Germany 2013/14 - student fees and grants

Country: Germany
Date of publication: 2014
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 200 - max 1000
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 200 - max 1000
Fees - note: The majority of students pay minimum fees
Grants - note: Approximately 25 % of students receive need-based support
Need-based grant (euro): min 120 - most common 5376 - max 1000
Merit-based grant (euro): min 1800 - max 9000

National student fee

In 15 of the 16 German Länder studying is free of charge (Bavaria decided that fees are not in force as of winter semester 2013/14). Only in Lower Saxony students have to pay fees of maximum EUR 1 000 per academic year, which is defined by law. Only administrative charges are paid by all students.

When exceeding the regular study period, students may be liable to pay fees even in those Länder that do not charge fees.

Students can be exempt based on need- or merit-based criteria.

Different fees may be charged to students from outside the EU and EEA countries.

Student grants

General public student support (BAföG) is awarded as a grant for one half of the individual amount, and as an interest free loan for the other half. Total amounts range from EUR 10 to EUR 670/month for 12 months/year. Eligibility and amount are determined by assessment of student need based on income, family situation, housing situation and disability. A maximum of EUR 10 000 needs to be paid back.

Students need to be under the age of 30 (35 for master studies) to be eligible for public student support.

Different types of merit-based support are awarded entirely as a grant. The amount awarded is often determined through an evaluation of student need. Total amounts of scholarships range from EUR 150 to EUR 820/month for 12 months/year. Additional support is determined by assessment of the family financial situation.


Study loans are available to cover the tuition fees (in those Länder that charge tuition fees and limited to the amount charged) and living costs. The latter are available as a Bildungskredit of up to EUR 7 200 and a Studienkredit of up to EUR 54 600. Both loans are paid out in monthly instalments.

Family allowances

Students' parents receive a monthly family allowance of EUR 184 for the first two children, EUR 190 for the third and EUR 215 for the fourth and more, and a lump sum tax relief (EUR 3 504 per annum, per child, per parent), until students are 25 years old. The tax office checks in favour of the taxpayer whether the child benefit or the deduction of the above mentioned allowances is more favourable.

Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017
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