Getting a degree is an investment in your future. In addition to housing and food, students must also pay for their semester fees and educational materials. Of course, they also want to enjoy student life as well. The following section provides a short overview of different ways you can finance your studies both through the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts and from external sources.
BAföG is the abbreviation for the BundesAusbildungsförderungsGesetz (German Federal Training Assistance Act). This state-run training assistance law is designed to ensure that all young adults are able to afford an education – regardless of their personal social or economic situation. Half of the BAföG is given as a grant, while the other half is awarded as an interest-free loan. Students at the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts should submit their applications to the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (Office of Educational Support) at the Bielefeld Student Services Office.
University scholarships aren't available only to students with the highest grades. A wide variety of different organizations award scholarships: Political parties, churches, states, municipalities, and private foundations. Besides good grades, social involvement in politics, church, sports clubs or neighborhood associations are also important. Some foundations also consider students’ background and their parents’ financial situation.
Often, students receive not only the financial aid of the scholarship itself but can also participate in other programs as well like holiday academies, seminars, workshops and internships.
If you are interested in applying for scholarships, you should research a variety of funding programs thoroughly. Use the database provided by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research Stipendienlotse.de. to find the right scholarship for you based on your personal criteria. The Stipendienlotse (scholarship guide) is designed as a central informational tool for federal and international scholarships from public and private sources. Further information, advising and links are available on the Career Service website.
Further information on scholarships is also available through our eCampus course.
Many different kinds of banks offer special student loans for university students. The maximum amounts provided and the criteria for these loans can vary widely. Most student loans are not designed to finance an entire degree, however, but only to provide short-term financial support. Any bank loans must be repaid in installments, with interest, starting on a specific date.
The Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (CHE - Center for University Development) compares different student loans and student grants for German educational programs. The results of this comparison are available here.
Whether they choose to take on a job as a student worker, in a café, at a supermarket or as a student assistant at OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts – students have many different options for earning money while they complete their degrees. As a university student, you may earn up to 450 euros per month tax-free (or 400 euros if you are receiving a Bafög grant), and you must submit a tax declaration. How much work you want to do, or are able to do in addition to your studies, is up to you, and primarily depends on how easy it is for you to combine your side job with your degree program. The Deutsche Studentenwerk(student union), for instance, provides some helpful information on what to think about if you want to work in addition to your studies.
Students may earn 450 euros per month, or 5,400 euros per year during an authorization period.