What are the rules for switching majors or dropping out?
§ 7 para. 3 BAföG stipulates the following:
If the grant recipient drops out or switches majors
- On important reasons or
- On unavoidable reasons,
Financial aid will be granted for another degree program; No.1 applies to grant recipients at higher vocational colleges, academics, and universities only before the beginning of the 4th semester. A grant recipient is considered to have dropped out if they definitively cease attendance to educational institutions of one and the same kind including any and all internships conducted as part of their program. A grant recipient is considered to have changed their major if they seek a different degree qualifying the holder for a profession or a different educational goal in a legally regulated educational program at an educational institution of one and the same kind. In the event of a first change of majors or dropping out, it will generally be assumed that the conditions as per No. 1 have been met; for grant recipients at higher vocational colleges, academies, and universities, this only applies if they change majors or drop out before the beginning of the third semester. For the purpose of the determining the decisive semester as per sentences 1 and 4, the number of semesters studied in the previous major that the institution has decided to recognize in the new major will not be counted.
What you should know in a nutshell?
One important ground for dropping out or switching majors could be a lack of intellectual, mental, or physical aptitude necessary for training in or practicing the desired profession. For professions with an ideological orientation, an important ground might be changing one’s world view or denomination. Further, another important ground could be a change of affinities so serious and fundamental that the student cannot be reasonably expected to continue with their studies.
If the student fails to immediately drop out or switches majors upon realizing the fact that serves as the relevant important ground or its significance, later appeals to this fact will not be relevant in terms of financial aid.
Students at higher vocational colleges, academies, and universities are only eligible to receive financial aid for another educational program, even if they have an important ground, if they dropped out or switches majors before the beginning of the 4th semester.
Students who drop out or switch majors after the 4th semester begun will only be eligible to receive financial aid if the reasons for dropping out or switching majors were unavoidable. A ground will be considered unavoidable if it does permit the student to choose between continuing their previous program and dropping out or switching majors. Examples of unavoidable grounds may be unexpected impairment e.g. due to an accident or an allergy against certain substances that makes pursuing the previously desired profession impossible.