BAföG rates increase

BAföG recipients can look forward to more money. After much criticism, the coalition government is revising its current BAföG reform and is also increasing the BAföG rates. In Berlin, the Federal Cabinet approved a so-called formulation aid for the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag with corresponding changes. According to this, an increase in rates of around five percent is planned.

Basic needs rate and flat-rate housing allowance increase
BAföG was last increased by 5.75 percent for the winter semester 2022/23. Since then, the basic needs rate for students has been 452 euros plus a flat-rate housing allowance of 360 euros for those who no longer live with their parents. According to the plans, the basic requirement is now to be increased to 475 euros and the flat-rate housing allowance to 380 euros. Taken together, the maximum rate would therefore rise from 812 to 855 euros. BAföG for students is also to increase. The actual rates are always calculated individually according to the parents' income and other factors. Additional surcharges for health and long-term care insurance are also possible if students are no longer insured by their parents. These are also to be increased.

But no higher repayment installments
The original plan to increase the minimum installments for BAföG repayments from 130 to 150 euros per month will not be implemented. It therefore remains the case that a maximum debt of 10,010 euros must be repaid, as the remainder is usually waived after 77 installments have been paid.
The "Ampel" party launched its BAföG reform in the federal cabinet at the beginning of March. Essentially, it provides for a so-called study start-up grant of 1000 euros for first-year students from poorer families, for example to purchase a laptop, textbooks or to finance the move to the place of study. In addition, the allowances for personal income and parental income, which apply to BAföG crediting, are to be increased in order to expand the group of BAföG beneficiaries.

Studierendenwerk: improvements too weak
Social associations, trade unions and Deutsches Studierendenwerk (DSW) had long called for an additional increase in BAföG rates in view of the rising cost of living. After all, the citizen's allowance had also been increased, was one of the reasons given. DSW Chairman Matthias Anbuhl spoke of an important political signal in view of the changes. Five percent higher rates are better than a zero increase. However, the improvements were still too weak overall.


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