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News vom 08.06.2012

Neither playing shy nor all too much levity is appropriate

Nearly 50,000 students signed a student loan agreement in 2011. Most popular are the new KfW student loan and the education loan offered by the Federal Administration Office. These are the results of the latest CHE student loan test 2012, which also points out what students should bear in mind before signing the agreement.

Nearly 50,000 students signed a student loan agreement in 2011. Most popular are the new KfW student loan and the education loan offered by the Federal Administration Office. These are the results of the latest CHE student loan test 2012, which also points out what students should bear in mind before signing the agreement.

State loans clearly dominate the student loan market while other offers have so far only managed to win a small share of it.

  • A total of 92 per cent of the student loan agreements signed in 2011 are state offers, namely the KfW student loan, the education loan offered by the Federal Administration Office and study-fee loans in Lower Saxony and Bavaria.

  • Four per cent of the agreements signed in 2011 are the (mostly) short-term, zero-interest graduation loans offered by Studentenwerke (German National Associations for Student Affairs).

  • Offers by national banks, local Sparkassen (savings banks), Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, as well as education funds, make up the remaining 4 per cent.

    Project manager and this study’s head Ulrich Müller says: “Around 80 per cent of the regional offers have been cancelled in recent years. Most local banks now only offer the KfW student loan. But sensible, regional student loan models can still generate strong demand, such as those offered by Sparkassen in Essen, Leipzig and Herford.”

    The CHE student loan test 2012 assesses existing offers for different target groups based on 20 criteria and lists the advantages and disadvantages of these offers. The CHE generally advises students to assess their own financial needs carefully and to turn first to funding sources that do not need to be repaid, or only need to be repaid in part (e.g. BAföG, grants, parental support and part-time jobs). Ulrich Müller says: “It is a good thing that student loans exist. Being timid towards them is inappropriate if it means studies are not completed. However, if there are other finance opportunities, it is inadvisable to use a loan without thinking it through properly and thereby accumulating debts for the future.”

    Although a variety of offers exists, today’s student loans generally fail to cover the financial need of further education students (e.g. those taking a second degree or a Master’s programme). Müller says: “The funds from loans are also too low to cover the costs of a normal Master’s degree. Almost all banks work with the standard notion of a full-time student living in an 11-square-metre flat. What about further education students, who – in addition to their professions and families – are working to complete a Master’s degree for which they have to pay high tuition fees or even give up their jobs for one or two years.”

    One exception to this is the Career Concept education fund. The Festo/CareerConcept offer for engineering students, or students of other technological subjects, includes monthly payments of up to EUR 2,500 in the further education market.

    The CHE student loan test was compiled and published with the Financial Times Deutschland for the seventh time. It mainly helps existing and prospective students make the right decisions about their academic career.


  • Printable version

    Contact
    Britta Hoffmann-Kobert
    Britta Hoffmann-Kobertmehr
    Phone: +49 5241 9761-27
    Fax: +49 5241 9761-40
    Email: britta.hoffmann-kobert
    @che.de
     
    Assistance:
    Anita Schmitzmehr
    Phone: +49 5241 9761-41

    Link
    Download of the Student Loan Test 2012 (in German)mehr

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