Many students lack a secure basis of livelihood
Studying in times of pandemic: Many students lack a secure basis of livelihood
- Bridging assistance for students ended on 30 September
- Around 3.45 million euros for students in Aachen and Jülich
- Studierendenwerk supports demand of Deutsches Studentenwerk for BAföG that provides a secure livelihood
Aachen, 6 October 2021. As a result of the Corona pandemic, many students lacked income that they had firmly budgeted for through part-time jobs or family support. In particular, the two lockdown periods deprived many prospective academics of important livelihood-securing basics. With benefits totaling nearly 182 million euros and up to 500 euros in individual benefits per month, the federal government provided support under the "Bridging Assistance for Students in Pandemic Financial Need" program to those in acute financial need who were not eligible for other assistance. Since the severely depressed student labor market has now recovered in many places and the number of applications declined sharply at the end, the federal government allowed the bridging assistance, which had been running since June 2020, to expire as planned on 30 September.
Studierendenwerk Aachen, which processed a total of 13,237 applications for bridging assistance received from students at RWTH Aachen University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), drew a positive balance at the end: benefits were paid to an average of 490 students per month. The average support amounted to 441 euros per month. A total of 3,449,200 euros in funding was approved. Around 40 percent of the applications had to be rejected because they did not meet the BMBF's list of criteria, especially at the beginning of the bridging assistance.
Sebastian Böstel, CEO of Studierendenwerk, is very satisfied with the cooperation with the federal government and is glad that the students in need could be reached quickly and unbureaucratically with the help that "came out of the ground". He also praises the commitment of his employees, who had to work under high pressure to get used to the new area of responsibility. He takes a critical view of the high number of applicants: "The figures make it clear that there are a relatively large number of students who finance themselves exclusively through part-time jobs and neither receive sufficient BAföG nor are they covered by their families. They definitely belong to the groups that are disadvantaged and find themselves in a social impasse when these jobs disappear. The pandemic has once again brought this to us - not least against this background, a renewal of BAföG urgently needs to take place."