Every prospective student must ask themselves what costs come with pursuing a degree course. Each semester, every student must pay a semester fee to the university - starting at enrollment and for each semester that you return thereafter. In the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, there are no tuition fees to be paid for your first course of study.
It’s important to clear up the question of financing before starting your studies. Many students receive financial support from their parents (§1610 article 2 BGB) or support themselves by working. What other options are there for financing your studies?
1. The “Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz” (BAföG)
If your parents are unable to support you financially, you may be able to receive income-dependent funding from the state thanks to the BAföG scheme (English: Federal Training Assistance Act).
In some exceptional cases, the parents’ income is not taken into account, and you may be able to receive independent BAföG financing.
As a rule, it is a good idea to first apply for financing from the BAföG scheme, as there are many groups of students who are eligible, despite their expectations to the contrary.
Persons who are not eligible for BAföG financing can use the “negative response” as evidence, for example, at the social welfare or housing benefit offices when applying for other social benefits. According to the BAföG regulations, applications for financial support must be submitted to the “Amt für Ausbildungsförderung” (BAföG-Amt). Students of the Hochschule Kaiserslautern must apply through the BAföG-Amt at the Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern:
Amt für Ausbildungsförderung der Hochschulen in Kaiserslautern
Phone: 0631/205 -2055 /-331
Finding funding and scholarships
Scholarships aren’t just for overachievers. The state issues thousands of grants each year via the “Begabtenförderwerke”; aside from that, there are also 2,200 private scholarships available for students. Those who make the effort will definitely have a chance at finding a suitable scholarship one way or another. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has created a Grant Guide in the form of an interactive platform where students can find suitable funding options by entering their desired criteria. The Parents’ Guide prepares parents specifically for giving advice on funding options for students.
The Hochschule Kaiserslautern’s funding options
As part of gender equality measures, the HS Kaiserslautern offers funding options for female students pursuing their first qualification. The Hochschule Kaiserslautern also offers financial support tosingle mothers and female doctoral candidates.
The Hochschule Kaiserslautern participates in the Deutschlandstipendium scheme.
The state Ministry for Education, Science, Further Education, and Culture issues several scholarships in collaboration with the major European research institution, CERN, for research visits and internships at CERN. You can find more information under CERN Scholarship. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the Upgrading Scholarship for students with professional experience. It offers financial support to students pursuing their first full-time or part-time academic degree course at a state or state-recognized university. The “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” is the largest scholarship fund in Germany and is the only one independent of political, religious, or ideological factors.
3. Funding opportunities in continuing education
In order to stay on the ball and professionally and personally develop further, lifelong learning today is an important prerequisite. With a growing range of extra-occupational academic education, more and more opportunities for individual further education are offered alongside work and family life. Anyone who knows financing and funding opportunities can easily decide to study. The brochure Fördermöglichkeiten in Weiterbildung - published by DGWF-Landesgruppe Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland - provides an overview of this topic.
4. Financial support from the Studierendenwerk
The Studierendenwerk also offers financial support to students in the form of hardship loans, final-year maintenance loans, or meal credit.
5. Student loans
Student loans are now a great supplement to the traditional funding options. As the intended purpose and form of the loans offered vary significantly between providers, it is worth comparing the different options (contract terms, annual interest rate, repayment terms, etc.) to find the right loan for you. The CHE-Studienkredittest (CHE Student Loan Test) can help in this.
For students at an advanced stage of their studies, a “Bildungskredit” (education loan) could be a good option for improving their financial situation. It is a short-term, low-interest loan for funding education.