Frequently asked questions about the Deutschlandstipendium
Prospective and current students
I am enrolled or about to enroll in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program at TH Köln. Can I apply for a scholarship?
Yes, all prospective and currently enrolled students in a Bachelor’s or Master’s
program may apply for a scholarship if they have at least another two semesters of
their standard program duration remaining.
I am or will be enrolled at a different German university. Can I still apply for a scholarship at TH Köln?
Unfortunately not; only students enrolled at TH Köln may apply.
Our advice: Make sure to inquire about the Deutschlandstipendium at your university
or obtain information from the website of the German Federal Ministry of Education
and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).
I am required to submit a letter of motivation with my application. How do I obtain such a document?
You are to write the letter of motivation yourself. It is to outline your motivation for
achieving good academic results and as to how a scholarship can support you in
doing so. You may also list your academic and professional goals and provide
information on voluntary work or community service and on your personal
What is a certificate of enrollment and how do I receive one? What can I do, if I have not received my certificate of enrollment yet?
The certificate of enrollment is a document confirming your enrollment at TH Köln.
You will receive your certificate after enrolling at our institution. If you have not
received your certificate yet, please send us your Letter of Admission to TH Köln. As
soon as you receive the enrollment certificate, you are required to submit it via mail or
as pdf-attachment via email.
I would like to enroll at TH Köln in the upcoming winter semester. Can I apply for a scholarship?
Yes, you certainly may apply for a scholarship. However, you can only be granted a
scholarship if you really are enrolled at TH Köln by the time the scholarship is
scheduled to begin and if you meet all scholarship criteria.
I am enrolled in a part-time program. Can I also apply for a scholarship?
Yes, you certainly may apply for a scholarship.
I am a cross-registered student/auditing student. Can I apply for a scholarship?
Unfortunately not; only regularly enrolled students at TH Köln may apply.
Are scholarships awarded based on my income or that of my parents?
No, scholarships are awarded irrespective of your or your parents’ income. There will
be no review of your income situation.
Will the Deutschlandstipendium affect my BAföG?
No, BAföG and the Deutschlandstipendium are two programs complementing one
another. Students are allowed to utilize both grants without any deductions. However,
if a student is awarded several scholarships with a total exceeding the monthly
average of € 300, the Deutschlandstipendium will be taken into account during the
calculation of the BAföG rate. When taking into account the applicant’s savings
obtained from scholarships, the same rules apply as during the calculation of his/her
financial assets. This means that the amount of € 5,200 that is being exempt from
deduction during BAföG calculation does not change when the BAföG recipient is
granted the Deutschlandstipendium.
Will my scholarship be subject to taxation?
The German Act on Scholarship Programs (Stipendienprogramm-Gesetz – StipG)
stipulates that funds received through a Deutschlandstipendium are normally not
subject to taxation or social-security contributions.
Does the Deutschlandstipendium have any impact on receiving child benefits?
As of January 1, 2012, all received income and benefits – including the
Deutschlandstipendium – do generally not affect the payment of child benefits.
Pursuant to the German Act on Simplifying Taxation (Steuervereinfachungsgesetz) of
2011, the income situation of children of legal age will not be reviewed until the
completion of a first degree or first-time training. For details, please refer to the
document published by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium
der Finanzen) on section 32 (4) of the German Income Tax Act
(Einkommenssteuergesetz) on December 7, 2011. Prior to January 1, 2012, the
Deutschlandstipendium was accounted for in the calculation of child benefits but –
absent additional income – did not exceed the income cap of € 8,004.
Does the Deutschlandstipendium affect the fees for statutory health insurance?
The Deutschlandstipendium does not affect the fees for the statutory health insurance
as long as the scholarship holder is covered by compulsory statutory health insurance
which is usually limited to 14 program semesters and expires after attaining the age of
30. The situation may be different when the scholarship holder decides to
subsequently take out voluntary health insurance, since it is required by German law
that the minimum monthly premium for voluntarily insured persons is subject to
increase. Thus, the premium is currently calculated based on an assessment basis of
€ 875. If the insurant’s income (including scholarships) that is subject to socialsecurity
contributions exceeds the aforementioned assessment basis, the mandatory
contributions have to be deducted.
Am I allowed to receive German housing benefit (Wohngeld) while holding the Deutschlandstipendium?
Yes, however, if you receive housing benefit, please be advised that 50% of the
Deutschlandstipendium, as well as other scholarships, are to be included in the
calculation of the annual income. If you have additional questions regarding
scholarship and housing benefits, please contact your responsible housing benefit
Am I obliged to repay my sponsor in any way (e.g. by doing an internship or working for my sponsor’s company after graduating?)
No, it is entirely up to you whether you, for instance, would like to do an internship in
your sponsor’s company. You are by no means obliged to repay your sponsor in any
way. Rejecting an internship or job offer will not result in any cuts in your funding or a
denial of your scholarship.
I will spend a semester abroad this coming winter semester. Can I still apply?
Yes, you certainly can. Scholarships may also be granted and funded for semesters
abroad. You presence is, however, required during the personal interview.
I am already receiving a scholarship from another institution. Am I required to state this fact in my application?
Yes, it is required that you state if you are already receiving a scholarship from another institution. Please also include information on the amount of the scholarship. According to the German law, double funding coming from different support programs which sponsor talented and highly-achieving students and are financed by Länder funds and federal funds, is not allowed.
I am a student from abroad. Can I still apply for the scholarship?
Yes! International students may also apply for the Deutschlandstipendium at TH Köln.
What are TH Köln´s priorities when awarding scholarships?
With the Deutschlandstipendium, TH Köln would like to support particularly committed
students, who – besides pursuing their academic and professional goals – are
engaged in socially relevant activities and have proven that they are willing and able
to make a sensible contribution to society beyond their personal interests. Moreover,
students whose access to universities and education in general is particularly
hindered due to personal or social circumstances are to be given prioritized
What does the selection process look like?
Scholarships are granted by means of a multi-tiered selection process:
All submitted applications will be reviewed in terms of completeness and as to
whether the criteria have been met. Each applicant will receive a confirmation of
receipt by email.
A panel of referees headed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs will evaluate all
applications meeting the formal criteria in terms of motivation, voluntary work and
potential social circumstances. It will subsequently pick the applicants who are to be
invited to the selection interviews. Invitations to these interviews as well as rejections
will be sent via email.
Successful applicants will be invited to a personal 30-minute selection interview. One
component of this interview will be a short ten-minute presentation on a current sociopolitical
topic. Applicants will be informed of the topic in their invitation.
- The short presentation is to determine the applicants’ capability of familiarizing
themselves with a socio-political topic and of coming up with a conclusive
argumentation and presentation. (Weighing: 1/3)
- The applicants’ elaboration on their motivation for successfully completing their
studies, on their particular qualification for being awarded a scholarship due to their
contributions to society as well as on their future goals and perspectives will be
considered. The evaluation will additionally factor in the applicants’ description of why
their personal circumstances impede their academic careers and how applicants
intend to overcome these obstacles. (Weighing: 2/3)
The interviews are assessed by means of a catalogue of criteria. The panel of
referees is to select those applicants who are considered most apt and show the
most potential in compliance with above criteria.
The applicants are informed about the panel’s decisions in writing.
Please note that you are not legally entitled to receive the Deutschlandstipendium.
Does an internship semester affect the scholarship?
If the internship semester is a mandatory part of your degree program and leads to
longer standard program duration, the semester is included in the program schedule
curriculum eligible for funding.