Study costs - what expenses will I incur at university?

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Studying costs money. But how much? What is the semester fee, until when do I have to re-register and when do I pay long-term fees? These and more answers can be found here:


SEMESTER FEE

All students are required to pay a semester fee every semester. This fee is made up of the following components:

  • Contribution to the Studentenwerk Hannover (student services organisation)
  • Contribution to the student government (Students’ Union, AStA)
  • Semester ticket
  • Contribution towards administrative costs for the Federal State of Lower Saxony.

The “Lower Saxony/Bremen semester ticket” enables you to use all modes of transport in the Greater Hannover area, and to travel second class in Deutsche Bahn’s regional trains throughout Lower Saxony, as well as to Bremen and Hamburg central stations at no additional cost.

Transfer amount

The semester fee of €433.11 for winter semester 2021/2022 is made up of the following components:

  • €115.00 for the Studentenwerk
  • €225.41 for the SemesterCard (semester ticket GVH+ semester ticket for the whole federal state)
  • €13.09 for the student body
  • €0.91 for the bike workshops
  • €75.00 contribution towards administrative costs
  • €1.50 for the Kulturticket
  • €2.20 for the semester ticket default fund
Transfer amount, bank details and further information about the reregistration

LONG-TERM TUITION FEES

Long-term tuition fees of €500 are due as soon as students exceed the standard period of study plus six tolerance semesters. The standard period of study specifies in what time a degree programme can be completed.

The standard period of study varies depending on the type of degree, and sometimes also on the type of university (for example, most Bachelor’s degree programmes have a standard period of study of six semesters).  

  • 1. When are long-term tuition fees due?

    According to Section 13 of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (NHG), in Lower Saxony long-term tuition fees of €500 must be paid when a student has used up their study credit balance. The study credit balance is the length of time a student may study without having to pay long-term tuition fees.

    Study credit balance

    Undergraduate degree programmes (Bachelor’s / State Examination)

    The study credit balance is calculated from the number of semesters of the standard period of study for the undergraduate programme in which the student is currently enrolled plus 6 additional so-called tolerance semesters.

    Most undergraduate degree programmes (Bachelor’s) have a standard period of study of 6 semesters*. The study credit balance is therefore usually 12 semesters*.

    Postgraduate degree programmes (Master’s)

    If a student is enrolled on a consecutive Master’s study programme, the study credit balance increases by the number of semesters of the standard period of study for the consecutive Master’s study programme. Most consecutive Master’s study programmes have a standard period of study of 4 semesters*. The study credit balance is therefore usually 16 (12 + 4) semesters*.

    A special arrangement applies to Master’s students who completed their previous Bachelor’s degree or another equivalent qualification

    • at a higher education institution abroad or
    • at a private higher education institution in Germany or
    • at a domestic higher education institution that does not receive state funding.

    For this group, the study credit balance is calculated from the number of semesters of the double standard period of study for the Master’s degree programme. *

    The study credit balance for this group of people is usually 8 semesters. *

    * Additional individual standard period of study: the individual standard period of study is based on Section 72, Paragraph 16 of the NHG (Niedersächsisches Hochschulgesetz) and is personal.

    Use of credit

    Study credit is used in accordance with the number of semesters that a student has already spent studying at a state-run higher education institution (HEI) in Germany. Consequently, the total number of semesters spent at university are decisive, not the number of degree semesters.

    Study credit is not used up when the student

    • is on leave of absence,
    • actually cares for a child (up to the age of 14),
    • cares for a close relative,
    • acts as an elected representative of an executive body of the university, the student body or the Studentenwerk (Student Services Organisation) or
    • holds the office of Equal Opportunities Officer.
  • 2. Rules governing exemption from paying long-term tuition fees

     The following students are exempt from paying long-term tuition fees:

    • Students who have been granted leave;
    • Students who care for a child under the age of 14 at the start of the relevant semester within the meaning of Section 25 (5) of the Federal Law on Support for Education and Training (BAföG) (To be proven by a birth certificate and a certificate of registration or household certificate for the current calendar year. Exemptions can then be given for two semesters; the supporting documents must therefore be resubmitted after one year; any changes to the student’s circumstances during the exemption period must be reported to the Registration Office without delay);
    • Students who care for a close relative in need of care within the meaning of Section 7 (3) of the Home Care Leave Act (German language only), according to an expert opinion issued by the Medical Review Board of the Statutory Health Insurance Funds, where the need for long-term care has been proven within the meaning of Section 3 (2) of the Home Care Leave Act. An up-to-date renewed document (confirmation) issued by the health insurance company must be presented each semester
    • Students who are already enrolled on a joint degree programme at another higher education institution and required to pay long-term tuition fees there;
    • Students who study abroad for a period of time as stipulated in the study regulations;
    • Students who undertake a practical semester as stipulated in the study regulations:
      1. It must be a practical semester as stipulated in the study or examination regulations.
      2. The period of practical training must be longer than the lecture period of the relevant semester.
      3. Teaching is limited to preparation and following up of the practical semester.
    • Students over the age of 60 who are required to pay tuition fees in accordance with Section 13 (4) of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (Niedersächsisches Hochschulgesetz (NHG)).
    • Students in their final semester who are experiencing financial difficulties.
  • 3. Waiver of the long-term tuition fee

    In individual cases, a waiver or a partial waiver of the long-term tuition fees is possible, on application, if the collection of this fee would lead to unreasonable hardship. Generally speaking, unreasonable hardship exists where

    • a handicap or severe illness has prolonged the duration of study; evidence of this must be provided in the form of an official doctor’s certificate (applications must have been submitted within one month of the end of the lecture period in that particular semester).
    • students have been the victim of a criminal offence causing the prolongation of their studies (applications must have been submitted within one month of the end of the lecture period in that particular semester).

    Applications for exemption should be submitted by the end of the re-registration period.

    Applications must be submitted within one month of the end of the lecture period of that relevant semester, subject to payment of the study fees (around mid/end of August or early/mid March).

Note on additional individual standard period of study

The State Parliament of Lower Saxony has decided to extend by a total of one semester the standard period of study for students enrolled in summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/2021 or summer semester 2021 who are not on leave of absence (“individual standard period of study”). An individual standard period of study extended by two semesters applies for students who were enrolled and not on leave of absence for at least two semesters during this period. The study credit balance may be increased due to the special rules on the individual standard period of study due to the pandemic.

ADDITIONAL STUDY COSTS

QUESTIONS ABOUT STUDY COSTS?

Ask the social advice service of the Studentenwerk Hannover

The social service of the Studentenwerk Hannover offers support and advice on questions concerning student financing