29th BAföG amendment: Too small steps in the right direction

Although it came as a positive surprise that the benefit rates are now to be increased after all and the flat-rate housing allowance will rise, in both cases by such a small amount that the resulting maximum BAföG rate of € 976.60 will fall well short of the actual benefit rates.

In real terms, the changes mean an increase in the maximum BAföG rate of just around €43 per month - this is to apply from the winter semester and for at least two years. In concrete terms, the rates of need will be increased by 5% and the flat-rate housing allowance will rise from €360 to €380. It is incomprehensible to us why it is not possible to adjust the flat-rate housing allowance to the place of study. For Bonn, for example, €500 would be an appropriate flat rate; nationwide, a room in a shared flat costs an average of €479 (Mendelson Institute, 2024) - i.e. significantly more than the €380 provided for in the amendment. We welcome the fact that the announced increase in the loan component of €1,500 has been cancelled and that the parental allowances are to be increased by 0.25% more than originally planned (by a total of 5.25%).

These small - but still far too small - changes are largely thanks to the tireless efforts of the student associations, above all the fzs, and the Deutsches Studierendenwerk.

BAföG has the potential to be the largest pillar of student funding - but this requires real changes in the future, at least the full utilisation of the 150 million euros actually earmarked for the amendment and a real structural reform!