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Financing your studies

Financing your studies

In an ideal world, studying should not be a question of financing, but the reality is sometimes different.

According to a long-term study conducted by the German National Association for Student Affairs, the most important sources of financing are: parents, funding under the Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz – BAföG), working alongside your studies and other sources, grants/scholarships, loans and donations from other family members. (Source: German National Association for Student Affairs).

It is of course most convenient if you can finance your studies without incurring any debts or charges on top. Unfortunately, however, that is not always possible and so we have compiled some information for you here. In addition to the website of the German National Association for Student Affairs, the kombabb internet portal (organisation that supports those studying with disabilities and chronic illnesses in the state of NRW) also provides lots of information.
German National Association for Student Affairs      kombabb (German only)

You can also find various points of contact at HHU that can provide advice. The Studierendenwerk offers both general financial advice and consultations tailored specifically to the needs of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The General Student’s Committee (AStA) also offers a budget advice service, which can include legal matters such as “How do I terminate a contract properly?” And the BBST Counselling Centre is of course also here to help you.

Help with financing your studies

The Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf student support service organisation offers students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses advice on the following topics in particular:

  • Planning your studies and assessing what personal assistance is required
  • Financing additional needs resulting from a disability and/or illness
  • Applying for grants/scholarships

The Studierendenwerk social service also help students experiencing difficult situations during their studies such as:

  • Personal, family and relationship problems
  • Combining studying with childcare
  • Accommodation issues
  • Financial difficulties
  • Social security issues
  • Studying abroad

The free, low-threshold advice sessions are available to all students at the various universities in Düsseldorf.

Studierendenwerk office hours and contacts (German only).

A good education forms the basis for career success. However, it can also bring financial difficulties. A person should not be prevented from achieving a high-level qualification such as a university degree simply because they, their parents or spouse lack the necessary financial means. That is why the Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz – BAföG) exists in Germany.

The Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf is your contact for questions relating to financing your studies. The organisation is responsible for implementing the most important study financing instrument – BAföG funding.

The Studierendenwerk is also responsible for the mediation of interest-free study loans offered by Daka (German only), the sales partner for KfW student loans (German only) and can provide information on further, alternative financing options (incl. educational loans).

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018. You can find more information here (German only).

Studierendenwerk office hours and contacts (German only).

The General Student’s Committee (AStA) at HHU offers advice on the following topics among others:

Going to university is the start of a completely new phase in life. For most students, it involves moving out of the family home and having to start taking care of their own finances. All of a sudden, a large number of questions arise: “How do I terminate a contract properly?” or “How do I respond to payment reminders I have received?” or “I have debts – what now?”

Our new budget advisor Volker Prüfer is on hand to provide good advice on these and similar questions! He has been in the business for around 25 years and is head of the municipal debt and insolvency counselling service of the city of Düsseldorf. However, he is also close to students as he studied at HHU, too. His tip: It is better to come too early than too late. He is happy to provide information and advice, also before any difficulties occur.

AStA advice service (German only).

The Rheinland Municipal Association (LVR) regional welfare organisation advises people with disabilities about support potentially available to them.

LVR advice service (German only).

Grants and scholarships

Grants and scholarships are another potential way to finance your studies. Beyond support for gifted students, a range of other grants and scholarships are available. However, very few of them are aimed directly at supporting the studies of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

There are general grants and scholarships, such as the German National Scholarship, or specific scholarships aimed at particular target groups or only intended for defined areas/aspects, e.g. travel or research grants. Various aspects can play a role in the description of the target group, which may be very specific in some cases: For example, the Mie Foundation supports orphaned, German, protestant girls in need.

Consequently, it is important to research appropriate foundations and funding offers in good time and think outside the box when doing so. 

The website of the German National Association for Student Affairs (Deutsches Studierendenwerk – DSW) provides a list of links and research tips relating to grants/scholarships for students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses.
Study scholarships (German only).

You can also find information on scholarship announcements on the HHU website.
HHU scholarship announcements

The website Studieren.de also provides an overview, together with links to research databases.
studieren.de (German only).


The Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) funding programme »Seizing Opportunities« – the German National Scholarship – is aimed at high-performing students from all faculties at HHU. All students from the 1st semester of their bachelor’s studies up to completion of a master’s programme or up to state examination level can receive funding support. In the winter semester 2021/22, 488 students across all HHU faculties were provided with support through the German National Scholarship programme.

The German National Scholarship programme at HHU

The “Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities” initiative awards scholarships to students in their final year of a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD study programme at a European university. Subjects eligible for funding are computer science, computer engineering and other IT subjects. A disability or long-term health impairment is a further prerequisite.

Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

The Stiftung Darmerkrankungen is a foundation that supports individuals with Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis and offers a funding programme exclusively for young people with these diseases. Eligible students up to the age of 35 may apply. The foundation awards scholarships of up to EUR10,000 each for the realisation of an individual planned training or further education measure, e.g. participation in master classes, stays abroad or specialisation courses. The deadline for applications is 15 May.

Stiftung Darmerkrankungen (German only)

The “campus” programme offered by the “aktion luftsprung” foundation: Scholarship for young people with chronic illnesses

Every year, the “aktion luftsprung” foundation awards five scholarships to apprentices or students with chronic illnesses. Support is provided in particular for candidates with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, who are highly motivated and live by the motto “never give up”. Scholarship holders receive a monthly grant of up to EUR500 for one year. (Repeat applications are possible). You will be supported during your education and beyond by the luftsprung mentoring team.
Deadline for applications: 15 April of the current year

Scholarship offered by the aktion luftsprung foundation (German only).

Graeme Clark scholarship

The scholarship is awarded to students with a cochlear implant every year. Both new and existing students are supported. The scholarship totals 5,000 euros. The deadline for applications is 30 September.

Stays abroad


The International Office provides support on the topic of stays abroad. You can find more information on the website of the International Office at HHU.


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