Number of Applications for Interim Financial Aid for Students in Germany Decreases as Deadline Looms

The number of student applications for the interim financial aid provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) amid the COVID-19 pandemic has dropped in recent months, as a result, the emergency fund is expected to end in September 2021, as planned.

The Ministry of Education, along with the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW), said that more than 100,000 students in pandemic-related emergency situations received grants for three semesters, outlining that a total of €182 million were allocated to the affected students. A third of students receiving the Coronavirus emergency aid were international students in Germany, Erudera.com reports.

Depending on their needs, students received between €100 and €500 per month, which money they did not have to pay back. On the other hand, students who had over €500 in their bank accounts were required not to submit an application as they did not qualify to receive the aid.

However, some student representatives from ten federal states in Germany joined together earlier this year, calling on for more support, claiming that the assistance provided by the government is not sufficient.

“Many students are still in serious financial distress. The continuation of the pandemic is worsening the situation,” students said.

During three semesters, the local student organizations (Studentenwerke) distributed the funds to German and international students living in Germany and attending a public-funded university or a higher education institution recognized by the government.

Initially, the Federal Ministry extended the student aid until the end of the winter semester. Nevertheless, considering students’ needs, Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek decided to extend the interim aid until the end of September 2021 in order to alleviate their financial situation.

“I receive a lot of replies in which students describe their very personal situation. To me, it is important that nobody needs to stop studying because of losing his/her source of income or because his/her parents’ income has declined. I think it is right to offer the interim financial aid seamlessly also over the course of the whole summer semester 2021 as support of students.” Karliczek said.

Germany adopted the COVID-19 emergency aid package of €100 million in June last year, to support domestic and international students experiencing financial difficulties during their studies in the country due to the pandemic.

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