Is Higher Education in Germany Really Free?!

Is Higher Education in Germany Really Free?!

Public Education in Germany is really free. Due to the federal structure of this country each region was by law allowed to manage the education funding differently therefore in 2005 in most of the federations tuition fees up to 500 euros were introduced to the system.

In years they’ve been undoing this one by one thus this year and the upcoming year the federations that still charge students a tuition fee, Bavaria and Lower Saxony will abolish this courtesy.

For the undergraduate degree, German students and international students are obliged to pay certain fees yearly, more of a symbolic donation.

Enrolment/Confirmation fee

The enrollment fee will approximately round up to 50 euros, each semester. This is done in the beginning of each semester where you sign up for the present semester and you confirm the last one.

Semester contribution

The semester contribution varies depending on the region. Commonly it summons up to 150 Euros or more and includes a free access to Public transport during that 6 month period.

The money goes to funding the University Student Parliament activities, and partially to the Studentenwerk, a public institution that provides services for the students in general.

The semester contribution is mandatory.

Administration fees

Most of the regions charge their student for an extra administration fee up to 50 euros per semester to cover the administrative process of enrolment and confirmation of the semesters.

Long-term fees

Many of the federal states will charge students a certain fee, additional to the aforementioned when the student will need extra time to finish his/her exams. This start to apply after the 7th year at the university meaning after 14 semesters paid ordinarily. The students that exceed this amount of time are obliged to pay a fee of 500 euros for every semester prolonged along with all the other regular fees.

Postgraduate studies on the other hand, which in Germany include Masters and Doctorate degree do acquire a certain tuition fee, additionally to the semester contributions and the other two, starting from 500 euros per semester up to several thousand depending on the program.

Long-term fees apply also for the postgraduate studies meaning that if incapable of finishing a three year program in time, the student must start paying the 500 euros fee for every additional semester needed concurrently to the tuition fees and the other contributions.

German public schools don’t offer scholarships. On the other hand some sort of financial aid is offered by the state as a student loan for the German students unable to financially cover the basic expenses of a student as a zero interest loan to be paid afterwards.

For the international students there is this emergency budget at the Studentenwerk where they can borrow money for a very specific occasion like an unexpected disease caught in surprise and unable to cover it financially, to pay it back during their studies.

Beyond all this, Germany still remains a country that provides with dignity free education for all the students no matter the differences.

More information about Studying in Germany can be found at:

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