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Zentrale Studienberatung

Student financing

For many young people, who often move out of home for the first time, the question naturally arises: what costs will I incur and how will I finance them?


Costs during the study

Every three years, the German Student Union conducts a social survey that contains key findings on the current living situation of German students and education domestic students in Germany. More than 70,000 students took part in the 21st Social Survey in the 2016 summer semester, which also publishes information on students' monthly expenses during their studies.


According to the study, students have average expenses of 819 euros/month in Germany. The specific breakdown can be found in the attached overview.

Of course, this information varies and is not generally valid. With regard to rent, for example, it is particularly important whether students continue to live with their parents, move into a room in a shared apartment or even their own apartment. When it comes to the cost of rent, the place of residence is also a decisive factor, as rents in large cities are often much higher than in more rural areas or less central districts.

Furthermore, the costs of the semester fee are not listed, which may differ depending on the university and have to be paid every half year.

Financing options

The sources of income to cover costs during studies are diverse and range from financial support from parents, to receiving BAföG benefits, to earning one's own income through part-time jobs.


Flyer "Financing a study"

Many students are not even aware of the different financing options available, which of these are suitable for them, where they can obtain information and comprehensive advice. The Central Student Advisory Service will be happy to answer your initial questions and provide you with helpful addresses.

In the following, we name contact persons inside and outside the university who can answer your questions about student financing. In addition, we have compiled helpful links for you to do your own research:


BAföG stands for BundesAusbildungsrderungsGesetz (Federal Training Assistance Act). The purpose of state education funding is to enable young people to finance an education if they or their family are unable to do so. Student BAföG is usually granted half as a grant (gift!) and half as an interest-free loan. Of the loan amount, one must repay a maximum of 10,010 euros in total.

For more information on eligibility requirements and funding rates, please see the links below:

Flyer "BAföG"




BAföG applications

Students of the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts submit their application to the Office for Educational Support of theStudent Union Bielefeld. Even if you are not sure whether you are eligible for BAföG, please still apply in any case!

You can obtain BAföG applications

If you have any questions regarding the BAföG application, please contact directly the Student Union Bielefeld.

Part-time jobs

Whether as a working student, in a café, at the supermarket checkout or as a student assistant at the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts - there are many ways for students to earn money while studying.

How much you can and want to work alongside your studies is completely individual and depends decisively on how well you can combine this with your studies.

The German Student Union (Deutsches Studentenwerk), for example, offers initial information on what to consider when working alongside your studies with regard to taxes and social security obligations.

Flyer "Jobbing"


A wide variety of organizations award scholarships: political parties, churches, the state, municipalities or private foundations. In addition to good grades, for example, social commitment in politics, churches, sports clubs or neighborhood help are important. The origin and financial situation of the parental home can also be taken into account.

Support through a scholarship does not only mean financial support: In addition, vacation academies, seminars, workshops and internships are offered, which go far beyond the technical and enable contacts to the professional world.

The search for a scholarship is very individual and requires an intense examination of the respective funding programs. Anyone interested in a scholarship should take a close look at the various funding programs. The following sites can be suitable starting points for your own initial research:

More information, advice and further links can be found on the pages of the Career Service.

Student Loans

Most student loans are not intended to finance a complete course of study. They provide further financial support in addition to maintenance from parents or income from a part-time job.

They can be an option especially if you want to continue your studies independently from your parents or if there is no time for jobbing in the last phase of your studies. Because you always start your career with debt when you take out a loan, you should first consider all the alternatives. If you decide to take out a loan, get advice from several institutions, draw up a cost plan and compare the offers.

Housing allowance

In principle, students are not entitled to housing allowance if they are entitled to BAföG "on the merits", meaning that their studies are basically eligible for support. This is independent of whether you actually receive BAföG or not (e.g. if you do not receive any money because your parents' income is too high).

However, there are circumstances in which students may still be eligible to apply for housing assistance. These could be, for example:

  • Age limit for BAföG entitlement was exceeded
  • later change of specialization without " valid reason"
  • Exceeding the maximum funding period (usually standard period of study)
  • Second degree program

For more information, contact the following facilities: