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BAföG: Grant period and update request

Grant period is the period in which you receive BAföG. Because the BAföG is granted only for a limited period - just the approval period. Two months before the expiry of the period of authorization, a follow-up application must be made if interruption of payments is to be prevented.


How is the authorization period set?

The authorization period is usually set by the Office to 12 months. This is always the case when the application has been submitted in time for the start of the study (or training).

Otherwise, the period of authorization is chosen to end with one semester or one semester.

When does the authorization period begin?

The period of approval is also shortened if the type of funding changes after a shorter period than 12 months. This is mainly the case with the end of the promotion period. After that, you can only get a interest-bearing bank loan.

The starting date of the authorization period is the month of the application. This means that you have an influence on the beginning of the period of approval by submitting the application at a specific time.

Later date of the authorization period

In addition, it is possible that you yourself determine a later start of the approval period in the application.

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However, the approval period must begin “promptly” with the application month. A postponement by two (at most three) months should be possible. However, you cannot influence the end of the approval period, which the BAföG office determines in accordance with the law.

Which income is calculated?

To calculate the BAföG, your income from the period of approval is used. The income of parents is calculated differently.

In this calculation is not the approval period, but the penultimate calendar year prevail!

Why an update application?

When calculating the BAföG benefit, the income of your parents or spouse can also be included - the income earned in the penultimate calendar year prior to the application.

Since this is unfair, if they have suddenly changed the income of the person concerned (something by pension, sickness, unemployment), you have the option to request an update.

However, consider this well: If the BAföG Office has approved the application once, you can not undo it!

What happens during the update application?

In the update application, the expected income is now included in the invoice during the period of approval. This, in turn, can only be appreciated, so you will get your BAföG then only under reservation.

When it finally becomes clear how much your parent / spouse has earned, it will finally be calculated how much BAföG you should have received - and it may be that you still have to receive back payments or have to pay back your overpaid BAföG yourself. For cheating this application is therefore in no case!

Caution in the case of incorrect data

Caution, however, is required for false information: A BAföG application is not uncomplicated and Nobody is perfect - mistakes happen. But beware: that can be expensive! If you have received too much BAföG on the basis of false statements (whether they were intentionally or unintentionally made), you should repay this and hope that the BAföG office will not impose a fine.

In recent years numerous cases of BAföG fraud have been detected throughout Germany, as the BAföG office compares its data with the tax office. It is therefore strongly advised against deliberately making false statements in order to fraudulently commit to a higher BAföG.

Legal aid makes sense

Similarly, in such cases legal remedies, that is, a contradiction or a complaint against the BAföG Office, are not very meaningful: they represent themselves as insane and can certainly count on a fine.

Anyone who, especially in the case of minor offenses, bends and admits his “guilt” may have more hope of hoping for pity on the part of the BAföG office - but this is certainly also dependent on the clerk. In addition, the BAföG office must be informed immediately of a change in the income situation. This does not only apply if the corresponding maximum limits are exceeded.

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3 responses to "BAföG: approval period and update application"

  1. Joan says:

    I have a question.
    If Bafög is rejected for a grant period 09 / 15-08 / 16 and one in two months decides to move out of the parental home eg 01 / 16 is then the fact that one moves out no longer relevant for the grant period? only for the next?
    LG Joana

  2. amy says:


    I have an urgent question. I would like to apply for a bafög now. When filling out the form, you have to fill in the approval period yourself at one point (from ... to ...). Can I theoretically enter the 3 years (from 8/2013 to 6/2016) in which I am doing the training? or can you just write down a year there?

    • Simone Janson says:

      Hello Amy,
      the grant period always includes 12 months. Then a new application is made.

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