BAföG reform decided: What changes?

At the beginning of April 2022, the German government launched a new reform. The aim is to make BAföG accessible to more people and thus also more attractive, modern and flexible. This should offer more young people and adults better educational opportunities, regardless of their background and financial situation. The changes are to come into force as early as the winter semester, but before that happens the Bundesrat (upper house of parliament) still has to give the final green light.

What changes does the new reform bring?

Access to funding is to be opened up to more people. Far-reaching measures are therefore envisaged, including:

  • The increase of the tax-free allowances by 20.75 percent, the increase of the need rates by 5.75 percent and the increase of the housing supplement for recipients who do not live with their parents to 360 euros.
  • At the same time, the age limit is raised to 45 years at the beginning of the training period to be supported and standardized.
  • In addition, the digital application for BAföG will be simplified. It will be offered completely digitally after implementation.
  • In the future, one-year self-contained study abroad programs will be funded, even if they are completed entirely in third countries (outside the EU).
  • In addition, the possibility of remission of the residual loan debt after 20 years is also granted to repayment obligors in old cases.

In order to be able to act more quickly in the event of serious nationwide crisis situations, such as the Corona pandemic, the federal government will in future be able to extend the BAföG funding period appropriately if necessary.

Excerpt from:

The innovations for students at a glance

Basic need427 €452 €+ 24 €
Rent supplement (living alone)325 €360 €+ 35 €
Rent supplement (living with parents)56 €59 €+ 3 €
Maximum rate per month*752 €812 €+ 60 €
Child supplement (per child)150 €160 €+ 10 €
Health insurance surcharge**84 €94 €+ 10 €
Long-term care insurance surcharge**25 €28 €+ 3 €
Allowance for parental income (married)2.000 €2.415 €+ 20 %
Allowance for own income (mini-job)450 €520 €+ 70 €
Age limit30 years45 years+ 15 years
Asset allowance up to 30 years8.200 €15.000 €+ 6.800 €
Wealth allowance from the age of 308.200 €45.000 €+ 36.800 €

*Total amount that can be received on a maximum monthly basis. Without supplement for health and long-term care insurance.
** For all those over 30 years of age (student health insurance is no longer possible), the requirement increases up to € 167 for KV and up to € 38 for PV.

Emergency mechanism for BAföG

Crisis situations are always a major challenge, but especially for people who are dependent on funding. For this reason, the federal cabinet approved an emergency mechanism for BAföG in mid-May. This is intended to provide students and trainees with faster and more targeted support in future crises.

This means that as soon as there is a significant slump on the labor market and as a result there is no possibility for trainees and students to pursue a secondary activity, then the emergency mechanism should take effect. The best example of such a crisis situation is the Corona pandemic, which resulted in countless secondary jobs no longer being possible.

In addition, there is emergency assistance funding, which is available to those who are not eligible for BAföG for personal reasons. Examples of personal reasons are:

  • Exceeding the maximum funding period
  • later change of specialization
  • missing evidence of performance
  • Persons beyond the age limit, in secondary education or in part-time employment