Apart from BAföG and student loans, there are other options for improving your finances when studying. Depending on your living conditions, there are other forms of financial assistance worth considering. If you are unsure which option is most suitable for you or if you have any further questions, we would encourage you to make an appointment with our social counselling department.
Assistance from Seezeit and universities
The hardship fund is an interest-free loan of up to 2,000 euros that can provide rapid assistance in an emergency financial situation. Further information can be found under ‘Student credit and loans’.
Seezeit provides support for students with emergency assistance (Nothilfe) in severe emergency financial situations that are not covered by other social benefits or other funding options. The aim is to enable students to continue to study successfully. The maximum level of support is up to 300 euros, for a maximum of three consecutive months. You can apply at the social counselling department if you are registered at any of the universities under our supervision. Since 2016 VEUK e.V. sponsored students of the University of Konstanz via the emergency assistance.
As financial assistance in emergency financial situations, Seezeit can award ‘Freitische’ (free canteen meals) for students who are enrolled at the University of Konstanz. The resources for this are provided every semester by Universitätsgesellschaft Konstanz e.V. Provided the funds are available, applications can be submitted on a monthly basis at the social counselling department.
Every child is entitled to maintenance. Legitimate and illegitimate children are classed the same for this purpose. The level of maintenance is based on the ‘Düsseldorf Table’ and is income-related. Only whenever the parents’ income is below a certain level does the government assist in student financing via BAföG.
Taken as a benchmark value, the normal requirement for a child studying full-time who is not living with their parents is 735 euros per month (excl. potential personal health insurance contributions by the student and excluding tuition fees).
If your parents do not wish or are unable to pay, you can make an advance application at the relevant BAföG office in accordance with § 36 BAföG. The office will evaluate your prospects for success and can then make a claim against the persons liable for maintenance payments where appropriate.
This is a state benefit aimed at helping to secure the livelihood of children and relieving the financial burden on dependent parents. For children currently going through education, the entitlement to child benefit normally lasts until the child reaches the age of 25. Applications for child benefit must be received from the parents in writing at the Familienkasse (family desk) of the relevant agency.
Who is entitled to this benefit?
The parents are normally eligible. If, however, the parents provide very little or no support, the child can apply for the money to be paid to them directly (so-called ‘Abzweigung’ [diverted payments] in accordance with § 74 EStG). For children reaching full maturity, child benefit can be awarded up to their 25th birthday. Parents living apart can agree collectively which of them should receive the child benefit. A leave of absence from a course of study is considered a discontinuation and there is no entitlement to child benefit. For exceptions see official regulations link A 15.7
Child benefit for student parents
If students receive benefits for their own children, their own entitlement to child benefit is subject to the same conditions as for children reaching full maturity. Their educational status is only lost if they take a leave of absence from their studies! If only one semester - and no longer - is taken off for the birth of a child, the student will be considered until the beginning of the semester. If the absence of leave is extended due to bringing up a child, there is no entitlement to child benefit! Cf. official regulations link A 15.11
How much money can I get?
Child benefit is tax-free income and the following monthly payments have been awarded since 1 January 2016:
You can obtain the required application forms from the Familienkasse at your employment agency. It is also possible to complete applications online, print them off and send a signed copy in the post.
Forms can be also be obtained from the relevant Familienkasse:
Responsibility for Konstanz
Responsibility for Ravensburg and Weingarten
Tel +49 800 - 4 5555 30 (child benefit and child supplement)
Tel +49 800 - 4 5555 33 (payment dates)
Entitlement to orphan's pension exists whenever one or both parents are deceased and the general qualifying period for pension insurance has been completed. This is five years. You can apply for this directly with the pension insurance provider or at your local insurance office (located at the local or municipal government offices).
Just as with child benefit, (half)orphan’s pension is also payable upon reaching your 18th birthday provided the following conditions are complied with:
It is possible to receive benefits during the interim period, e.g. from exam time to starting an internship provided that the admission to the internship takes place within 4 months of the exams.
Information on levels of orphan's pension and other information can be found here:
As a rule: students whose education and/or studies are eligible for ‘merit-based’ funding through the BAföG, vocational training grants or education allowance have no entitlement to Hartz IV benefits.
‘Merit-based’ in this case means that it doesn’t matter whether an application is submitted for BAföG or whether benefits are being received at all. The decisive factor is that the educational training is eligible for funding, which is a disqualifying criterion in the first place for the receipt of Hartz IV benefits.
However, there are exception and it’s therefore worthwhile doing some research on the subject. You are welcome to contact us:
Students cannot normally receive housing benefit if they are eligible to receive ‘merit-based’ payments from BAföG. Students receiving no BAföG payments due to the fact that their parents’ income is too high are nevertheless entitled to ‘merit-based’ BAföG. In other words, they cannot receive housing benefit.
The exceptions to this are in cases where there is no entitlement to BAföG (e.g. due to age, a change of subject, a semester taken off, normal period of study is exceeded, BAföG is only a full loan, non-provision of achievement record, second course of study) or whenever there are family members living in a particular household who are not pursuing a course of education that is eligible for BAföG (e.g. one’s own children). For students with children, housing benefit is granted to the student and the child receives income support with their share of the rent.
It is advisable to make use of the social counselling offered by Seezeit and to submit applications in writing. The housing benefit department is responsible for checking minimum incomes. Regular income of at least 80% of the total amount of social welfare requirement must be evidenced for this purpose as well as health insurance cover. If the level of income is less than the above, a letter of rejection is issued. In order to keep within deadlines, you should submit an informal application and send in the complete application at a later date.
Housing benefit is paid at your main/primary place of residence. You can find further information here on claiming housing benefit in Konstanz, the district of Konstanz, Ravensburg, Weingarten and Friedrichshafen.
There are numerous scholarships and most students find it difficult to obtain an overview of these. For this reason, there are scholarship databases that collate all the available options (see below).
Here you will find a brief overview and, further below, related links in alphabetical order:
Students with children
For students with a minimum of two years’ professional experience, the federal government’s upgrading scholarship is potentially worth considering.
Studying with a disability
Special scholarships for students with health impairments can be found under the heading ‘Support’.
The scholarship provides monthly support of €300. You can find information about how to apply on your university website as well as on the relevant pages of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) website. Social criteria are also taken into consideration in the awarding of the scholarship.
Further Financial Assistance