Students in Germany – BMBF Turns Down 22,415 Applications for COVID-19 Financial Aid in March

The Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek, along with the German Student Union (DSW), has officially extended the bridging aid for students affected financially by the pandemic throughout the summer semester of 2021.

According to, students will receive a grant of up to €500 per month as part of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) large package if their applications, which must be submitted online, are approved.

Eligible to apply for aid are students who are living in Germany at the time of application, who are enrolled at a state university and are not planning to leave the country.

“This applies to students from Germany and abroad, with no age limit. The grant is approved up to a monthly amount of 500 euros,” a press release issued by BMBF reads.

The grant application requirements remain the same as previously, while also including the changes that have been effective since 2020/2021 winter semester, which are as follows: 

-a brief documentation of the account movements,
-the adjustment of the current proof of a pandemic-related emergency gives students access to the grants who are currently unable to find a part-time job and
-the extended admission of self-declarations if written documents cannot be presented in the corona times.

The applications submitted in January and February have already been processed; nearly 75 percent of student applicants have received grants this year.

The rates of the accepted applications for bridging aid since June 2020 per every month are as follows:

  • 54 percent were accepted in June 2020
  • 63 percent were accepted in July 2020
  • 73 percent were accepted in August 2020
  • 75 percent were accepted in September 2020
  • 65 percent were accepted in November 2020
  • 70 percent in January 2021
  • 76 percent in February 2021
  • 81 percent in March 2021

In June 2020, 82,379 applications for aid were not accepted, whereas, during the last three months in 2021, the application rate is as follows:

  • 48,608 applications were not accepted during January
  • 47,784 were not accepted in February
  • 22,415 were not accepted in March

The Federal Minister of Education Anja Karliczek said that it is important that students do not discontinue their studies just because their finances have been affected or the income of their parents has decreased.

“It is therefore important that the bridging aid is now seamlessly offered as support for students throughout the entire summer semester of 2021,” she said.

Taking into account that there are students who have not been receiving benefits under the normal BAföG despite being eligible, Karliczek encouraged the latter to submit a regular application for BAföG.

Whereas, the Secretary-General of the German Student Union (DSW), consisting of 57 student unions nationally, Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, said that the student unions are ready to support students during the summer semester of 2021 as well.

“The student services help, and their employees do their utmost to provide bridging assistance. The longer the pandemic lasts, the more manifest the systemic relevance of the Studentenwerke becomes.”

Since June 2020, Germany has been providing bridging aid to students pursuing studies at state universities in the country, whose financial situation has been affected by the pandemic.

57 regional student unions are in charge of processing the applications, while applications can be submitted online through a nationwide uniform IT platform accessible on the ministry’s website.

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