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Student finance

How much does it cost to study?

How much money do I need each month for living and training? How much money do I need if I don't want to live with my parents or move to another city to study? If you know exactly what costs will be incurred in the run-up to your studies, you can set the course for speedy studies in good time.

1. Educational costs (institutional costs, semester/tuition fees)

Upon enrolment students have to pay semester fees at every higher education institution. Fees differ at each higher education institution but usually include:

  • fees for student bodies (AStA, Stura)
  • fees for the Studentenwerk
  • possible fee for using a semester ticket

Some higher education institutions additionally charge enrolment/administration fees (around 50 euros per semester) and in some federal states students have to pay tuition fees. Whether additional costs need to be paid for the education itself or not depends on the actual study programme.

Photo of a display tray with the inscription: YES to Education, NO to tuition fees!2. Living expenses (personal costs)

The average living expenses of unmarried students who no longer live at their parents' house, who are studying for their first degree and who are enrolled in a full-time course, were around 794 euros per month in the summer semester 2012. This amount includes the money needed for rent, transportation, food, clothing, study materials, health insurance, telephone, Internet, radio and television licence fees as well as money for leisure-time activities.

At the start of their study years, many students have to deal with the issue of insurance for the first time. Before falling into the trap of being over-insured, students should think about which insurance is really necessary. Health and nursing care insurance is the only compulsory insurance for students while the most important voluntary insurance is private liability insurance.

Rent and associated costs burden students’ pockets the most. Around 34% of students’ monthly income is spent on accommodation. The choice of the university location can influence accommodation costs heavily, as is shown in the city comparison table in the 20th Social Survey conducted by Deutsches Studentenwerk (figure 7.9, page 266).



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