In publica commoda

Long-term tuition fees in Lower Saxony
Frequently Asked Questions

Study credit and payment obligations

As a rule, long-term tuition fees are to be paid for Bachelor's and Staatsexamen students at the end of the standard period of study plus 6 additional semesters.

Details:

In Lower Saxony there is a study credit balance. Long-term tuition fees are not charged for studies at universities under state responsibility as long as the student has a positive credit balance.

The credit is calculated from the number of semesters of the standard period of study for the chosen undergraduate programme plus 6 additional semesters.

Example 1

Maxi Musterfrau begins a course of study in the Bachelor of Business Administration. The standard period of study is six semesters. To calculate the credit balance, the standard period of study is increased by six semesters. Maxi Musterfrau thus has a credit balance of twelve semesters during which she does not have to pay any long-term tuition fees.

The credit is increased by the standard period of study of a subsequent consecutive Master's programme.

Example 2

Maxi Musterfrau has successfully completed her bachelor's degree and has been awarded a place in the master's programme in company management. The credit increases by four semesters, and is now at 16 semesters.

Maxi has completed her Bachelor's programme after seven semesters. Seven semesters will therefore be deducted from her existing credit balance. For her Master's programme, Maxi still has nine semesters left over in which she does not have to pay any long-term tuition fees.

Each semester in a course of study at a German public university reduces the credit balance.

Example 3

Maxi Musterfrau studied cultural anthropology at another German university for two semesters before studying business administration. These two semesters will be deducted in addition to the periods of study at Göttingen University from here credit.

Together with the period of study from the previous Bachelor's programme, Maxi only has seven semesters, during which she does not have to pay any long-term tuition fees.

Listing of facts that do not lead to the consumption of credits:

  • Leave of absence
  • Actual care of a child (up to 14 years of age)
  • Care of a close relative
  • Activity as elected representative in bodies of the university, student body or Studentenwerk (for a maximum of 2 semesters)
  • Performing the duties of Equal Opportunities Officer (for a maximum of 2 semesters)

If you obtained the degree qualifying for the Master's programme at a university abroad or at a private university in Germany that is not permanently funded by the state, the credit is calculated as the number of semesters of the double standard period of study of the Master's programme. These are usually 8 semesters.

Example

Max Mustermann has been awarded a place in the Master of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology. Max obtained his bachelor's degree in France. In addition, he has not studied at any German university. The standard period of study for the Master's programme is 4 semesters. For the calculation of the credit balance, the standard period of study is doubled.

Max Mustermann thus has a credit balance of eight semesters in which he does not have to pay any long-term tuition fees.

In the case of simultaneous study of several degree programmes, the standard period of study of the degree programme with the higher standard period of study is decisive according to § 12 Paragraph 2 Sentence 4 NHG.

If you complete the programme with the higher standard period of study before the programme with the lower standard period of study and do not start a consecutive programme in the following semester, the credit balance will be reduced accordingly.

All university semesters are counted for the calculation of the long-term tuition fees. University semesters are all study periods at universities in the Federal Republic of Germany. University semesters in study programmes of the Berufsakademien which have undergone an accreditation procedure are to be regarded as completed university periods within the meaning of § 13 (1) NHG.

Students who are enrolled exclusively for a doctorate do not pay long-term tuition fees unless they are enrolled in another degree programme.

Periods of study that were/are exclusively completed for the purpose of a doctorate will not be credited in this context.

After the use of the credit balance, 500 Euro long-term tuition fees per semester have to be paid. In addition, there are the fees for the student body and the Studentenwerk as well as the administration fee.

  1. Students who actually care for a child within the meaning of § 25 Para. 5 BAföG who has not yet reached the age of 14 at the beginning of the respective semester,
  2. Students who care for a close relative within the meaning of § 7 Para. 3 of the "Pflegezeitgesetz" and who prove the need for care within the meaning of § 3 Para. 2 of the "Pflegezeitgesetz",
  3. Students who spend a period of study abroad as stipulated in the study or examination regulations,
  4. Students who complete a practical semester of study as stipulated in the study or examination regulations,
  5. Students who complete or follow up the Practical Year in accordance with § 1 Para. 2 No. 1 in conjunction with § 3 Para. 1 Sentence 5 of the German Licensing Regulations for Physicians,

are exempt from the obligation to pay.

Exemption requests must be submitted again for each semester (does not apply to point 5).

In the event of undue hardship, the long-term tuition fee can be waived upon application. Unfair hardship usually exists if the period of study has been extended due to a disability, serious illness or the consequences of being a victim of a crime. Detailed information can be found below in the second part of this FAQ.

The exemption reason " close to graduation / financial hardship" has already been abolished in the winter semester 2006/2007.

Disability, serious illness and other cases of hardship

The long-term tuition fees can be waived in accordance with § 14 Para. 2 S. 2 No. 1 NHG (Niedersächsisches Hochschulgesetz) if the effects of a disability or illness prolong the period of study.

An application for waiver of the long-term study fees can be made as soon as the long-term tuition fees have been set and you have received a notice.

There is a written interview procedure before the fees are set. It is not possible to submit an application during the interview procedure.

According to § 14 Abs. 2 S. 3 NHG, a medical certificate from a public medical officer (Amtsarzt) is required as proof. Specialist medical certificates are not sufficient.

In Göttingen, you will receive the official medical certificate from the Department of Health of the City of Göttingen.

The certificate issued by the public medical officer must specify the semesters in which the student's ability to study was/is limited. Furthermore, the amount of the restriction on the ability to study must be stated (as a percentage).

In contrast to the Department of Health of the City of Göttingen, other publich health departments may not be informed about the requirements of the certification for the waiver of long-term tuition fees.

The certificate issued by the public medical officer (Amtsarzt) must specify the semesters in which the student's ability to study was/is limited. Furthermore, the amount of the restriction on the ability to study must be stated (as a percentage).

No other details are required.

The medical certificate is subject to a fee. Please enquire about the amount of the fee directly at the Department of Health.

You order the medical certificate directly from the Department of Health. The order is not issued by the University of Göttingen. You must contact the health authority directly.

In this case, please refer to the Niedersächsische Hochschulgesetz, § 14 Abs. 2 S. 3.

It states that the presence of the conditions for waiving the long-term tuition fees must be proven by a medical certificate from a public medical officer (Amtsarzt).

Please ask the health department directly for the information/documents required by the public medical officer as well as the procedure for the examination.

The obligation to provide evidence through a medical certificate does not apply to students who haven proven a degree of disability of at least 50%. In this case, the disabled person's ID card (Schwerbehindertenausweis) is sufficient.

According to § 14 Abs. 2 S. 4 NHG, an application for waiving the long-term tuition fees for the semester in question can be submitted up to one month after the end of the semester at the latest.

You can also submit an application to observe the deadline without a medical certificate, but this application does not have a suspensive effect.

Your application cannot be processed until we have received a medical certificate.

This means that an application without a medical certificate does not release you from paying the long-term tuition fees.

The payment obligation remains in force until the medical certificate is available and a positive decision on your application has been made.

Under certain circumstances, this means that in order to meet the re-registration deadline, the long-term tuition fees must first be paid and will be refunded retrospectively as soon as the medical certificate is available and a positive decision has been made on the application for waiving the long-term tuition fees.

The waiver of the long-term tuition fees depends on the amount of the limitation of the ability to study.

Example 1

Maxi Musterfrau submits a medical certificate which shows that she was 100% unfit to study in one semester.

In this case, Maxi is entitled to a 100% waiver of the long-term tuition fees for one semester.

If several semesters are affected by the limitation of study ability, the figures are added together.

Example 2

Maxi Musterfrau submits an official medical certificate, from which it follows that she was not in each case 50% able to study in three semesters.

In this case, Maxi is entitled to a waiver of the long-term study fees for one semester at 100% and for another semester at 50%.

In the case of a partial limitation of the ability to study in one semester, only a partial waiver can be granted.

Example 3

Maxi Musterfrau submits an official medical certificate, which shows that she was 80% unable to study in one semester.

In this case Maxi is entitled to a partial waiver of 80% of the long-term tuition fees for one semester.

In this case, a waiver of the long-term tuition fees is made analogously to the degree of disability.

Example

Maxi Musterfrau presents her severely handicapped pass with a degree of disability of 60%.

Analogous to the degree of disability, 60% of the long-term study fees are waived.

If you are of the opinion that the limitation of your ability to study is higher than the degree of your disability, you have the possibility to prove the possibly higher limitation by a medical certificate from a public medical officer (Amtsarzt).

If you are entitled to waiver of the long-term tuition fees for several semesters on the basis of a medical certificate, you must apply again for each semester within the re-registration period of the semester in question.

The medical certificate does not have to be submitted again.

You can continue filling in the application for waiver of the long-term tuition fees online by ticking the box "I have already submitted the required documents" without having to upload the certificate to the application again.

The waiver of the long-term tuition fees due to a severe disability must be applied for again for each semester within the re-registration period of the semester concerned.

The severely handicapped pass ((Schwerbehindertenausweis) does not have to be submitted again.

You can continue filling in the application for waiver of the long-term tuition fees online by ticking the box "I have already submitted the required documents" without having to upload the severly handicapped pass (Schwerbehindertenausweis) to the application again.

Corona pandemic 2020

According to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 can also be taken into account as an unreasonable hardship.

In order to be exempted, the online application has to be submitted via eCampus as soon as the long-term tuition fees have been set and you have received a notice. For the waiver, it has to be credibly demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the progress of studies and thus prolonged the duration of studies.

Form

The long-term study fees can be waived in accordance with § 14 Para. 2 of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (§ 14 Abs.2 Niedersächsisches Hochschulgesetz) in the event of undue hardship, usually due to the effects of a disability or illness which prolong the duration of studies or the consequences as the victim of a criminal offence.

According to the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which will prolong the duration of studies, can also be taken into account as an unreasonable hardship.

Form