BAföG to be reformed by next winter semester

Increased housing benefit, income allowances and a new maximum award rate—all that will come by Winter Semester 2019/20.

The German Bundestag adopts a new BAföG reform: From August 2019 a new maximum award rate, higher income allowances and adjusted housing benefits apply.

The most important changes in detail

  • The maximum award rate is to rise in two steps from currently 735.00 EUR to 861.00 EUR by 2020. This is an increase of 17 percent.
  • Parents' income allowances are to be increased by 16 percent in three steps by 2021.
  • The housing benefit lump-sum for all BAföG supported students who do not live with their parents is to rise from currently 250.00 EUR to 325.00 EUR per month, an increase of 30 percent.

Especially students whose parents have so far been a little above the income threshold will benefit from BAföG in the near future because of the increased income allowances.

However, critical voices can be heard as well. The DSW (German Studentenwerke umbrella organization) appreciates the intended increase of the award rates and parental income allowances, but demands a considerable increase of the living wage rate. Furthermore, BAföG needs to be synchronized with student reality: The maximum funding period must be extended for at least one semester after the regular duration time of a study program ends. BAföG must also be opened for part-time or orientation studies, demands DSW General Secretary Achim Meyer auf der Heyde.

The reform still needs to be passed by Bundesrat.