Financial aid

Students with disabilities are often faced with numerous expenses which are not fully covered by the payments for disability-related additional costs provided by the social welfare offices. However, BAföG and other forms of student financing contain specific disability-related provisions to ensure that students receive continuing, reliable financial aid for the duration of their studies.

BAföG

The German student financing programme "BAföG" (German Federal Training Assistance Act) is the first place you should apply to for financial aid – provided that your personal assets or the income/assets of your parents or spouse are not sufficient.

If you have a disability or suffer from a chronic illness, we recommend applying for BAföG financing in any case since your disability- or illness-related expenses can raise your exemption threshold. Because BAföG funding cannot be granted retroactively, you should submit your application early (at least three months prior to the beginning of the semester as long as you are pursuing a concrete academic goal or are already enrolled).
If you have any questions related to student financing and BAföG applications, please contact the Student Financial Assistance Office of the Studierendenwerk Münster:

Studierendenwerk Münster
Student Financial Assistance Office
Bismarckallee 11
48143 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83-79539
bafoeg@stw-muenster.de
www.stw-muenster.de/en/bafoeg-co-2/kontakt/

Special provisions for handicapped and chronically ill students

Hardship deduction

When calculating your parents' available income, BAföG includes an additional "hardship deduction" for applicants with a disability or chronic illness. Not only does this apply to your personal disability, but also if one of your parents is disabled or if there is another dependent in your family.

Confirmation of required continued support

After the fourth semester, BAföG-financed students with disabilities are required to substantiate their continued need for further BAföG assistance with the Student Financial Assistance Office. In this statement, you must verifiably state your level of academic achievement and semester of study. If after the fourth semester, you have not yet achieved the required number of ECTS points because of an illness, chronic illness or disability, you may request permission to submit confirmation of academic achievement at a later time. The informal request must include detailed justification with corresponding medical certificates from a physician or medical specialist.

Financial assistance in cases of extended study or change of degree programme

Students with a disability or chronic illness have the possibility of extending the maximum duration of financial assistance (§ 15 (3) BAföG). To receive an extension, you must provide justification for the delay and certificates from a physician or medical specialist indicating to what extent the disability prolonged your studies and how long the prolongation will last. Reasons for the delay can include structural obstacles at the University, defective or non-existent aids etc.
If you are forced to change your degree programme as a result of a disability or chronic illness occurring before your fourth semester, you are eligible to receive BAföG financing for your new programme as if it were your first degree programme (§ 7 (3, 2) BAföG).

Other financing opportunities

In addition to receiving BAföG assistance and payments to cover disability-related additional costs from the social welfare office, there is a broad range of other social benefits, special payments, compensation for additional expenses, and funding extensions available to students with disabilities. Visit the website of the "Studying with Disabilities – Information and Advice Center (IBS)" of the German Studierendenwerk to view a current, detailed list of these funding programmes: https://www.studentenwerke.de/de/content/studieren-mit-beeinträchtigungen-keine-finanzierung-aus-einer-hand. [de]

Financial advice from the Student Advice and Counselling Centre (ZSB)

In independent and individual counselling sessions, the staff at the Student Advice and Counselling Centre sit down with students to discuss suitable financing options. This service is not only available to current students, but also and explicitly to prospective students who wish to learn more about financial aid models.

Student Advice and Counselling Centre
Andrea Kronisch
Tel: +49 251 83-22344
Andrea.Kronisch@uni-muenster.de
www.uni-muenster.de/ZSB/soziales/studienfinanzierung/studienfinanzierung.html [de]

For more information about conceptual and financial assistance through scholarship funding, visit: www.uni-muenster.de/studium/en/hilfeundberatung/studiummitbeeintraechtigung/Stipendien.html

Social counselling

The  by social counselling services offered by AStA [de] and the Social Counselling Office of the Studierendenwerk Münster provide further support and advice on financial aid opportunities. You can contact these offices for information on emergency assistance in times of financial duress and short-term social loans to cover unforeseen financial shortfalls.

AStA Social Counselling Office
Schlossplatz 1
48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83-22281
asta.sozialreferat@uni-muenster.de
www.asta.ms/angebote/beratung/sozialberatung [de]

Social Counselling Office of the Studierendenwerk Münster
Wohnheim Wilhelmskamp
Steinfurter Str. 67
48149 Münster
www.stw-muenster.de/en/social-counseling/beratung/studierende-allgemein/
Anna Koopmann
Tel: +49 251 83-79164
koopmann@stw-muenster.de
Medina Oprea
Tel: +49 251 83-79168
oprea@stw-muenster.de
Barbara Tepe
Tel: +49 251 83-79167
tepe@stw-muenster.de

Student loans

Students have a broad range of federally subsidised grants and student loan programmes to choose from, all of which have varying eligibility requirements and repayment modalities. To learn more about which options fit your specific circumstances, we recommend arranging a personal meeting with the Student Advice and Counselling Centre (ZSB).

The following federally subsidised student loans and grants are currently available:

DAKA student loans

Students can apply to the Student Loan Association of the Studierendenwerke (DAKA) for financial aid in the form of a student loan. For more information and personal consultation, visit: www.stw-muenster.de/de/bafoeg-co/andere-foerderungsarten/daka-2/
General information on DAKA student loans [de]

KFW student loans

The student loans awarded by the KFW Bank offer another path to financing your studies. These can be approved irrespective of your personal income or assets, or those of your parents. In addition to private banks (e.g. Sparkassen) or programme-specific counselling services (e.g. Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank eG (APO-Bank) [de] for students in pharmacy, medicine and dentistry), the Studierendenwerk Münster offers consultation on matters related to KFW student loans: https://www.stw-muenster.de/de/bafoeg-co/andere-foerderungsarten/kfw/.

General information on KFW student loans