Overview of funding

Study financing is usually a mix of several financing options. Watching this jungle of possibilities is not always easy.

The social counseling advises you on your personal finance mix and supports you before starting your studies, during your studies and when your life situation changes due to illness, pregnancy or other events.

Legally, parents are obliged to support a child until it has completed a course of study which qualifies it to work in a particular profession.

This may also be a degree subsequent to educational training. If the income of the parents is not sufficient, subsidies according to the Federal Training Promotion Act (BAföG) are usually possible. The Higher Regional Courts in the federal area base the support they provide on a monthly student maintenance requirement of €860 plus contributions to health and care insurance plus the enrollment fee. Allocation to a maintenance level is based on the Dusseldorf Table. However, the actual level of entitlement to maintenance is based on the parents’ income. Parents may demand proof that their child is studying in accordance with the study regulations.

We provide you with information on the legal requirement to provide child maintenance and will discuss together with you what options you have when your parents cannot or even will not pay for your maintenance. It can occur that students with difficult relations with their parents cannot make an agreement with their parents on maintenance, or that students could only do so with extreme difficulty. Before you decide to go to court, please seek consultation at the social counselling centre or the psychological counselling. In addition, the Social Counselling Centre also offers mediation/conflict resolution counselling.

A scholarship is not only a very good way of funding your studies, but also an excellent addition to your CV.

However, it is not easy to get a scholarship. To get a scholarship, you will need to master how to research foundations, how to make a good application and possibly also how to deal with a time-intensive selection process. The efforts required to apply to a foundation for a scholarship are roughly comparable to those required to apply for job with qualification requirements, but these efforts are worthwhile. Never send mass letters. Inform the foundations where you have submitted further applications. Further information can also be found in our flyer, Financing Your Studies via Foundations.

We would like to encourage you to try this way of financing your studies and we provide you with information on researching and applying. We also advise you in ongoing scholarship issues, such as in offsetting your scholarship funds against housing benefit or unemployment benefits.

In addition to BAföG, there are also other state social benefits the students can apply for.

For example, if you take semester-long break due to pregnancy, it is possible to receive unemployment benefits during this period. Likewise, state housing benefit is a good way for many students to pay a part of their rent.

We provide you with an overview of your possible social entitlements, explain the prerequisites for applying for housing benefit, the exemption from paying financial contributions to the German broadcast media and provide information on the getting child benefits and parental benefits. We also offer detailed advice for pregnant students and students with children. Whether full-time or part-time studies or a pause to your studies as part of a one-semester long break, we will help you to examine which could be the best option for you personally during pregnancy and while raising your child. You can make all applications to Help for the Family Foundation (Stiftung Hilfe für die Familie) via us.

Two-thirds of all students finance themselves in part or entirely by working – whether with a minijob or midijob, doing self-employed work, doing one-off jobs or as a student assistant.

If you earn €450 or less, you will not have to pay tax or social insurance contributions. As a student, you can work up to 20 weeks per week during the teaching months, largely without having to pay insurance contributions. In the semester breaks, however, you can work a lot more. It is important that your time and capacity to work are mainly dedicated to your studies. The amount you earn impacts your BAföG, however, and can also impact the amount of health insurance you pay. The student employment agency at studierendenWERK BERLIN assists students in finding work by getting them in touch with suitable employers.

We explain to you the requirements for working while you study and assist you in working out what the impact could be on your social insurance, child benefit, scholarships or BaföG. If you are pregnant, we advise you about the social protection regulations in employment law, about maternity allowance and parental leave, and about all topics related to working and studying.

You can find a job portal and free job related workshops on

There are now a large number of different loan options which are specially aimed at students and are therefore cheaper than other loans.

Before deciding on a loan, you should first check all other financing options, together with the Social Counselling Centre. You should only get a loan if you have no other option. In addition to the BAföG bank loan, KfW's study loans or loans from Studentische Darlehenskasse, the Studierendenwerk also provides financial assistance.

In order to get a feel for the costs incurred, we recommend using a repayment calculator to create a model repayment plan. To calculate the total debt, interest, and monthly repayment rates, there is a repayment calculator here.

KfW-Förderbank also offers a repayment calculator for KfW student credit loans and a repayment calculator for educational credit loans.

Studentische Darlehnskasse e.V. also provides you with a repayment calculator. With this, you can found out your payment and repayment schedules, based on the loan conditions.

We help you to deal with important questions that arise before you take out credit, let you know about debt traps and help you to find alternatives to taking out a loan. We provide information about the conditions of publicly funded study loans, and how they are allocated and repaid. 


Applications for KfW student loans can also be submitted to studierenWERK BERLIN.
The KfW advisory service is located at Hardenbergstraße 34, administrative building ground floor.
From 01 September 2020, we will again offer personal appointments for the submission of applications.

All information is available at:

An important pillar for financing your studies is BAföG. But are you entitled to it?
We will counsell on the eligibility requirements, questions and problems when extending BAföG and on possible alternatives.

Contact to Social Counselling Centre

You seek consultation? Please fill in the contact online form: