Options for financing your studies

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An overview of financing options:

If you receive BAföG, you have an additional entitlement to a “childcare subsidy” (monthly 150 € for each child, § 14 b Abs. 1 BAföG). The subsidy will not be calculated as income with other welfare benefits, § 14 b Abs. 2 Satz 1 BAföG.

Housing benefit is a government subsidy for your rental charges. It is paid in addition to your low income.

For students with a child an application can be worthwhile if you

  • do not receive ALG II or income support
  • are generally not entitled to BAföG

The respective housing departments of your city or community are responsible for this matter.

All of the following benefits listed are dependent on one’s income and capital. A financial emergency must be proven. Account statements of the past 3 months must be handed in.

Students who take a leave of absence for their child’s care may apply for unemployment benefits (ALG II) for themselves (standard rate of benefits in order to cover subsistence costs and rental charges) as well as social benefits for the children in the household.

Students who do not take a leave of absence may apply for social benefits for their child/ children.

In case of particular hardship, a student can also receive ALG II without a leave of absence, but then usually as a loan. The prerequisites for receiving ALG II without a leave of absence are regulated by § 27 SGB II. It is always a case-by-case decision, i.e. in case of doubt, an application should be made to the responsible job center. A case of hardship exists, for example, in the case of single parents and in the graduation phase.

Students are entitled to the so-called increased needs according to § 21 SGB II even without a leave of absence. These are monthly benefits as a subsidy. The amount depends on the underlying standard need (RB, information in brackets). These include:

  • Additional needs for pregnant women after the twelfth week of pregnancy until the end of the month in which the delivery takes place (17% of the RB)
  • Additional needs for single parents (amount depends on the number and age of children)
  • Additional needs for costly food (appropriate amount)
  • Additional needs for school purchases
  • Additional needs for decentralized water heating (depending on age and number of eligible household members)

One-time benefits can be applied for at the jobcenters for

  • Initial supply for maternity clothes
  • Initial equipment for pregnancy and birth for baby clothes, stroller, etc.

These allowances are also paid regardless of whether you receive ALG II or not. Decisive is § 24 SGB II.

In acute emergencies, e.g. in the event of threatened homelessness or financial difficulties, the social city halls in Frankfurt will offer guidance and help.

In other cities and communities, the social security office is responsible before the child’s birth and afterwards, the youth welfare office.

In matters regarding child support claims (also child support in advance), the youth welfare office on-site or the social city halls in Frankfurt are responsible.

In addition to ALG II/social welfare, housing benefit or child supplement, children can also receive benefits under the Education and Participation Act. These include, for example, subsidies for school and class trips, a lump sum for school supplies, benefits for school transportation (monthly pass), tutoring costs, lunch at school, daycare center or after-school care, costs for participation in culture, leisure, sports.  

Benefits under the education and participation package are usually applied for at the place where the actual social benefit is received (housing benefit recipients at the housing office, ALG II recipients at the job center, recipients of child supplement at the family benefits office, etc.).

An overview of financial aids for parents that are regulated by law, e.g. maternity/parental pay, child benefits, child support and so on, is available at the Goethe-University and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences website.