Germany to raise BAföG student loan payments

Germany to raise BAföG student loan payments

The German government has confirmed that students receiving the BAföG higher education loan will soon see more money arrive in their bank accounts each month.

German BAföG student loan payouts raised by 5 percent

Students in Germany will receive 5 percent more money from the BAföG student loan, the German government has confirmed.

The BAföG (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) financially assists students under the age of 45, including EU citizens and non-EU citizens with valid residence permits.

Since the last time the BAföG payment was raised in the winter of 2022 / 23, eligible students have received 452 euros per month and an additional 360 euros to pay rent if they do not live with their parents. With the new rates confirmed, students will soon receive 475 euros per month plus the 380 euros rent allowance.

“Following a long negotiation round we have successfully come to an agreement about how to rework key areas of the BAföG structure. This is very positive news, from which the students in our country will tangibly benefit,” wrote Lina Seitzl (SPD), Laura Kraft (Greens) and Ria Schröder (FDP) in a joint statement.

Students' union calls BAföG rises “too weak”

A 2022 study by the welfare association Paritätische Gesamtverband found that a third of students in Germany live below the poverty line, and since students saw the last BAföG rise, the cost of living in Germany has continued to increase.  According to data from the real estate platform Immoscout24, rents saw record increases in the first months of 2023. Between January and March 2023, the cost of renting existing flats in Germany rose by between 7,4 and 7,7 percent.

Critics say the BAföG raise comes too little, too late. Speaking to taz, German Students' Union (DSW) representative Matthias Anbuhl said the decision sent an “important political signal” and called the rate rises “overall still too weak to give BAföG the grand shove that it so urgently needs. Finally we’ve had an amendment but we need significantly more force, BAföG needs to be strengthened further”. 

The German Trade Union Association (DGB) is on the same page. “Despite the good approaches taken, the promised structural reform [which the government promised in its coalition agreement] has unfortunately failed to materialise,” representative Elke Hannak told the newspaper.

Changes planned under the reform include giving new students a 1.000 euro payment at the beginning of their studies to buy laptops, books or to fund their move, digitalising the application system and amending the repayment rules.

Thumb image credit: Matej Kastelic /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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MarikoPhillips2 15:50 | 20 June 2024

German students do not know how lucky they are. All English university students have to pay an annual tuition fee which costs at least £8,000,