BAföG is meant to finance studying for students from economically weak backgrounds. Half of the received funds is a grant from the state, the other 50% have to be paid back in rates after some years.
You can get BAföG, if you fulfill one of the following criterea:
– You have German citizenship
– A parent, or a spouse is German
– You (or a parent) have worked an paid taxes in Germany for 5 (respectively 3) years
To receive BAföG, you have to register in time. It is good to hand in the necessary paperwork early, since the processing time may take a couple of months. A multitude of forms and documents are required, like the tax returns of your parents. An overview of the required forms and documents is found here:
Important to note is that the date of application determines for which months BAföG will be granted. To receive BAföG in the months directly after the start of your eduaction, you have to apply by end of June (winter semester) or by end of December (summer semester). The application does not need to be complete by that date. The required documents, like your confirmation of entrollment, may be handed in later. However, before getting any grants, all the documents must be handed in. The money may then be also granted retroactively.
You can get BAföG for as long as the regular studying time of your subject lasts. If you change your subject, your time will start anew. A change with a studying time reset is only possible within the first 3 semesters. You may only change the subject once.
The repayment of the loan commences after you have received a monthly salary of 1145 Euros for 5 years. You only have to pay up to 10 000 Euros of the loan in rates over multiple years. There is a discount if you can pay back everything at once.
Many local student unions offer free of charge BAföG consulting, if you have any questions!
(Stand of Data: August 2016)