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Student finance

Parental support

In Germany, the family is initially responsible for financing a course of study. Only if their financial resources are insufficient the state contributes to the financing of their studies. In this case, students should apply for BAföG.

According to the German Civil Code (§ 1601 BGB), parents are generally obliged to support their children of full age up to a professionally qualifying degree. Therefore a study is included.

However, the amount of maintenance depends on the financial ability of the parents. They are granted an appropriate amount for their own subsistence level. Child benefit and tax allowances help parents to pay support to their children.

The data from the 21st Social Survey show that in the summer semester 2016 the parents paid an average of 541 euros per month in cash and/or non-cash form. The financial support from parents has increased compared to 2012.

Students who do not live with their parents can generally require 735 euros per month as maintenance from their parents. The costs for the students' health and nursing insurance and any tuition fees are not yet included.

However, income (e.g. from jobbing), an inheritance or money saved by students reduce the parents' obligation to support their studying children.

As a rule, parents are only obliged to pay maintenance up to the first degree qualifiying them for their profession. The students are free in the choice of their subject and can change their place of study and field of study to a limited extent without the right to maintenance from their parents disappear.

In return, students are obliged to provide their parents with information and proof of the progress of their studies. Students must study quickly and goal-oriented in order to keep the maintenance burdens of their parents as low and calculable as possible. If this obligation is violated, the claim to maintenance from the parents can be reduced or even cease.

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