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Financing your studies in Austria

22. January 2021, INFO

For many, a higher-educational degree is a MUST on the Resume; If only it weren’t for all the costs. However, that shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams and passions- especially in countries such as Austria, where student financing can be a viable option.

According to a social survey conducted in 2019 with students, the average student has approximately 1,216€ at their disposal per month, with the sum being made up of various sources. Learn more about how you can finance your studies in Austria and live your life to the fullest in Vienna, Graz or Linz with just a little help.

What does it cost to study in Austria?

The average cost of studying in Austria lies at around 1.016€ per month. However, an ‘average’ seems of very little help, when costs depend so much upon your personal situation. To help better understand what your costs may look like, begin listing some of the fixed costs you know you will be encountering. These include:

  • Housing (rent, electricity, WIFI)
  • Groceries
  • Travel
  • Recreation
  • Studying (tuition fees)
  • Insurance and other personal expenses
  • Once you’ve got that part down, you can begin exploring financing options.

1) Family support and family allowance

For students that no longer can live at home to attend University (whether that’s because it’s too far away or it’s about time for the bird to leave the nest), family allowance is the most common financial support that students receive in Austria. Parents are legally obligated to support their children if they cannot support themselves- however, in certain financial situations, the government is able to offer assistance.

2) Government grants and support for students

Did you know that 55 percent of students in Austria have received a student grant? Though grants are linked to conditions which you must fulfill and eligibility is often assessed on an individual basis, the odds are in your favour. To find out if you qualify, simply contact the relevant student aid office. You can find an overview of the funding options here:

  • Study grant: If it is not possible for you to cover your costs alone or with the help of family, you can apply for a study grant by contacting the Study Grant Authority, also known as the Stipendienstelle.
    Depending on prerequisites such as social eligibility and previously demonstrated academic successes’, it is possible to receive an allowance of up to 8,589 euros per year. Further study grant prerequisites should be clarified with the relevant scholarship office. In addition to Austrian nationals, students who come from an EEA country may also be eligible.
  • Housing allowance for students: Once you’ve figured out how to pay rent, you’ve eliminated a significant cost of studying. Housing allowance is intended to relieve students who finance their households themselves and have a minimum income. However, application requirements differ within each Austrian province. For Vienna, you can use the Wohnbeihilfe Checker online to find out what your chances are and submit your housing subsidy application right afterwards.
  • Other subsidies and grants: If you’re already the recipient of a student grant and become a parent, your subsidy is increased. The same applies to people with a recognized disability of at least 50 percent. As a person entitled to study grants, you will receive various subsidies for travel costs, childcare or insurance, for example. To find out more, contact your relevant scholarship office.
  • Tuition fees: If you were born in Austria or in an EU/EEA country, you do not have to pay tuition fees at Austrian universities, as long as you keep to the standard period of study. The same applies to convention refugees. At universities of applied sciences, you generally have to pay 363.36 euros per semester. Receive the latest information about exemptions, from the Federal Representation of Austrian Students (Bundesvertretung der Österreichischen HochschülerInnen, ÖH).
  • Bafög for students from Germany: Austria is extremely popular with German students. It’s a good thing that the state subsidy, also known as Bafög for short, which comes from the Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz), can also apply to studying abroad in Austria.

3) Student jobs

Working a job is nothing unusual for students, even if they are adequately supported by their parents. A full 65 percent, work alongside their studies and do so for an average of 20.5 hours per week. This means, one can gain valuable work experience, make contacts and earn some extra cash. If you are the recipient a grant, it is essential to observe the additional earnings limits clause!

Juggling work and study can sometimes be challenging but you will quickly get to know your strengths and be able to improve and sharpen your profile, for future opportunities. Check the ÖH bulletin board for current job offers for students.

4) Scholarship for your studies

It is definitely worthwhile looking into the topic of scholarships in Austria. We have listed the most common types for you:

  • Performance and support scholarships: Performance scholarships are awarded to students with above-average success. If you are working on an extensive thesis, the scholarship could help support you. You can find out which universities offer these scholarships on the ÖH website on scholarships and grants.
  • Self-employed scholarship: You’ve worked for your hard-earned money for at least four years and have decided you want to study? Then the self-employed scholarship could give you the financial backing you need. However, age and income limits apply to you and you must be able to prove your academic success.
  • Graduation scholarship: If you are in the final phase of your studies and are writing your Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis, you can benefit from the graduation scholarship. For this, you should have been semi-employed for at least three years within the last four years.

With the help of the online database for scholarships and research funding, you can get an overview and find the right scholarship for you.

5) Student loan

If the above-mentioned funding options are not sufficient or do not apply to you, you can consider taking out a student loan. As a rule, you will then receive a monthly allowance. Less interest is charged when repaying a student loan.

6) Social Fund of the ÖH

If you find yourself in a financial emergency through no fault of your own, you can get advice from the Social Department of the ÖH-Bundesvertretung and apply for the Social Fund once per calendar year. This way, you will be supported if things turn out differently than expected.

You’re dreaming about your future as a student in Austria and would like to calculate your costs in advance? Then use the scholarship calculator. You receive assistance with the application on the website of the ÖH Bundesvertretung or at your respective scholarship office.

Once the financial part is settled, it’s time to start your student life! Save yourself the trouble of looking for an apartment and find the right MILESTONE apartment in Austria, right away.

Roman Peter


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