Affordable student financing

BAföG is the cheapest way to finance your studies. Where, for example, can you receive more than 50,000.00 euros in funding and only pay back a maximum of 10,010 euros?

With BAföG, because half of it is paid as a grant - which does not have to be paid back - and the other half as an interest-free loan, which means that you only have to pay back half of the money you receive later, up to a maximum of 10,010 euros.

Individually fitted to you: The amount of funding is personalized for you, as your individual life situation determines the exact amount in detail. No two calculations are the same! So don't compare yourself with others, submit your own application!

Send your application now digitally to or submit it online at!

BAföG advice: Make an appointment now!

The choice is yours: Arrange your individual BAföG consultation appointment now - either in person or conveniently by phone!

Most common questions
Q & A

There are almost as many questions about BAföG as there are stars in the sky, because each of you has a very individual life situation with an infinite number of possible combinations. What interests one person about BAföG (what if I inherit/my father retires/my sister does an Voluntary Social Year?) is of no interest to another because it doesn't affect them.  We want to help everyone and not bore anyone!

That's why we've answered the most common questions for you here. For all other questions, you don't need to spend a lot of time researching and despairing over contradictory answers. Just ask the life search engine: the experts from the BAföG office! We look forward to getting to know you, helping you financially through your studies and finding solutions for every situation together.

How to BAföG

Am I entitled to BAföG?

Do you have a degree that is required for studying? Then you are already on the best way to BAföG: 97% of the first applications we receive are eligible for BAföG! There are only a few exceptions that could still hold you back (e.g. if you are starting a second Bachelor's degree, studying at a private university that is not BAföG-eligible, etc.).

➜ Check your BAföG entitlement


Are students from Ukraine entitled to BAföG?


You may be entitled to BAföG if you have a residence permit valid until at least 01.02.2024 in accordance with Section 24 (1) of the Residence Act.

Contact and information on how to apply:

BAföG office
Kölner Studierendenwerk

➜ Booking an appointment

➜ Informations for students affected by the Ukraine war



Ви маєте право на отримання BAföG, якщо у вас є дозвіл на перебування, дійсний щонайменше до 1 лютого 2024 року відповідно до § 24 (1) Закону про перебування.

Контакти та інформація про те, як подати заяву:

Офіс BAföG
Kölner Studierendenwerk

➜ Бронювання зустрічей

➜ Пропозиції для студентів, які постраждали від війни в Україні


Do I have to answer every question in Form 1?

Actually, yes, but if certain topics do not apply to you at all, draw a line.

Download | Form 1

Is a BAföG application complicated?

Not as complicated as your study subject!

When should I submit an application?

Now, for example. You can't apply too early, only too late. Even if you don't know which university you're going to yet, send your application to the Studierendenwerk in your city. If you end up in another city, your documents will be sent there.

If you are already studying, your application only counts from the month in which it is received by the Studierendenwerk by post. So if you don't want to miss out on any money, do it now.

Period and amount of payment

How much BAföG will I receive?

The amount of your BAföG financial aid is as special as your DNA - we have to calculate it! So send us your application or bring it with you to the consultation. It costs nothing.

How long does it take to process the application?

Here's the thing: it essentially depends on you! Why? The clever ones among you will have the money in their account after 4 weeks. Clever people know what they need to send and do it quickly. You can do this too: further up on this page you will find the BAföG checklist. BAföG checklist.

How long will I receive BAföG?

From the first to the last semester of the standard period of study for your subject, if you submit an application every 2 semesters. In exceptional cases, even longer (e.g. as a student council member or in the event of delays due to pregnancy, raising a child, etc.). In addition to your Bachelor's degree, you can also receive funding for your Master's degree. Let us help you.

BAföG advice: Make an appointment now!

How is BAföG calculated?

It is a combination of your assets (money in accounts, life insurance, etc.), your income (e.g. mini-job), your parents' income from the year before last and the allowances (e.g. siblings!) that can be deducted from it. Tip: If your parents currently earn less than 2 years ago, the current, lower income is used for the calculation.

Download | Form 7


How much can I earn alongside my studies if I receive BAföG?

Such an application is usually valid for 12 months. During this period (called the “approval period”), you can earn up to a total of 6,240 euros in a mini-job, for example. That is an average of 520 euros per month. However, it doesn't matter whether you earn the same amount every month or, for example, nothing for a few months and then therefore more in the next few months. If you cross the earnings limit, BAföG will be cut off accordingly. Other limits apply for freelancers, self-employed persons, trainers and students with children.


What is the parents' income limit?

This does not exist as a concrete number and must be checked individually.

How do I get parent-independent BAföG?

There are a few possibilities that we will check based on your CV. For example, if you have already completed an apprenticeship and then worked (a total of 6 years) or you are over 30 years old at the start of your studies (also applies to the Master's degree). We will be happy to explain other exceptions.

Can I get BAföG if I live with my parents?

Of course. However, the maximum subsidy amount is lower because the flat-rate housing allowance is then only 56 euros (instead of 325 euros).

Is BAföG something for poor people?

No. It is always about the combination of parental income and amounts that can be deducted from it. There are large allowances for siblings, for example. So if you have parents who earn well, but also a few siblings who go to school, study, do an apprenticeship or an Voluntary Social Year, etc., you have a good chance of receiving BAföG funding.


When do I have to pay back BAföG?

Five years after the end of the standard period of study. You will receive a letter from the Federal Office of Administration with the amount of your loan (limited to 10,010 euros). You can then choose whether you want to pay the total amount directly (there are further discounts!) or in installments (e.g. 130 euros per month).

How much BAföG do I have to pay back?

A maximum of half of the money you received. The other half is an “allowance”, i.e. a gift. Why a maximum? There is a repayment limit of 10,010 euros. So if you have received more than 20,000 euros in BAföG, you will never pay back more than 10,010 euros! An example: If you receive the maximum BAföG rate (from October 2019 approx. 853 euros/month) while studying for a BA and MA, you will receive a total of approx. 51,000 euros BAföG, but will only pay back 10,010 euros of this! Medical students and students with children can receive even more. No joke: you can get over 50,000 euros from the state for your studies! Your share: 10,010 euros!



Student financing (department)

Service House
Universitätsstr. 16
50937 Cologne
Fax 0221 94265 134

Our service
BAföG: General information, document check, case-related advice, deferral advice
Special advice: DAKA loans and educational loans
Information on scholarships and loans in emergencies