Financing and Working
There are various opportunities that students at the University of Potsdam can take advantage of to finance their living costs. Please note that not all financial support (German Financial Aid (BAföG), for example) is available if you are studying part-time. Additional information is available from the advisory services at the Association for Student Affairs (Studentenwerk) and AStA (General Students’ Committee).
German Financial Aid (BAföG)
Students can receive financial support under the Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act (the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, abbreviated as BAföG). Under Germany’s Basic Law and according to BAföG, all Germans have the right to claim support for a course of education or training that corresponds to their talents, aptitude and achievements. This basic principle also applies to international students if they meet the requirements for receiving educational support that are governed in Section 8 of BAföG. The amount of support depends on the income and assets held by the students and his/her parents. The maximum period of assistance is governed by the standard time for completing a degree program at the selected educational institution. Students receive half of their funding as a state grant and the other half as an interest-free government loan that must be repaid after the conclusion of university studies. The Potsdam Association for Student Affairs and AStA offer information on funding and applying for BAföG.
BAföG receipients are required to provide evidence to the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs of their achievements by the beginning of the fifth semester in order to receive further funding. The Office of Student Affairs / Examination Office can confirm that you are completing your studies in the conventional timeframe if you have completed at least:
- 60 CP by the end of the 3rd semester
- 90 CP by the end of the 4th semester
- 120 CP by the end of the 5th semester.
The standard Association for Student Affairs form is not used for confirmation; instead, you will will receive a “Certification of Current Grade Point Average”. If the required minimum number of credit points does not exist by the end of the respective semester, then it is urgent that the BAföG commissioner for the subjects in the dual-subject bachelor’s degree program fill out the standard form and provide their forecast for the time at which you plan to complete your studies. This also applies to subjects in which course books are kept (European Media Studies, Cultural Studies). In any event, you should include your current grade over to the confirmation (e.g., as evidence of ongoing coursework).
You can find the BAföG commissioners for each faculty below:
Students with particularly good grades or those who have distinguished themselves with significant political or social engagement have a solid opportunity to receive financial support in the form of a scholarship. The following information lists the largest and most important foundations and organizations for the promotion of gifted students in Germany. There are liaison lecturers at the University of Potsdam for some of the scholarship-awarding institutions, and they are available directly to you as a point of contact for questions regarding foundations and scholarships. International students can find additional information on special scholarship programs at the University’s International Office. The mystipendium.de guidebook also offers more information.
A housing allowance is a state subsidy for housing rentals that is available to students who do not have a claim to financial aid, yet can document regular income that corresponds to the standard rate for Unemployed Benefits II (ca. €432). More information can be obtained regarding claims and applications at the advisory service of the Association for Student Affairs.
The student advisory services at the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs, as well as AStA (General Students’ Committee) at the University of Potsdam, stand ready to assist all students who need help with organizing their application for financial aid. They offer help with finding your way and making decisions, as well as special support for emergency situations. Pregnant women, students with a child, international students, and students with a disability can trust the service centers.
Student loans may be another way to finance your studies. Every year the Center for Higher Education Development (Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung – CHE) compiles a comprehensive study that compares student loans, completion loans and education funds.
Since 2020, the University of Potsdam has been a member of the non-profit organization Studentische Darlehenskasse e.V., which offers low-interest loans to students of its member universities.
Working while studying part-time is a good option for many students who want to earn part of their living costs and gain important experience and qualifications along the way. The Job Exchange at the University of Potsdam Career Service and the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs offer various employment opportunities. If you have the right skills, the University may hire you as a student aide or supporting research staff. You can find out which fees students have to pay and what they should pay attention to at job advising sessions at the Association for Student Affairs and AStA. The International Office provides information for international students on the subject of employment and internships.