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Tuition fees in Germany

Affording to study in Germany can be daunting - tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs all add up. But don't worry! There are a few things you can do to make studying in Germany more affordable. Education is one of Germany's biggest draws. As a science and engineering power, the country attracts thousands of students from across the world, and finance is a major preoccupation for almost all of them.

How much do German universities charge for BAs, MAs, or PhD's, and could you afford to study for one? Let's find out more.

Abolition of Tuition Fees in Germany

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world where education was free?

Where you could train in any subject for virtually nothing? Well, Germany hasn't reached that stage yet, but in the grand scheme of things, it comes pretty close.

Are there tuition fees in Germany?

Since 2014, Germany has been experimenting with a bold academic policy. In that year, the state abolished all fees at public universities. This removed the annual fees that students used to pay for their education.

This law only applies to public universities. Germany also hosts numerous private universities and colleges, which are free to charge whatever fees they desire. This can rise to as much as €20,000 per year.

Are universities in Germany free for international students?

As usual in Germany, the fees law avoided discriminating against international students. All fees were eliminated, for locally born and foreign students alike. However, since 2016 fees for non-EU students have begun to return.

The state of Baden-Württemberg now charges €1,500 per semester for first degrees. And this could be extended across Germany in the near future.

Are Masters degrees free in Germany?

The 2014 law only applied to undergraduate fees. Anything above that level was excluded, including Masters degrees.

So, most Masters degrees are not currently free for any students. However, cost of studying some courses are free or very cheap. In other cases, administration fees of €500 - €1,000 per semester may apply, and this varies from course to course.

Consecutive Master

This often only applies to "consecutive" Masters, which directly follow a BA at the same university. So if you are studying for a BA, feel free to ask about consecutive funding.

Is gaining a PhD free in Germany?

If you succeed in your Masters, you may have the option of continuing to PhD level. PhDs involve in-depth study of specific subjects and generally require years of work. So the financial demands can be high.

The 2014 law didn't cover PhDs, but fees aren't high. In fact, fees at public universities don't start until the fourth year of study.

Semester Contribution in Germany

While Germany may have removed traditional tuition fees, the country hasn't made higher education totally free.

Semester contributions still apply wherever you study. Universities are free to charge small amounts per semester to cover their operating expenses. However, these come with some handy benefits, such as semester-long bus and other public transport tickets.

How much are university fees in Germany for International students?

Supplementary fees will generally be between €150 - €350 per semester, and around €700 per year.


It may also be possible to reduce or waive these fees for low-income students and those receiving BAföG grants. So not everyone needs to pay.

Health Insurance

Secure your personalized health insurance coverage for your German visa and stay in the country.

4 ways to afford tuition fees in Germany

There are several ways to finance your studies, and with careful planning, you can make studying in Germany affordable.

1. Scholarships and Grants

One of the best ways to afford tuition is to apply for scholarships and grants. Several organizations and institutions offer scholarships for students looking to study abroad, and many of these can be used to cover tuition costs. You can also look into specific grants for study in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a good resource for finding scholarships and grants.

2. Student Loans

Another option for financing your studies is to take out a student loan. Several organizations offer loans specifically for students looking to study abroad, and many of these can be used to cover tuition costs. You can also look into taking out a personal loan from a bank or other financial institution.

3. Work and Study

One way to make studying in Germany more affordable is to work while you study. Many international students are able to find part-time jobs that can help cover some of their living and tuition costs. You can also look into work-study programs, which are specifically designed to help students cover their tuition costs.

4. Save Up in Advance

One of the best ways to afford tuition is to start saving up as early as possible. If you know you want to study abroad, start putting away money each month so that you have a cushion when it comes time to pay tuition. This can be a difficult task, but if you start early, you'll be in much better shape when it comes time to pay tuition costs.

German tuition fees VS to other countries

When it comes to tuition fees, Germany is on the more affordable end of the spectrum. Fees in other countries, such as the United States or the United kingdom, can be much higher. Tuition at public universities in the United States can range from $5,000 to $30,000 per year. In contrast, tuition fees for undergraduate and graduate programs in the United Kingdom can range from £9,000 to over £30,000 per year. So when you compare tuition fees across countries, Germany is one of the more affordable options.

Thus, studying in Germany is a more affordable option for international students. Additionally, the generous scholarships and financial aid programs offered by the German universities help offset the cost of tuition. So if you're looking for an affordable place to get a quality education, Germany is worth considering.