09 Apr

Newsletter with information about BAföG, Bürgergeld, heating costs & more – AStA BAföG and Social Counseling summer semester 24

Dear fellow students,

Welcome to our newsletter from the AStA TU BAföG and Social Counseling for the summer semester 2024! We advise students in solidarity and in a partisan manner on questions of student financing and co. In our new newsletter we want to inform you about news and changes around the topics of the combined AStA councelling collectives.

Overview of the newsletter: 

1. BAföG
1.1 BAföG income allowance for final theses within a company
1.2 Ruling of the Federal Administrative Court on higher BAföG standard rates
1.3 Cancellation of teaching due to strike and the possibilities of BAföG
1.4 BAföG reform for winter semester 24/25

2. Citizen’s benefit (Bürgergeld)

3. FAQ on student financing

4. applications for grants and exemptions Semesterticket

1. BAföG
1.1 Exempt amount of income for BAföG for final theses within a company

If the final thesis in the company was not specifically prescribed in your study regulations, the remuneration may not be completely deducted from your BAföG. Until now, it was regulated that the compensation for final theses, just like that for compulsory internships, was deducted in full(!)from your BAföG payment. An administrative court has now ruled that the working allowance also applies to this income.

Further information: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/artikel-englisch/retroactive-allowance-for-bafoeg-for-final-theses-within-a-company

1.2 Ruling of the Federal Administrative Court on higher BAföG standard rates

Due to a ruling by the Federal Administrative Court on May 20, 2021, it appears possible that the BAföG standard rates are so low that they may also be deemed unconstitutional. In order to get your money back in the event of a possible unconstitutionality, we recommend that you file an appeal within 4 weeks of getting your approval in order to benefit from a possible subsequent increase.

Further information (only in German): https://asta.tu-berlin.de/artikel/bundesverwaltungsgerichts-urteil-ermoeglicht-widerspruch-fuer-mehr-bafoeg

1.3 Cancellation of teaching due to strike and the possibilities of BAföG

As the student employees in Berlin are about to go on strike again, we would like to draw your attention to the following: If your courses and tutorials are canceled due to strikes and your studies are extended as a result, this is a clear legal reason to postpone your BAföG credits and/or to extend your BAföG beyond the maximum funding period! Come to our consultation early to find out about these options!

You can find information about the labor dispute here: https://tvstud.berlin/en/

Solidarity with all strikers!

1.4 BAföG reform for winter semester 24/25

The federal government has broken its promises regarding BAföG in the coalition agreement. The latest “reform” in 2024 will even increase the “BAföG debt” from the current €10,010 to €11,550. This affects new BAföG recipients as well as people who have not yet repaid or are in the process of repaying.

The urgently needed increase of the BAföG rate was also still not decided upon. The bill has not yet been passed so protest is still worthwhile! Find out more here: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/artikel-englisch/the-federal-government-plans-to-increase-the-bafoeg-repayment-sum-by-e1540-and-the-bafoeg-rates-are-not-set-to-rise

Positive changes are however included in the new bill. The introduction of a “flexibility semester”  allows students to recieve BAföG for 7 Semesters in a 6 Semester degree without applying for an extention Students may also now be allowed to change degrees in the fourth semester instead of the previous third semester or the “study start aid”

An overview of all the changes here: https://www.bafoeg-rechner.de/FAQ/bafoeg-2024.php

2. Citizen’s benefit (Bürgergeld)

2.1 Citizen’s benefit increase 2024

In January 2024, the citizen’s benefit rate rose from €502 to €563. Unfortunately, this is still far too little!

2.2 Back payments for heating and ancillary costs: Citizen’s benefit entitlement

If you receive a high back payment for heating and utilities, you may be entitled to Citizen’s benefit for that month. If your living costs cannot be covered by your own income that month, you are entitled to citizen’s benefit in the amount of the uncovered need! The basic requirements are that you are officially studying part-time or on leave of absence and that you apply for the citizen’s benefit in the month in which you have to pay the utility bills.

You can find out more about this topic here: https://www.tacheles-sozialhilfe.de/aktuelles/archiv/zum-uebernahmeanspruch-auf.html

3. FAQ on student financing

If you have any questions about student finance, you can find our detailed FAQ on our website.

4. Subsidy and exemption applications for the semester ticket

You can apply for a subsidy or exemption from the semester ticket fee.

The deadline for accepting your subsidy applications for SoSe24 is 30.04.2024 for everyone.

More about the subsidy application: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/semesterticket-office/grant/

The deadline for the full exemption application is March 31, 2024. 2024. Please note that incomplete applications will be rejected without further request.  More about the exemption application: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/semesterticket-office/exemption/