In principle, educational support funding is no longer provided if you have reached the age of 30 (35 for a Master’s degree) at the start of the course for which you are requesting educational support funding.

Exceptions are possible:

  • If you met the access requirements for financially supported education at a technical higher secondary school (attendance of which requires you to have completed vocational training), at an evening lower secondary school, a vocational preparatory school, an evening grammar school, or a college, or if you met the access requirements by passing a non-pupils’ examination or an entrance examination.

  • Because of your professional qualifications, you have been enrolled in a higher education institution without a university entrance qualification.

  • If you were unable to start your educational period at the regular time for personal or family reasons. A specific example of this is if you have been uninterruptedly raising your own child (aged under 14) when you reach the age limit and up to the start of your course, and you have been employed during this period up to a maximum of 30 hours per week (as a monthly average). Single parents are also allowed to work for more than 30 hours a week, thus avoiding the need for support in the form of Grundsicherung (basic social assistance benefits).

  • If you were prevented from starting your studies because of caring for your parents or close relatives [from care level (Pflegestufe) 3].

  • If you have become needy as a result of a drastic changes in your personal circumstances and have not yet graduated from any course that can be promoted under this Act and that qualifies you for a profession.

For an exemption from the age limit, you must begin your course immediately upon fulfilling the entrance requirements, or upon the reasons hindering you ceasing to apply, or upon a need arising as the result of major changes in your personal circumstances.

Starting a Master’s degree is always counted as a new course. This thus means that checks must be run (again) on your status in relation to the age limit.