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Financial aspects


Financial support

Studying with children generally involves a considerable financial burden as well as a lot of extra organization.

Unfortunately students from outside the EU whose residence permit is for studying only, generally have no right to family support (such as parental or child support), as they are required when commencing their studies to prove that their living expenses are covered. This also applies in cases where children are born in Germany during the period of study.

A special exemption applies to students who have refugee status. Different rules apply for students already granted official refugee status than for those still waiting to receive official refugee status. Your legal status is decisive on this issue.

Please contact the social counselling section of Studierendenwerk (the students' union organization) who advise all international students on options for financial support.

Semester Ticket

If you find yourself in financial difficulties and cannot pay the Semesterticket, you might be elgible for a grant. However, this process is independent from the normal re-registration, which means you will have to pay first and receive the usual student ID card, which can be used for public transport. If your application is successful, you will be reimbursed for a part, or possibly all of the Semesterticket costs.

The time period for applications for grants from the social fund ends with re-registration (for students who re-register), or two weeks after re-registration (for first-year students).

To obtain a grant, you have to meet all of the following requirements:

  • a social hardship that keeps you from paying the contribution
  • a monthly income which does not exceed your basic needs
  • and no savings or wealth.

A 'social hardship' might encompass:

  • writing your final thesis
  • an unpaid, or only low-pay internship
  • a restricted work permit for international students
  • being a single-parent
  • a costly diet necessary because of disability or illness
  • pregnancy
  • a reduction in earning capacity
  • integration grant ('Eingliederungshilfe') in case of a disability
  • at least one of your children receives the job-seeker's allowance ALG II
  • a specifically low income
  • high costs for medical treatment
  • costs for paying off loans, or debt

The amount of money granted depends not only on your stated circumstances, but also on the number of successful applications and the funds available. The more students receive a social grant, the lower is the individual amount! The relation between income and need, the length of time that the social hardship lasts, and the total sum of the financial obligations are all taken into consideration. If you are planning to apply, always visit the Semesterticket Office beforehand for advice.


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