Your options to fund your study
The German National Student Association for Student Affairs has investigated the cost of living in more than 40 cities. In Jena, the average cost of living is just under 700 euros per month. In other classic university cities, for example, Heidelberg, Tübingen, and Marburg, students have to dig deeper into their pockets. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of funding your studies early on.
By far, the largest part of monthly cost of living represent accommodation, food, and everything else that goes with it. In addition, there is the semester contribution which must be paid at all universities before each semester. At our university, the contribution is considered a semester ticket for the Jena public transport and regional trains in Thuringia, and includes a service charge of the student services organization.
International students can fund their studies with various scholarships, part-time jobs, or student loans. In some rare cases, they can also apply for German state student loans ("BAföG"). We recommend you to think about your funding optionsExternal link carefully in advance and, if necessary, seek for advice. For some details on funding options, please read the information below.
BAföG student loan
If your parents’ financial means are not sufficient to cover your cost of living during your studies, you can apply for a German student loan. It usually consists of half an interest-free loan and half a scholarship, the latter need not be repaid.
Once being granted the BAföG student loan, you can cover the entire length of study if you fulfil all academic achievements within the standard length of your study programme. The amount the monthly student loan is calculated on the case-by-case basis. For more information, please refer to the German National Association for Student AffairsExternal link, the Thuringian student services organizationExternal link, or to the official BAföG websiteExternal link.
If you are committed, talented, and have an exceptional motivation, you may be granted a scholarship. There are numerous scholarships in Germany providing educational grants, awarded by foundations and institutions. Scholarships usually include a fixed lump sum for studying. Depending on the scholarship, this can be extended by a basic scholarship which is calculated individually. Some scholarships include not only financial support, but also non-material support. For more details, students can contact the liaison professors ("Vertrauensdozent*innen") at the university.
Looking for more information?
Merit scholarships and scholarship of political movements and parties
The Thuringian student services organization provides a list of such foundations and institutionsExternal link. For specific selection criteria and deadlines, please refer to respective official websites.
Our university, too, participates in the Deutschlandstipendium, the German government’s scholarship programme, which provides funding to talented and committed students. The scholarship amounts to €300 per month and is paid as a non-repayable grant regardless of income. Generally, it is approved for one year, the funding period starting in the winter semester. At the University of Jena, students from all disciplines can apply. For information, click here.
Students with work experience, who would like to gain further qualifications by studying, can apply for a scholarship for professional advancementExternal link.
If you have completed your studies successfully and would like to earn a doctorate after your graduation, you can apply for the Thuringian Graduate Scholarship ("Landesgraduiertenstipendium"). Yearly, the University Jena grants doctoral scholarships that are funded by the Free State of Thuringia. They can be granted for the funding period of two years and may be extended to three years in total.
Many students fund their studies with a part-time job. The Thuringian student services organizationExternal link will be glad to advise you and help you finding a job. You can also search for a job among job vacanciesExternal link of the University. In any case, you should then consider any taxes and compulsory social contributions that you might have to pay. For more information, please contact the Thuringian student services organization.
Student loans and education funds
Loans and education funds are another way of funding your studies. These include the KfW student loan or loans funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Unlike in the case of scholarships, you must repay the loans. Some banks offer their own student loans. The For more information on student loans, hardship fund loans, short-term financial assistance, please contact the Thuringian student services organizationExternal link.
Regarding student loans, you should generally keep an eye on all student funding optionsExternal link and appoint an individual consultation. Depending on your personal situation, there may be much cheaper alternatives to student loans.
There are various funding options available during your studies. Both the German National Association for Student AffairsExternal link and the Thuringian student services organizationExternal link provide further information on their websites.
Those interested in doctoral programmes and funding options may contact the Graduate Academy.
For more information for international students, please also refer to the International Office.
Did you know?
Students are entitled to a number of discountsExternal link. For example, those who receive a BAföG student loan are exempt from TV licence fees ("Rundfunkbeitrag"). In addition, if you have your primary place registered in Jena, the city of Jena pays you a special bonusExternal link.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (9:00 to 12:20), Tuesdays (14:00 to 18:00), and Wednesdays and Thursdays (14:00 to 16:00).