Scholarships in Germany

With low tuition fees, German universities attract not just students from wealthy backgrounds. Additionally, there are many institutions which provide financial aid to a big range of students. In a lot of cases, students can profit from scholarships which are not necessarily linked to an excellent merit or social engagement.
Avoid financial problems with the help of a scholarship


General situation in terms of scholarships

In Germany, the topic of scholarships is connected to a lot of prejudice. In fact, only 38% of German students say that they have sufficient knowledge about scholarships. What most of them don't know is that there are more than 2000 scholarships available. As a result, only 13% of students with good academic records consider applying for a scholarship. The combination of lacking knowledge in terms of scholarships, a high variety of providing institutions and little motivation to give it a try leads to the fact 92% of all applications are send to 0,8% of all foundations.

This mismatch in Germany is not justified because there is a great variety of scholarships for nearly every target group. Every foundation requires different needs so if a student finds an institution which fits his or her profile, the chance of getting the scholarship is around 40%.

Type of scholarships and granting institution

The most common foundations which provide scholarships are the Begabtenförderungswerke which support students with excellent academic records in every field of study. These foundations are each relatively close either to a political party or to a religious community such as Catholics, Evangelicals or Muslims. If you apply for a scholarship at one of the Begabtenförderungwerke, it's more likely to be successful when you match the specific target group of the chosen foundation.

The next well-established scholarship in Germany is the Deutschlandstipendium. With the aid of this programme, the scholar will receive financial support of 300€ which is half paid by businesses or private foundations and half paid by the federal government. The requirements for receiving this scholarship, the applicant should prove civil engagement as well as a good academic merit.

Availability and conditions for getting a scholarship

In general, every student can apply to every scholarship. But with just little effort, it's possible to reduce the number of applications to the most relevant for the individual profile. By using search engines and databases like European Funding Guide, you can filter all scholarships which are not fitting the personal requirements. Once you have found a reasonable amount of programmes you can start applying.

Due to the fact that most scholarships have only one deadline per year, you should start searching as early as possible. For organizing your applications, it's recommended to use a calendar or a time table to match the right deadlines. As specific certificates take long to be issued, you should get sure to have your documents ready in time. Additionally, you should individualize your application for each institution and set the emphases depending on the profile of the institution.

Local scholarships for foreign students

With low tuition fees and a high standard of university education, Germany attracts a great amount of foreign students. For students who come from around the world to study in Germany, the Deutscher Akademischer Auslandsdienst (DAAD) offers several kind of scholarships providing financial aid. Scholarships provided by the DAAD include costs for travelling, insurances and money for living. As a scholar, it is also possible that the DAAD finances language courses as well as tuition fees.

Foreign students can also apply for scholarships provided by the Begabtenförderungswerke. Most of these foundations have programmes for foreigners, especially from developing and emerging countries. Successful applicants must have great knowledge of the German language and good academic records.

Typical scholarships in Germany

In addition to the scholarships offered by the DAAD and the Begabtenförderungswerke, there are also minor institutions which give aid to students in Germany. For example, there are a great variety of different communities which provide scholarships to students depending on their place of birth. Another criteria for receiving financial aid can be the parents' job, a disability or being an (half-) orphan. Searching for scholarships in elaborate databases like European Funding Guide will also result in a great offer of these niche-scholarships.