AFBG – How to finance your further education in Germany with the Advancement BAföG in 2022


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Are you still looking for further training after your apprenticeship in Germany? Find out how the AFBG (Advancement BAföG) can support you financially. You can find out exactly what is promoted and how to get it here. Even foreigners qualify for the financial support!

AFBG (Advancement BAföG) in Germany in 2022: If you would like to do professional training in Germany, it is possible to receive financial support in the form of an Advancement BAföG. A typical example is the master craftsman’s apprenticeship, which is why the ascent BAföG is colloquially known as the master BAföG. More than 150,000 people receive government subsidies for their professional training in Germany every year. Find out everything you need to know about AFBG and the Advancement BAföG below.

AFBG or Advancement BAföG

What is the AFBG (Advancement BAföG)?

AFBG is an abbreviation of Aufstiegsfortbildungsgesetz or the Advancement Training Act. The AFBG or Advancement BAföG was called Meister-BAföG before August 1st, 2016. The improved Advancement BAföG regulates state support for further education and training, which allows you to climb the career ladder. However, new perspectives are also offered to those who drop out of university and people who would like to reorient themselves professionally.

In addition to Bafög for university students and school children Bafög, there are other forms of official financial support for a professional qualification in Germany.

If you want to move up the career ladder after your first professional qualification without studying, you might find it better to go for a BAföG. The Advancement Training Act (AFBG) applies here.

Who gets the AFBG (Advancement BAföG)?

In principle, you can apply for the AFBG if you are aiming for one of these advanced training degrees:

  • Educator
  • Engineer
  • Specialist
  • Specialist, retail sales
  • Commercial Specialist
  • Industrial foreman
  • specialist nurse
  • Programmer
  • Business IT Specialist
  • business economist
  • Tax specialist

Comparable qualifications can also be recognized. It is best to ask the responsible authority in your state.

A prerequisite for funding is a recognized and completed initial training, such as a social worker assistant/nanny, or a comparable professional qualification. What is also new is that university dropouts, high school graduates without an initial qualification (but with work experience), and graduates of a bachelor’s degree can also apply for a BAföG if they are aiming for an advanced qualification.

Unfortunately, the funding is not an option for you if you:

  • are currently in your first training, unless it is a double-qualifying initial training. Then try to apply for “normal” BAföG.
  • have already completed a master’s degree.

► In contrast to the normal BAföG, there is no age limit for the AFBG (Advancement BAföG), so that training at 30+ can also be funded.

What does the AFBG (Advancement BAföG) support?

► Funding is provided for advanced training courses that comprise at least 400 hours of instruction. It doesn’t matter whether you are pursuing your training full-time, part-time, or via distance learning.

While part-time courses may not last longer than four years, full-time courses should last a maximum of three years.

Media-supported courses are also funded if they are supplemented by face-to-face classes or other communication channels. In addition, regular performance reviews must be part of the course.

AFBG or Advancement BAföG

Which training can be funded with the AFBG (Advancement BAföG)?

The further training must end with an examination regulated by public law or a further training qualification recognized as equivalent. These are usually IHK degrees and trade associations in Germany.

As a rule of thumb, one can remember that eligible further training courses lead to “state-recognized” degrees. The master’s degree, as well as bachelor’s professional and master’s professional, are also eligible.

The following are completely excluded from the promotion grant:

  • State exam
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Student BAföG is available for the first five degrees, provided it is a full-time degree.

How is the AFBG funded?

The Advancement BAfög is independent of income and assets and is divided into two parts.

  • You will receive a subsidy of 40 percent that does not have to be repaid.
  • The remaining 60 percent will be made available to you as a low-interest loan

1. Grant

For your course and exam fees, you will receive financing in the amount of your actual fees, but up to a maximum of 15,000 euros.

The material costs for your master’s examination project are very high? Then half of the costs up to a maximum of 2,000 euros will be covered.

2. Loan

The difference between the maximum funding amount and the subsidy share is covered by a low-interest loan from KfW. You can decide for yourself to what extent you make use of the offer. If you don’t want to get into debt and have enough reserves to bridge the time of the apprenticeship, you can also reject the offer.

If you have passed the final exam, you can apply for 40 percent of the outstanding loan to be waived.

Two years after your training, you start paying back the money. You then have ten years to pay off the loan with a monthly minimum rate of 128 euros.

3. Surcharges

In addition to your support, you can also receive a childcare allowance of 130 euros per month, provided the child is under ten years old and you are a single parent.

If you take part in a full-time course, you can also receive a subsistence allowance. This is based on the size of your family on the one hand and your income and assets on the other. Here, too, the offer consists of a grant and a loan.

AFBG or Advancement BAföG

General tips on the AFBG (Advancement BAföG).

  • Only take part in courses from certified providers.
  • Submit your application about three to four months before the start of the apprenticeship.
  • Think carefully about whether you want to accept the loan.
  • Make sure you are entitled to the childcare allowance or maintenance contribution.

Personal requirements for AFBG (Advancement BAföG)

Either you have already completed recognized vocational training and now want to achieve a higher degree that builds on your initial training, or similarly, you have several years of relevant professional experience and would like to finally graduate in this profession.

You should also be a German citizen. As a citizen of another country, you must meet additional requirements in addition to fulfilling the personal requirements for BAföG for foreigners mentioned below. However, these mainly relate to your residence status in Germany.

AFBG or Advancement BAföG

​AFBG (Advancement BAföG) requirements for foreigners

And whether you will receive BAföG as a foreigner is decided long before you start your studies. The Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG for short) divides foreigners into EU citizens and citizens of other countries.

AFBG (Advancement BAföG) for foreigners from the EU

Despite being a citizen of a member state of the European Union, this is no guarantee for educational support in Germany. However, it makes this a little easier. As a result of and thanks to the EU Free Movement Act. To put it simply, you have to prove that you, your spouse, or your parents are entitled to live and work in Germany as a Union citizen without restrictions. For this purpose, this proof must be provided in the form of a residence card by Section 5 FreizügG/EU.

Application for AFBG Advancement BAföG

All documents must be submitted in German. Your local BAföG office will ask you to have certain documents translated, such as your parents’ tax assessment.

AFBG Advancement BAföG Support for citizens of non-EU countries

If you have a residence permit with the prospect of staying in Germany, you can also obtain BAföG as a non-European citizen. This is the case, for example, if you demonstrably:

  • either get asylum in Germany
  • ​or you are married to a German citizen
  • alternatively have custody of a child with German citizenship
  • For example, you have a right to return according to §37 Residence Act, which you get, among other things, if you have lived legally in Germany for at least 8 years and have attended school here for 6 years and if you can earn a living as an adult through your gainful employment
  • or you are officially tolerated in Germany and have been staying in Germany for at least 15 months
  • ​if you are the child or spouse of a foreigner with a relevant residence permit


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