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Financing for refugees

The financing of their studies plays an equally central role for all students, whether with or without a refugee background. On average, students in Germany spend around €853 per month to finance their living expenses (the sum is based on the BAföG maximum rate).

There are various possibilities for refugee students to come up with the necessary funds, which are not too dissimilar from those for German and other students from the EU. Often it is a mix of various options that leads to the sum that can cover the costs of one's entire studies.

Options for financing your studies

Since the questions concerning academic financing are very individual, it is recommended to visit RUB‘s Office of Funding and Social Affairs. The detailed information provided below has been carefully researched, however it cannot be guaranteed and does not replace a personal consultation.

Familial support

In Germany, it is customary for parents to support their children until the end of their studies if financially possible.

So-called “child allowance“ or Kindergeld in German, normally paid to the parents by the state for a child up to the age of 25 attending university, is often used to support the child directly. Thus a small part is already financed. Refugee families also have the opportunity to receive child allowance if they have the appropriate residence status.

Other models of partial financing by the family are of course conceivable and individually different.


BAföG (abbreviation for Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) refers to a loan that students receive from the state if sufficient support from their parents is not possible. After completing their studies, the loan must be repaid in part monthly. The current maximum rate is around €853; the maximum repayment amount is €10,000.

Student refugees also have the opportunity to receive BAföG, provided that the prerequisites are fulfilled. It is therefore important to find out at an early stage whether BAföG support can be considered. The most important criterion is the residence status and academic background.

For all questions regarding BAföG, please contact AKAFÖ (Academic Support Service).


In Germany it is customary to earn money working a part-time job alongside studying. As a rule, up to €450 can be earned in this way. Whether as a student assistant, mini jobber in a supermarket or commercially as a promoter, there are many possibilities to work while at university.

However, studying should always come first! With that in mind, working more than 20 hours a week should be absolutely avoided. Apart from the lack of time for actually studying, additional consequences follow regarding the health insurance contribution for students if they are earning more than allowed.


Many foundations and organisations run support programmes not only for German and international students, but also especially for students with a refugee background.

A general overview of funding opportunities can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):

In Germany there are 13 organisations for the promotion of gifted students with outstanding academic achievements. A general overview can also be found on the website of BMBF:

The organisations for the promotion of gifted young people provide information on the specific possibilities and conditions for applying. The organisations for the promotion of gifted young people include, among others:

At RUB, particularly successful students can apply annually for the so-called Germany Scholarship, which offers a monthly grant of €300.

Further funding organisations:

Student loans

Sometimes, taking out a student loan can help to realise one's own studies. However, this is often associated with difficult conditions and very high interest rates, which are not suitable for everyone.

For student loans for refugees, the federal education loan has relatively low interest rates and suitable conditions and should therefore be one‘s first choice if considering a loan. As a rule, loans have to be repaid in full, which is why taking out such a loan should be well considered.

Bildliche beispielhafte Darstellung eines Dokuments.
Programmes for current students
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