completing a Bachelor's degree, you must not be older than thirty when you begin your master's program. The exception to this age rule applies only to the Bachelor.

Incidentally, if you have completed your Bachelor's degree and have not yet started the Master's degree program, BAföG will be granted bridging status for a maximum of one month. This means that the funding ends with the passing of the Bachelor's degree examination, even if this is not at the end of the semester. If the master's program is started in the following semester and is more than a month in between, you will have to do without BAföG during this time.

Further education - secondary and postgraduate studies, doctorate

If you have already completed a first vocational training course and have spent your basic training (eg in a first degree of more than three years), you may receive BAföG for further training. It does not matter, however, whether you have received BAföG in your first degree or not! This rule does not apply if you have not yet claimed the right to basic promotion!

Whether you get BAföG depends on the following factors:

The previous training has enabled you to start your desired education. Although this may be independent, but must continue in the same direction, such as: Fachhochschulreife - computer science as a FH diploma - computer science as a university diploma. With a high school graduation this row is not possible, then argues the BAföG office that you would have resembled at the university study.

Your further education deepens in more than four semesters professionally a university study with the same contents orientation. However, you must have completed your previous studies at most one year before the end of the maximum period of funding. You need further education to gain the right to pursue your desired profession, for example in the field of medicine. These regulations apply equally to advanced and additional study courses, doctoral studies and masters. A second study, in which you study something completely different, is therefore not encouraged! Attention: The promotion is only a full-rate loan.

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If your course regulations mandate an internship and you receive BAföG, you can also receive BAföG funding for the duration of the internship. Such unpaid practice units often last a few months, often a semester, sometimes even longer, and you may even have to move for the duration of the internship. So do it Senseto take care of funding in good time.

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  1. Elizebeth pear tree

    It was not clear to me that there were so many possibilities with the BAföG. This is definitely something for our grandchild daughter. Thank you!

  2. Erika

    My daughter wants to learn nutrition consultant, trainer license B- and A and personal trainer. I would like to ask if the Bafög is promoted.

    Thank you

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Erika, thank you for your inquiry.
      However, the article is specifically about school and university education, which is why we can not answer your question.

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