Funding and support
Legally recognised refugees in Germany can apply for the BAFöG (government grant), regardless of the length of time that they have been in Germany. From January 2016 refugees have also been able to apply for the BAFöG if they are under a suspended deportation order or holders of specific humanitarian residence permits and have spent 15 months in Germany since their application for asylum.
What is the BAFöG?
The BAFöG is an educational grant made by the German government for all students who are unable to cover the cost of their university studies on their own or through their parents. They are given up to EUR 670 a month for maintenance and study expenses. Five years after completing their studies, they are required to pay half the BAFöG money back to the state – up to a maximum of EUR 10,000 in total. Maintenance costs in Germany compare very favourably with those in other European countries.
No tuition fees
University studies themselves are almost entirely free. German universities generally charge no tuition fees as the German state covers the cost of tuition. Fulda University does not therefore charge any tuition fees. A contribution to costs is only payable on preparatory programmes such as Fulda Pre-Study and on German courses. However, refugees do not even have to pay these fees as they are covered by the federal state of Hesse. This does NOT apply for refugees entitled to receive the maximum BAFöG rate of EUR 670 a month or a comparable financial support, such as scholarships.
The only expenses may be those associated with matriculation, regardless of the applicant’s matriculation status:
- If you enrol as a regular student – e.g. in Fulda Pre-Study or in a standard study programme – you will have to pay just under EUR 230 each semester (= 6 months). That gives you a semester ticket, which allows you to use public transport such as buses and trains (excluding ICE or IC) free of charge and admits you to the student refectory (Mensa), where meals are available to students at reduced prices.
- If you enrol as a guest student – e.g. in the taster programme – Fulda University covers the relevant costs.
Fulda University is currently looking into the possibility of awarding scholarships to refugees who are already studying at Fulda University. Information will be available here soon.