Tuition fees in Germany

In Germany, education policy is the responsibility of the 16 federal states with not much influence of the German government. The Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) decided on 26th of january 2005 that the German government will not have the power to strictly prevent the federal states from establishing their own individual fees.

Fees for studying „too long“ were already established in some federal states in 1997. Between 1970 and 1997 no fees were demanded. The new decision implies that, now, the federal states are allowed to resolve tuition fees starting with the first term.

Please bear in mind that students in Germany have to pay for their student union and for social affairs. These contributions aren't mentioned here. I'm only talking about tuition fees.

The following table shows you planned or stopped tuition fees and what has already been implemented. All costs are meant for a semester. For more information (only in German) there is a link to the federal states.

All federal states which had general tuition fees (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland) already stopped tuition fees again. Special kinds of fees still exist.

Tuition fees Plans1 Other costs2
Baden-Württemberg A
[500 € only 2007-2011/2012]
O 500 €+
I up to 1000 € 60 €
Bavaria (Bayern) A
[500 € only 2007-2013]
O up to 2500 €
- -
Berlin - - 51 €
Brandenburg - - 51 €
Bremen L 500 € - 50 €
Hamburg A
[375 € 2008/2009-2012; 500 € 2007/2008]
- 50 €
Hesse (Hessen) A
[500 € only 2007/2008]
- 50 €
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) - - <=50 €
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) A
[500 € only 2007-2014]
L 500 €
- 75 €
North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen) A
[500 € only 2006/2007-2011]
- -
Z 650 € - -
Saarland A
[500 € only 2007/2008-2009/2010]
L+Z <=400 €
- -
Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) L 500 € - "admin. costs"
X €3
Saxony (Sachsen) Z 30-450 € L intended: 25-150 €4
Schleswig-Holstein - - -
Thuringia (Thüringen) L 500 € - -


A Tuition fees starting with the beginning of university education („general tuition fees“).
A General tuition fees already stopped.
I Tuition fees for international students from outside the EU/EWR.
L Surcharge for students studying for more than 5-7 years (according to the field of study chosen). All terms count including even former fields of studies.
K „Studienkonten“ (in fact a special version of the surcharge mentioned)
O Tuition fees for occupational studies.
Z Tuition fees for post-graduates starting a new and different subject.

1 At present / in the near future. Worst case.
2 In this column you find charges for enrolment and administration. I mention these costs because in the past you didn't have to pay for that.
3 Optional charges for learning aids, libraries and other facilities of the university.
4 Examination fees

I don't guarantee the content of this page. I check this page at regular intervals but you never know ...

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