What happens if I can’t finish my studies on time? Are there other means of student financing options?
Half of your BAföG is always awarded as a non-repayable grant; the other half is a loan (repayable after your studies in small, interest-free installments).
In some cases, it is possible to keep receiving BAföG if you don’t finish your degree on time. The reason for the delay must always be the direct cause of the delay and caused through no fault of your own. The delay may not be avoidable by any reasonable means that you could take. This might include
- A prolongation period not caused by yourself;
- Admission to required courses delayed by the university;
- Initial failure of an intermediate exam required to continue the degree program;
- Initial failure of a final exam;
- Involvement as an elected member in committees provided for by law and statutory organs at your university as well as in statutory student self-government bodies at your university (e.g. student council) and student services providers (e.g. Administrative Board);
- Due to impairment, pregnancy, or parenting children under the age of 11.
If you are awarded a BAföG extension due to impairment, pregnancy, or parenting, it comes in the form of a grant. Otherwise, it will continue to be awarded to you in the half grant / half loan form.
You may also be eligible to receive a loan to help you graduate. You are eligible if you have been admitted to the final exam at least within four months after the end of the standard period of study or a prolongation period (e.g. after initial failure of an exam) and if the competent examination office attests that you will be able to finish your degree within 12 months. For modular programs, it is sufficient for the university to attest that you will be able to finish your degree within 12 months. Financial aid to help you graduate comes in the form of an interest-bearing loan.
We can also offer guidance on educational and student loans offered by KfW Bank. You can find more information at