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At the beginning of the semester, you will have to pay a student social fee. This fee can vary, but currently it is set at approximately 290,00 €. Your contribution goes to support the social establishments on the university, such as the student cafeterias and student dorms.  

Your contribution also helps to finance the university's vast sports program and pays for a semester pass (Semesterticket), which allows you to use the public transportation system in Cologne and its surroundings (the area of North Rhine-Westphalia) for free during the semester.

No tuition fee is charged.


Financial Support

Finances play a central role when you plan a course of study at the University of Cologne. There are many different establishments and organisations to which you can apply as a foreign or graduate student for individual grants or scholarships. The standards are very different, but in the majority of cases the deciding factor is academic potential and not financial need. 

General Notices:
Support for the entire length of study is rarely awarded.
Individual German secondary institutions usually do not award grants or scholarships.                                                                                                   

Foreign students can receive BAföG (monthly allowance paid by the state) only under very strict circumstances. 

Make sure to find out about financial assistance in your native country and apply on-time!  It can take as long as one year to process an application for financial aid. 

Information about grants and scholarships can be obtained in your native country from: 
- the German foreign authorities (embassy/consulate). There you can find information about DAAD Lecturers in your native country !
- your DAAD branch office (only in some countries)

The DAAD offers the most extensive program of grants and scholarships. In order to apply, you must have a German degree or its equivalent, or be a graduate student in the field of German studies. The application process must take place in your native country.

The DAAD’s scholarship and grant database offers an overview of the different grant and scholarship programs available for your native country and subject area. 

The Stiftungindex offers the most extensive overview of academic endowments available in Germany.

The following institutions offer grants and scholarships primarily for first-degree candidates, but also occasionally for continuing students and doctoral candidates:

NameTarget GroupActivities Suppored by ScholarshipAdditional Information
Alfred Töpfer Stiftung F.V.S. ( from Middle and Eastern Europe who are studying culture and/or the humanities with a focus on Europe.Completion of the Final Stages of a Course of Study, Continuing Education, PhD ProgramsYour application will be processed in your native country.
Cusanuswerk Bischöfliche Studienförderung ( and BAföG Recipients who are members of the Catholic churchUniversity Studies, PhD Programs 
Dr. Alexander und Rita Besser-StiftungIsraeli Citizens, especially students of journalismShort-Term Stays in Germany for the Purposes of Study or ResearchApplications will be processed by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Barkhovenallee 1, 45239 Essen (
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung ( subject areasUniversity Studies, PhD Programs 
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung ( subject areasUniversity Studies, Continuing Education, PhD Programs 
Fulbright-Kommission ( citizensUniversity Studies, PhD Programs, Research, Teacher Exchanges, Preparatory German Language Courses for Students Wishing to Attend a German University. 
Gemeinschaft für studentischen Austausch in Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V. ( from Poland and the Czech RepublicUniversity Studies 
Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung ( subject areas highly qualified post graduate students (up to age 32), especially students from third world countries.PhD Programs, Research, Preparatory German Courses for Students Wishing to Attend a German UniversityA preselection process will take place in your native country.
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung ( subject areasUniversity Studies, PhD Programs 
Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst ( and coming scientists (Graduate and Post Doctorate) from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe who are members of the Catholic church.University Studies, Short-Term Stays in Germany for the Purposes of Research, Continuing EducationA preselection process may take place in your native country.
Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds ( subject areasUniversity Studies, PhD Programs, Continuing Education 
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung ( subject areasPhD Programs, Continuing Education, possibly University Studies 
Otto-Benecke-Stiftung ( of German origin from Eastern European states (Spätaussiedler), Persons entitled to political asylum and refugeesGerman Courses and Preparatory Courses at a German Studienkolleg for Students Wishing to Attend a German University. 
Pädagogischer Austauschdienst der Kultusministerkonferenz ( doing German studies and prospective German teachersEmployment as a Foreign Language Assistant at a German schoolPlease contact the appropriate national and/or educational authorities in your native country.
Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung ( subject areasUniversity Studies, PhD Programs 
Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann ( University Studies, PhD Programs 
Stipendienfonds RuhrgasNorwegian Graduate Students and Researchers in the Fields of Economics, the (science of) history and jurisprudence.Applicants interested in this scholarship should contact the Norwegian Research Council before applying in order to determine their prospects for success.Applications will be processed by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Barkhovenallee 1, 45239 Essen (
Villigst Evangelisches Studienwerk ( subject areas Citizens from EU and Eastern European countries who are members of a Protestant demonination.University Studies, PhD Programs 

The following list of endowment institutions primarily offers scholarships and grants for students with at least one German degree or its equivalent:

NameTarget GroupActivities Supported by ScholarshipAdditional Information
Alexander von-Humboldt-Stiftung ( Subject Areas Talented Post-Graduate ScientistsResearchApplications to extend a current stay in Germany for the purposes of research will only be considered in exceptional cases.
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-StiftungTalented, up and coming scientists and young executives from middle and Eastern European countries. Prerequisites: Completion or near completion of the PhD, at least one year of work experience in a leadership position. Applications will be processed by Professor Dr. Nikolaus Lobkowicz at the Zentralinstitut für Mittel- und Osteuropastudien Ostenstr. 27 D - 85072 Eichstätt Tel.: 08421-93-1717 Fax: 08421-93-1780
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds ( from the field of pure scientific-medicinal research.PhD programs 
Christoph-Dornier-Stiftung für Klinische Psychologie ( and Coming Scientists in the Fields of Clinical Psychology and Therapeutic ResearchPhD programs 
Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt ( and Coming Scientists in the Field of Environmental Protection.PhD programs 
Deutsches Nationalkomitee des Lutherischen Weltbundes ( students with a degree in Evangelical Theology. Prerequisite: a foreign degree that is equal to one awarded in Germany. Applications will be processed by your home church and the deutsche Nationalkomitee an den Lutherischen Weltbund in Genf
Diakonisches Werk der Evangelischen Kirche DeutschlandGraduate students with a degree in Evangelical Theology. In exceptional cases, applicants with a PhD will also be considered. Applications will be processed by the National Correspondents in your native country and the Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen (ÖRK) in Genf
Friedrich Flick Förderungsstiftung Postfach 102361 40014 Düsseldorf Tel.: 0211-4382250Talented Students, Especially Those in the Fields of Economics and Technology  
Fritz Thyssen Stiftung ( Subject Areas Up and Coming Post Graduate Students. Areas of Specialty: "History, Language and Culture", "the State, Economy, Society" as well as "Medicine and the Natural Sciences."Research 
ForschungThe HumanitiesPhD programs, research 
Gottlieb Daimler- und Karl Benz-Stiftung (www.daimler-benz-stiftung.deAll Subject Areas Prerequisites: Bachelors or Masters Degree, Maximum 30 Years of AgePhD programs 
Konferenz der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften ( Subject Areas, Especially Students in the Humanities or Sociology and Young Postgraduate Scientists from Middle and Eastern European Countries or the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).Research 
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ( Pure research in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. 
MINERVA-Stipendien-Komitee ( postgraduate Scientists (possibly PhD Students) from Israel, especially those in the fields of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics. Applications will by processed by the MINERVA-Sekreteriat, Frau Heidrun Zimmermann c/o Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik Postfach 103980 D-69029 Heidelberg Tel.: 06221 - 383211 Fax: 06221 - 516606
Ökumenisches Studienwerk e.V. Girondelle 80 D - 44799 Bochum Tel.: 0234-93882-0 Fax: 0234-93882-60All Applicants from Third World CountriesContinuing Education, Preparatory German Courses for Students Wishing to Study at a German University.The application must be processed in your native country and must include a letter of recommendation from the National Christian Council, church authorities or a local stipend committee.
Rußland-Fonds der deutschen Wirtschaft ( Graduate Students (possibly advanced students) in the fields of Economics, Jurisprudence and the Social Sciences.  
Schopenhauer-Stiftung Beethovenstraße 48 D - 60325 Frankfurt/M.Up and coming students in the field of Philosophy with an emphasis in Schopenhauer's Ethics.  
Stiftelsen Riksbanken Jubileumsfond Box 5674 S 11486 Stockholm Tel.: 00468/243215Students Pursuing Projects Related to Sweden  
Stipendienfonds der Chemischen IndustrieStudents Studying to Become Chemistry Teachers, PhD candidates, Students in the Field of Chemistry Prerequisite: EU-CitizenshipTeacher Training, PhD Programs, Postdoctoral Lecturing Qualification (Habilitation) 

If you are already in Cologne: 
Students beginning their course of studies can obtain a loan from the "Kölner Verein zur Förderung des Ausländerstudiums" if they are temporarily unable to pay their rent or health insurance premium. ( 
The Katholische Hochschulgemeinde also has limited funds available in the case of extreme emergencies. ( 
Students from developing countries who do not receive a grant or scholarship may also receive support from the Evangelischen Studentengemeinde in the case of an extreme emergency.( 

Students who --through no fault of their own-- are burdened by unforseeable financial difficulties should contact the International Office!