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Germany announces Financial support for International Students

Federal Ministry of Education provides bridging aid for students in pandemic-related emergencies

Do you need financial support in the Corona crisis because suddenly income is missing?

That’s what the KfW student loan is for. A promotional loan that gives you up to € 650 per month in your checking account – regardless of your income and that of your parents.

From May 8, 2020, students in Germany can temporarily receive the KfW student loan at an interest rate of 0%

  • The new interest rate applies until March 31, 2021 for all payments from the loan.
  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) pays the interest during this time.
  • From April 1st, 2021, the regular interest rate will apply again, which is set for 6 months.
  • All other conditions remain unchanged.

New from 01.06.2020: also for all foreign students

  • Students from abroad can apply for the KfW student loan from 01.06.2020.
    Prerequisite: You are registered at a German address.
  • You can receive the first payment on July 1st, 2020.
  • The extension to all foreign students is limited until March 31, 2021.

Find out whether you meet the requirements for funding

The corona pandemic presents many students with financial challenges. Two-thirds of the students work alongside their studies. Many of them have lost their jobs as a result of the current corona pandemic. This presents many with financial constraints. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides bridging assistance for such cases. Federal Minister of Education Anja Karliczek explains:

“Many students lost their student jobs in the wake of the corona pandemic. The affected students face financial constraints. A large number of students work alongside their studies. About two thirds of all students work alongside their studies, and there are even three for foreign students For many of these students who have to make up for lost income, BAföG funding is now an option.

However, students who are not eligible for BAföG funding and who do not receive any other income such as a scholarship or funding as Erasmus students are also affected. If their income from work breaks down, they are currently often faced with financial problems.

In the past few days I have received letters from students who have described their misery to me in this exceptional situation. It is important to me that these affected students can now receive bridging aid quickly. We cannot allow the corona pandemic to drive students to drop out or give up their studies.

In the past few days, we have intensively discussed solutions in the federal government and the coalition. I am pleased that today we can present a balanced concept for those affected. It takes into account that further help is necessary in this exceptional situation. At the same time, the financial burdens for future generations are taken into account.

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Not all students concerned can compensate their previous income through other work opportunities at short notice. These students are now able to apply for an interest-free loan from the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW).

In doing so, we rely on the long-established KfW student loan, which has no interest until March 31, 2021 in view of the crisis, which is likely to be even longer. This applies both to new applicants who will be added as of May 8, as well as to students who will receive loans that are already in progress between May 2020 and March 2021. We will open the student loan for the currently particularly affected group of foreign students from July 2020 to March 2021.

Specifically: Students can apply for an interest-free loan from KfW from the beginning of May. The interest-free loan is up to 650 euros a month. The loan can be applied for online without bureaucracy. This is a fair, fast and effective offer for the students concerned. I am grateful to KfW for their support. This provides the students concerned with a tried-and-tested tool with which the bridging aid quickly reaches affected students. In total, a loan volume of up to one billion euros can be activated.

In addition to the help from KfW, we will also make 100 million euros available to the Deutsches Studentenwerk for the emergency aid funds of the Studierendenwerk on site. This money is intended to help those students who can be shown to be in particularly acute emergency who need help very directly and cannot avail themselves of any other support. I would like to thank all of the staff who are there for the students at the student services throughout the country for their dedication.

This measure complements the initiatives already taken by the Federal Ministry of Education to support students in the current exceptional situation. We have already made numerous simplifications for the BAföG and for scholarships from the gifted young people. With this we support previous BAföG recipients, but also especially the students, who now submit new applications. The new help is open to all other students. “

Dr. Günther Bräunig, CEO of KfW Bankengruppe, says: “With the student loan, KfW has pursued the goal since its introduction in 2006 to enable university studies regardless of financial background and thus make an important contribution to educational justice in Germany. In difficult times, this support is more important than ever: All students who receive payments in the KfW student loan can start or continue their studies in the corona crisis thanks to the interest-free phase, even if part-time jobs break out or less support from parents who may also be in trouble. “

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Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, General Secretary of the German Student Union (DSW), explains: “We expressly welcome the fact that the Federal Government, explicitly Federal Minister Karliczek, is providing emergency aid for students. For the implementation of this help via the student and student services, we will now quickly develop a procedure for the concrete implementation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. We are very confident that the help will quickly reach the students concerned. “


The student loan from KfW is a proven program of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). Since 2006, it has offered students the opportunity to take up to € 650 a month. Students from all state-recognized universities in Germany between the ages of 18 and 44 who meet one of the following requirements are generally eligible:

- German citizens with a domestic registration address, 
- family members of a German citizen who are in Germany with him and are registered here, 
- EU citizens who have been legally resident in Germany for at least three years and are registered here, 
- family members of such an EU citizen who are with him in Germany and are registered here, 
- Educational residents and registered in Germany.  

For the bridging aid, the recipient group of the classic KfW student loan will be expanded for a limited period. Foreign students – i.e. nationals of third countries and EU citizens who are only staying in Germany for a short time – can also take advantage of the interest-free loan in the initial phase.

The bridging aid can be applied for from the KfW in the form of the interest-free loan from May 8, 2020. Foreign students can apply from June 1, 2020. The proven application procedure applies (more information: www.kfw.de/studienkredit-coronahilfe ). The general conditions of the KfW student loan apply with a maximum monthly payment of EUR 650. The reduced interest rate applies until March 31, 2021.

The usual repayment procedures for KfW student loans apply. The waiting period, 6 to 23 months after the payment phase, is a repayment-free period.

The funds for the emergency aid funds of the Studierendenwerk are awarded by the funds as non-repayable support to students in particularly acute emergencies according to the usual strict regulations of the funds.


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