BAföG reform 2022/23

More BAföG, better BAföG from winter semester 2022/23!

Due to the BAföG reform, the chances of receiving (more) BAföG will increase significantly from the winter semester 2022/23. It is worth applying!

On 23 June 2022, the 27th BAföG amendment was passed by the German Bundestag. Among other things, the new BAföG provides for a significant increase in the previously applicable need rates and allowances – both for students’ income and assets and for parental income. Students who previously received no BAföG funding at all or only a small amount will therefore have a much better chance of receiving funding from the winter semester 2022/23 onwards. Students who already receive the full requirement rate can also expect significantly more BAföG.

In addition, the age limit for the latest possible start of training has been raised from 30 to 45 years.

These changes apply from winter semester 2022/23

  • The BAföG rate increases to a maximum of 812€ for students aged under 25, depending on their housing situation or health and long-term care insurance. For 25-30 year olds, the maximum is 934 € and for over 30 year olds, up to 1,018 €.
  • For own children up to 14 years of age, the requirement rate is increased by 160 € per child upon application when determining the BAföG entitlement.
  • The asset allowance is
    • 15,000 € up to the age of 30
    • from the age of 30 even 45,000 €.
    • This means that students are allowed to have this amount of assets without it being counted towards BAföG. The circumstances at the time of application are decisive.
  • The tax-free amounts for students’ income were also increased. In the future, a mini-job with an average monthly income of 520 € or an annual income of 6,240 € will be exempted for BAföG recipients. For married students or students with their own children, even higher tax-free amounts are provided, so that even a higher income may not have any influence on the funding entitlement.
  • Parents’ income allowances will increase to
    • 2,415 € for parents who are married to each other (for both together) or
    • 1,605 € for parents who are not married to each other or who are permanently separated (for each parent);
    • This means that the parents’ income is only taken into account from a significantly higher amount than was previously the case. This significantly increases the chances of receiving BAföG.
  • The age limit for the late start of training has been raised from 30 to 45 years. If the training is started before the student reaches the age of 45, the age limit is irrelevant for BAföG in the further course of the training, even if the training cannot be completed until after the student reaches the age of 45.
    Incidentally, if the training is only started after the completion of the 30th year of age, funding is always granted irrespective of the parents.

What else changes?

  • Since 01.07.2021, students can apply for BAföG benefits via the digital application assistant “BAföG Digital“. The BAföG application can be easily created, edited and digitally sent on the computer via access to the online tool with all necessary data. All the necessary forms are put together in a simple and clear manner. The application can be sent completely electronically and the applicant receives an automatic notification that the application has been received.
  • As usual, half of the BAföG received as a loan is not due until five years after the end of the maximum funding period (after the first degree). Repayment is income-dependent in monthly instalments of € 130 each. After 77 instalments, i.e. a maximum of 10,010 €, the remaining debt is waived. If, for example, students receive 934 € per month for six semesters of Bachelor’s and four semesters of Master’s studies (BAföG maximum rate for students between 25 and 30 years of age), i.e. a total of 56,040 €, they have to repay a maximum of 10,010 €, which is less than one fifth – there is no cheaper way to finance your studies!
  • Anyone who studies two semesters longer for reasons that are not recognised by the BAföG office (e.g. extension of studies to improve grades) can receive “assistance to complete studies“. This is an interest-free loan that must be repaid in full (so-called full loan). A requirement is that you are admitted to the final exam within four semesters after the end of the maximum funding period and that the university certifies that you can complete your studies within twelve months. The repayment of the full loan usually takes place after the repayment of the regular BAföG (see case study 5).

Funding examples

  • Example 1: Parents married / Worker & regular employee / One sibling

    Applicant does not live at home during her studies. The parents are married to each other. The father works as an industrial fitter with a gross annual salary of 35,000 €. The mother works as a clerk and earns a gross salary of 30,000 €.

    Together they pay 11,000 € in taxes per year. The applicant has a biological sister who is still at school.

    About 83 € of the parents’ income are taken into account. Based on a monthly need of 812 €, there is an entitlement to benefits according to BAföG in the amount of 729 €.

  • Example 2: Parents married / Both self-employed / One sibling

    In this example, too, the applicant does not live at home during her studies. The parents are also married to each other. Both are self-employed. The father earns positive income in the amount of 60,000 €, the mother in the amount of 40,000 € per year. Taxes (including business tax) are paid in the amount of 20,000 €. The applicant has a biological sister who is still at school.

    Approximately 160 € of the parents’ income are taken into account. Based on a monthly need of 812 €, there is a claim for benefits according to BAföG in the amount of 625 €.

  • Example 3: Parents divorced / No siblings

    In this example, the parents are divorced. The father has positive income of 50,000 € per year as a self-employed person and pays 12,000 € in taxes on this (including trade tax). The mother is a civil servant, earns positive income of 33,000 € per year and is liable to pay tax of 4,800 €. There are no siblings.

    In this example, the father has no chargeable income. However, 151 € of the mother’s income are taken into account. Based on a monthly need of 812 €, there is a claim to benefits according to BAföG in the amount of 661 €.

  • Example 4: Mother deceased / Father remarried / Two stepsiblings

    In this example, the applicant also does not live at home during her studies. The mother is deceased. The father is self-employed. The income is 100,000 € per year on which he pays 25,000 € in taxes. The applicant is an only child and has not received BAföG so far because of the father’s very high income.

    Now the father is getting married. The new wife does not work. She has brought two children into the marriage, both of whom live in the same household with the applicant’s father and still go to school. The children do not receive maintenance from the natural father.

    In future, only 45 euros of the father’s income will be deducted from the applicant’s needs. Based on a monthly need of 812 €, there is an entitlement to benefits under the BAföG of 767 €, i.e. quite close to full support. After the father’s marriage, allowances could now be deducted from the income for his new wife and the two stepchildren, so that there is now an entitlement to benefits under BAföG.

  • Example 5: Amortization & Help for graduation

    The person applying receives BAföG benefits amounting to 40,000 EUR during their regular duration of the study program. Subsequently, the applicant receives 10,000 EUR as “Help for graduation” full loan assistance to complete their studies.

    Since half of the BAföG benefits received are a loan and the other half does not have to be repaid, the amount for amortization amounts to 20,000 EUR. The “Help for graduation” loan is a full loan. As a result, the person has to amortize 30,000 EUR.

    Amortization starts five years after the maximum funding period ends. At first, the BAföG loan has to be repaid in monthly instalments of 130 EUR each. After 77 instalments, a total of 10,010 EUR, the rest of the loan is remitted. In our example, the person receiving the loans does not have to amortize 9,900 EUR.

    With the 78th instalment, the amortization of the “Help for graduation” loan starts. Since this is a full loan, the total amount of 10.000 EUR have to be amortized.

    Of a total of 50,000  EUR in funding, the applicant only has to pay back 20,010 EUR.

State of the sample calculations: July 2022, legal situation from wintersemester 2022/23

Questions on how to apply?

Do not forget, even if the BAföG benefits you receive are low:
Half of it does not have to be paid back and BAföG-supported students are completely exempt from TV licence fees.