The majority of the students attend public universities. Tuition fees at public universities vary from state to state but are never higher than 500 € per semester (=1/2 year). For most bachelor's and many master's degree programmes tuitions fees do not exist or are only up to 500€. However, there are certain exceptions like non-consecutive master's degree programmes where the fees can be up to 1,000 € per semester. Private universities tend to charge relatively high tuition fees as well. These fees can go up to 6,000 € per semester.
International students have to proof that they can finance their studies in Germany. Therefore they have to show that they have about 8,000 € at their disposal for one year of study.
The monthly cost of living varies usually between 600 € and 1,000 €. This includes rent (on average between 220 € and 360 € per month), food, mobility, clothes, insurance and fees. Depending on the university type and degree programme the tuition fees can be significantly higher.
The German government supports students with the BAföG programme (up to 670 € per month). The purpose of BAföG is to provide training assistance for those students who are not able to finance a course of training that suits their talents and interests. Not only German nationals but also students from EU/EEA Member States may be eligible for training assistance if they meet certain conditions. In general, applicants must live in Germany. There are also special regulations for EU/EEA citizens and exceptions for other foreign nationals (e.g. permanent residency status), which entitle them to BAföG support.
The Deutschlandstipendium or Germany Scholarship provides financial and non-material support to high-achieving and committed students from all over the world. Modelled after the principle of public-private partnership, businesses, foundations or private individuals sponsor young talent with a pledge of 150 € per month. The Federal Government matches this amount with another 150 €.
In Germany there is a significant amount of available scholarships (about 6,000) that allow native and foreign students to study in Germany. The scholarships are available for all kind of students, not only indigent or well performing students. Typical amounts provided by scholarships range from 100 to 500 € per month. Scholarships are provided by the state (e.g. the Deutschlandstipendium companies, foundations etc.
There are also some banks that offer special Educational Loans and Student Loans with low interest rates to students.
There exist also many different Education Funds to promote students. Companies and institutions can support young talents for the time of there studies. The student will pay back the loan over a certain amount of years after the university time. Some of the funds have an income dependent payback system, so if you don't earn anything after your studies you don't have to pay anything back. On the downside though, if you earn a lot you may pay back more than you initially received from the Education Fund.
Over 60 percent of students in Germany work during their university time or their summer break to finance their studies and living. For an amount of up to 450 € per month the students in Germany do not have to pay any taxes.