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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin -

Finance your Studies

There several ways to finance your studies, most of them depending on how long you have been in Germany, your age and what your residential status is.

German universities charge very low tuition fees, and often none at all. Most universities in Germany are state subsidized. Students do not normally pay tuition fees for bachelor’s degree programs. Certain master’s degree programs might come with tuition fees, but compared with other countries, they are not very high. At Humboldt Universität, there is a Semester-fee for Bachelor and Master of 307.09€ (WS 16/17) called „Semesterbeitrag“. In a case of a special financial situation, you might be able to waive this „Semesterbeitrag“. For further information, please contact our student advisory center




Unfortunately, state subsidized institution as the DAAD don't offer scholarships especially for refugees. But you can apply for regular scholarships. Various subsidized and non-subsidized programs are listed on the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):





Another opportunity to co-finance your studies is he state-funded financial aid program BAföG, that stands for BundesAusbildungsförderungsGesetz. Funding is comprised in equal part of a grant and a zero-interest government loan. You are obliged to start repaying this government loan, i.e. half of the total funding, in regular installments no earlier than five years after graduation. No one is required to ever repay more than 10,000 euros. The amount of BAföG you receive depends on certain factors. The maximum amount is 720 euros per month. As long as you and your parents do not have sufficient income, you are normally entitled to receive BAföG for the duration of your standard period of study.

Your residence status and your personal qualifications play a role in whether and when you are entitled to BAföG. If you have any questions regarding your entitlement, please contact Studentenwerk Berlin.

The general rule is:

  1. If you are a recognised refugee (i.e. as entitled to asylum, granted refugee status or subsidiary protection), you can apply for BAföG irrespective of how long you have already been in Germany.
  2. If you are a “tolerated” refugee or holder of a specific humanitarian residence permit, you can apply for BAföG only after 15 months from the date you originally applied for asylum in Germany. This rule went into effect on 1 January 2016.
  3. If your application for asylum is still being processed, then you are not eligible for BAföG, but in most cases, you will continue to receive financial support through the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (AsylbLG). For further information please contact the respective social service department or the foreigners authority.

If you are entitled to BAföG, you must submit an application. This involves filling out various forms and sending them to the responsible BAföG office at your university. You must submit several other documents and certificates with your application, for example, statements showing your income and assets, as well as certificates from your university. You can only receive BAföG if your application is complete. In other words, you must provide all of the information required along with all necessary documents. You can find a checklist to help you fill out the BAföG application on the Studentenwerk website.

You must submit your BAföG application to the Studentenwerk (student service organisation), which is responsible for the university at which you study or would like to study. The university’s financial aid office can answer your questions and help you complete your application correctly. Visit our Studentenwerk website here.