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Anyone who embarks on academic studies must give thought to the matter of how to finance this period in their lives.
Of course, there is always the option of making some extra money with a side job as student employee at the University or in an enterprise. But this should not put too much of a strain on your studies – so have a look at some alternatives:


  • Students whose parents cannot afford to pay for their studies may apply for BAföG support – government funds granted under the German Federal Law on Support in Education (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz – BAföG). The BAföG Office (officially: Amt für Ausbildungsförderung) is based at the public student-service organization Kölner Studierendenwerk.

    For more information on BAföG and pertinent calculation examples, please visit the webpages of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research or see under and

You can also obtain general BAföG information at the Kölner Studierendenwerk Info Point.

Academic Foundations and Scholarships

As a rule, the advantage of financial support granted by academic foundations – vis-à-vis loans, credits and BAföG – is that it need not be repaid. Such grants, however, are generally subject to application procedures with highly varied eligibility requirements, depending on the foundation. The best way to go is to enquire directly at the websites of the respective scholarship institutions.

The University of Cologne has created a specific portal with an overview of university foundations, and also offers the option of applying for a scholarship under the NRW grant programme: NRW-Stipendienprogramm.

Then there are several pro-university foundations that also afford numerous possibilities for gaining scholarships. For an up-to-date list, please click here.

A comprehensive survey of national and international scholarships is moreover available under

International students will swiftly find all they need to know on the webpages of the Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes (DAAD).