Apply for Social Hardship

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In case the semester fee poses an overwhelming financial burden for you, §57 section 1 (6) HG allows you to apply at the AStA to be recognized as a social hardship case. It’s best to apply for this recognition as early as possible before the semester starts. If you submit all the necessary documents to our social office until 7 August (for the winter term) and 7 February (for the summer term), you are likely to have confirmation on your application process by the deadline for paying the semester fee (21 September or March respectively). If you have applied to a restricted-admission program and are unable to pay the semester fee to successfully enroll, please note that February 7 and August 7 are hard deadlines to ensure university-internal deadlines.

It is also possible to apply during the first weeks of the new semester. However, you should keep in mind that this entire process will take a few weeks since several different administrative bodies need to be involved (AStA Social Office, AStA-Finances, Budget Committee of the Student Parliament). Since you will only be able to register for classes in PAUL after the semester fee was administered on the university’s bank account, you should apply for social hardship as early as possible.

Please note the deadlines of the Studierendensekretariat! Even if you have submitted a hardship application to the AStA, you must report to them if the deadline cannot be met, otherwise you will be exmatriculated or not enrolled.

If you submit a justified hardship application, there are two possibilities:

  1. You are able to transfer the semester fee to the university account despite the financial hardship, e.g. because you borrowed money from family or friends. In this case, the AStA will transfer a partial amount of the semester fee back to you after approval (see below for more information).
  2. You are not able to transfer the semester fee to the university account due to financial hardship. In this case, the AStA will transfer a partial amount directly to the university after approval (more on this below). You must then transfer the outstanding balance yourself or additionally apply for an AStA social loan for the remaining amount.

If your application is approved, the maximum amount you can get refunded is the semester fee minus the dedicated amount for the Studierendenwerk. In case of approval, the refund will always be a partial refund, because the fee for the Studierendenwerk cannot be decided by the AStA and thus cannot be refunded. The remaining amount will always be calculated based on the individual situation and can therefore not be given here as a lump sum. (If you are not able to raise the financial means for the Studierendenwerk social contribution (currently 81,43€ per semester) within the re-registration/enrollment period, we inform about the AStA social loan above). The AStA will then transfer the corresponding amount to the university account for you after approval. You may continue to use the semester ticket if it is approved.

Further requirements that have to be met are the following: There must not be any other reason for a partial refund (e.g. because of exmatriculation, leave of absence, disabilities). Furthermore, a personal consultation with our social office team regarding this issue is mandatory. In addition, the financial hardship must be justified so that it cannot be covered by the AStA social loan.

If you would like to submit this application to the AStA Social Office, you should send, in addition to a short justification, if possible all documents on the basis of which the AStA and the Budget Committee of the Student Parliament can reliably assess the current financial and social situation of the applicant. These include:

  • Documentation of the current financial and social situation with evidence of income and assets, including those of the spouse/life partner (complete evidence of all accounts and savings accounts for the last three months) → Must have
  • A current transcript of records from the central examination officeMust, unless the hardship application is submitted prior to the first semester
  • Copy of valid ID or passport → Must
  • Living situation (shared apartment, alone, with family members) → Must
  • Contractual/legal obligations → Must, if available
  • Family situation (care of children, dependents, etc.) → Must, if available
  • Work situation (e.g. corona-related loss of job, short-time work) → Must, if available
  • Evidence of special burdens (e.g. chronic illness, impairments) → Must, if available.

If the conditions listed above do not apply, then there is also no possibility of the application being approved. Even if you do not use the semester ticket at all or do not take any courses at all, this also applies regardless of the corona pandemic, you still have to pay the contribution because this is a solidary contribution for and by all students (except for the exceptional cases as defined by §57 section 1 (6) HG).

You want to apply for a hardship case? Then please arrange an appointment with us.