Study allowance

General information

Parents of students have an obligation to ensure the financial needs of their children are met until such time as they are self-sufficient. Students are only eligible for financial support if they or their parents are unable to pay the costs of studying themselves.

Under certain conditions, individuals may have a legal right to a state-funded study allowance.

Affected

  • Austrian citizens 
  • EU and EEA citizens (under certain conditions)
  • Third country nationals (under certain conditions)
  • Stateless persons, whereby these individuals must have been subject to an unrestricted income tax obligation in Austria together with one parent for at least five years prior to the start of their studies for reasons of equal treatment
  • Refugees under the 1951 Convention

Tip

Not only full students have the possibility to apply for a study allowance: this possibility is also open to individuals preparing for a study entitlement examination or an additional examination for admission to a bachelor's course at a technical university.

Requirements

  • Financial need
    • Decisive factors in this respect are the income and civil status of the student, their parents and their spouse or registered partner
  • Good academic results
    • Must be provided after two semesters in all cases
  • Studies to be started before the age of 30, with the following exceptions:
    • Self-sufficient individuals: before the age of 35
    • Students with children: before the age of 35
    • Students with a disability: before the age of 35
    • Students starting a master's degree: before the age of 35 (they must have started their bachelor's degree before the age of 30)
  • No prior completed studies or equivalent education, with the following exceptions:
    • Master's degrees started no later than 30 months after completing a bachelor's degree (provided that the statutory minimum course duration for the bachelor's degree was not exceeded by more than three semesters)
    • Doctorates started within 12 months after finishing the previous course of study (provided that the statutory minimum course duration for the previous course of study/modules was not exceeded by more than two semesters)
  • Maximum of two changes in course of study after a maximum of two semesters studying one course
  • Compliance with the study periods set out in the Student Financial Support Act (Studienförderungsgesetz – StudFG)

This essentially means the statutory study period plus one "tolerance" semester per module/course of study (for courses without modules)

Deadlines

Applications for a study allowance can only be submitted within a certain period.

  • For the winter semester: from 20 September to 15 December
  • For the summer semester: from 20 February to 15 May

Applications are also accepted outside of these application periods, but support will only be granted as of the following month and not retroactively from the start of the semester.

Competent authority

For all students: the bursary offices of the Student Financial Support Authority (→ Studienbeihilfenbehörde)German text

The Student Financial Support Authority ("Studienbeihilfenbehörde") is responsible for processing applications for study allowances, handling appeals against its decisions, providing tuition fee grants and providing financial support for studies abroad (→ Studienbeihilfenbehörde)German text. In addition, it can provide all of the forms required to apply for student financial support as well as detailed information.

Procedure

The systematic application procedure is applicable to all students having been granted a study allowance/tuition fee grant for two semesters. Renewed applications are submitted automatically each year by the bursary office. During this process, the eligibility requirements for receiving continued financial support are reviewed where possible by the bursary office for the relevant academic year. This involves data inquiries being carried out starting on 1 September and 1 March, respectively.

If some documentation is missing and it cannot be obtained automatically via data inquiries, students will receive a request to submit further documentation. As soon as all of the necessary data has been transmitted and any requested documents have been received, the new study allowance decision will be drawn up. 
Until that point, however, study allowance payments will be temporarily suspended. Payments can only be started once a decision has been passed confirming that the financial support has been granted.

Required documents

  • Application form
  • Confirmation of enrolment of applicant (if studying at a technical university, university for teacher education, conservatory or private university)
  • Confirmation of enrolment of any siblings currently undertaking studies (if studying at a technical university, university for teacher education, conservatory or private university)
  • Proof of progress/transcript of applicant (according to performance)
  • Bachelor's certificate of applicant (if starting a master's course)
  • Master's certificate, diploma certificate, technical university qualification of applicant (if starting a doctorate)
  • Proof of applicant's income for at least four years (if self-sufficient)
  • Pension notification for parents, spouse or registered partner (where applicable)
  • Birth certificate of applicant, siblings, own children (for first application)
  • In the case of first applications and changes the following is also required:
    • Certificate of military/civil service (if the applicant has already completed their military/civil service)
    • Marriage certificate (if the applicant is married or one of their parents has changed their name following a second marriage)
    • Divorce decision/divorce decree (if the applicant or their parents are divorced)
    • Death certificate (for biological parents)

Costs and fees

There are no charges payable.

Further information

The maximum amount of the study allowance a student may receive depends on their age and other circumstances (place of residence of parents, degree of self-sufficiency, childcare obligations, orphaned or married status). The maximum allowance ceiling is 841 Euro a month (10,092 Euro a year).

This maximum amount is reduced by the amount of maintenance payments the student's parents (or, in the case of married students, spouse/registered partner) can reasonably be expected to make and by any amount exceeding the additional earnings limit in accordance with the Austrian Student Financial Support Act. Moreover, any family support benefits or child tax credits are also deducted from the amount.

Students with at least one child receive an additional 112 Euro per month.

Advice

The online study allowance calculator provided by the Upper Austria Chamber of Labour allows you to calculate yourself the amount of study allowance you are entitled to and whether you are eligible for a grant to cover your tuition fees. This service is free of charge.

Further links

Legal basis

Studienförderungsgesetz (StudFG)

Expert information

There is no expert information available.

Link to form

Study allowance – applicationGerman Text

Authentication and signature

Electronic: by registering with the mobile signature system or using the card-based citizen card system

Paper form: with a signed form

Means of redress or appeal

Students who believe that their application has been rejected wrongly by the bursary office have the option to lodge a legal appeal in writing.

It is possible to appeal against decisions of the Student Financial Support Authority within two weeks of notification of the decision in question.

Assistance and problem-solving services

There are no auxiliary and problemsolving services.

Other services:

Ombudsman’s Office for Students (→ BMBWF)German Text

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 June 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research