everything about finance

Those who are studying with an impairment sometimes have different needs in terms of funding and support. On this page, students with disabilities will therefore find information on how to finance their studies with a health impairment.

The following overview is a summary of the contents of the Handbook on Studies and Disability of the German Student Union [not yet available in English].

BAföG

All students whose parents (family members) are unable to support them independently are entitled to BAföG support.

The support is granted on the basis of standard rates, which depend on whether the students still live with their legal guardians and what income these have. It is also relevant whether another person with a disability has to be supported in the family (parents, siblings, spouse). In this case, an application for a hardship allowance can be made. Additional property allowances - i.e. monetary values that have no effect on the amount of Bafög support - are available to you if you can prove that you need them for the purchase and maintenance of, for example, a vehicle that meets your needs or treatment costs.

The funding period usually corresponds to the standard period of study - at Leuphana University this is usually six semesters for the Bachelor's programme and four semesters for the Master's programme. However, you have the option of postponing the obligatory proof of achievement in the fourth semester if you can prove that the study time is prolonged due to the disability or illness.

You should apply for a possible extended funding period due to illness or disability to your responsible BAföG office at the earliest possible point in your studies. In addition, it is possible to receive support for the completion of your studies beyond the maximum funding period. An interest-bearing bank loan can be paid out to students for up to twelve months after providing appropriate proof.

In order to be entitled to BAföG funding, you usually have to have started your Bachelor's degree before the age of 30 and your Master's degree before the age of 35. The age limit can be exceeded if it can be proven that you obtained the higher education entrance qualification via the second educational pathway and/or that the studies became necessary due to your state of health or could not be taken up earlier due to the health impairment. In the latter case, please note that you must apply for a place at university as soon as you are fit to study, otherwise you will forfeit your entitlement to BAföG beyond the regular age limit. Please note that additional health-related needs are not covered by BAföG: University assistance (e.g. assistants, interpreters, work equipment) and motor vehicle assistance can be applied for through the integration assistance.
In any case, it is worthwhile to contact your local BAföG office early on and get advice. You can also apply there for preliminary decisions, for example, to make sure you are not over the age limit.

child benefits

All students are entitled to child benefit until they reach the age of 25, regardless of their parents' income. Students with severe health impairments may also receive child benefit beyond the age of 25. In order to qualify, you must be able to prove that you are not able to cover all of your necessary living expenses on your own due to the disability or illness.
You are also entitled to child benefit if you interrupt your studies for up to six months for health reasons. In the case of a longer interruption, you need a medical certificate from a public health officer and must be able to prove that you can resume your studies in the foreseeable future in order to continue to receive child benefit.

Scholarships

There are some scholarships that are specifically aimed at students with impairments. Scholarships offer the advantage that they are paid out regardless of the parents' income and usually do not have to be repaid. In addition to these special grants for students with health impairments, it may be useful to enquire at the major funding organisations. Here, too, an impairment can be the decisive factor for a grant, although other criteria must always be taken into account. For forther information on scholarships at Leuphana refer to this page (not yet available in English).

study abroad

When it comes to financing stays abroad as part of your studies, there are also various options open to you. If you receive BAföG at home, you may also be eligible for BAföG abroad. There are also scholarships that specifically support stays abroad. Students with health impairments that affect their studies can check whether they are entitled to subsidies through integration assistance.

In addition, prospective Erasmus students with a degree of disability of at least 50 per cent can apply to the DAAD for special funding in the Erasmus+ programme. These funds are intended to finance additional costs for travel, accommodation, work equipment and assistance. Funding is provided in the form of a single lump sum or grants of up to €10,000. The Erasmus Coordination of the International Office is the contact for applying for these funds. Information on the application and conditions can be found here.

long-term students fees

If you study in Lower Saxony for six semesters longer than your standard period of study, you will have to pay long-term tuition fees of €500 per semester. In the Bachelor's programme at Leuphana, this is the case from the 13th semester onwards. However, you can be exempted from the fees (in part) if you can prove with an official medical certificate ("Amtsärztlich") that you are studying longer for health reasons. Claims for a remission of long-term tuition fees can only be made to the Enrolment Office after the standard period of study has expired. You can find more information here and in the form to be completed.

interruption of studies

If it is foreseeable that you will have to interrupt your studies for a longer period of time for health reasons (e.g. for hospitalisation), you can take a break from your studies. In general, the following applies to financing during such a period: If you take a break of up to three months, you are still entitled to BAföG; if you take a break of up to six months, you can apply for ALG II; and if you take a break of six months or more, you are entitled to social assistance in certain cases, as long as you are not considered fit for work. Application for leave of absence.

Semesterticket

You may be reimbursed by the AStA for the cost of the semester ticket, which is part of the regular semester fees, due to a severe disability or health reasons. More information here.