Financing your studies – financing options for students

Like most things in life, studying costs money and, depending on where you study and your university or college, it is quite expensive. You can find out here how you can finance your studies and the various options you have.

Multiple sources of income for student financing

The student social survey also shows that student income in Austria comes from many different sources. The most important sources of support include parents, income from their own gainful employment and government study grants. In the following section we will tell you what other options there are for financing your studies.

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Support from parents

Students receive an average of 221 euros per month from their parents or other relatives. However, the spectrum ranges from a family allowance to the complete financing of all costs.

Benefits in kind were also recorded in the student social survey, i.e. food or other benefits that were not paid in cash. The monetary value of these benefits in kind was just under 151 euros.

According to the student social survey, more than half of the foreign students received some form of financial aid or study support in the 2019 summer semester.

The study funding options include:

  • Study grant
  • Self-support scholarship
  • Graduate scholarship
  • Housing allowance for students
  • Family allowance during studies

Depending on the funding, you have to meet different requirements in order to be eligible for funding. We have summarized the most important points for you in the individual articles.

Student part-time job

65 percent of all Austrian students have a job during the semester. On average, income from student jobs accounts for 44 percent of the total student budget.

Students work an average of 20.5 hours a week alongside their studies. This is quite a lot when you consider that there should still be space for studying and leisure activities.

But a parttime job not only pays for your living expenses – a well-chosen part-time job can provide valuable practical experience for later career entry. With a part-time job, you can also easily find out what you enjoy and what you don’t. You can also make contact with potential employers as part of your student job.

Conclusion: A part-time student job is actually mandatory, even if you receive enough money from your parents or other sources. When applying, employers prefer graduates who have already gained experience in a company during their studies.

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Studying with a scholarship

With a scholarship you can at least partially finance your studies. However, only one percent of all students can cover the study and living costs with state grants as the only source of income. In addition to government scholarships and grants, there are numerous other institutions that support students.

This includes universities and technical colleges as well as companies, foundations and even private individuals.

There are the following types of scholarships:

  • Performance and support scholarships from the universities
  • Scholarships from other institutions

The conditions for their award differ from scholarship to scholarship. In addition, the search and application process is very time-consuming. But extensive research is worthwhile, because: There are some scholarships that are accessible even without top grades!

If you cannot cover all monthly costs despite all the above-mentioned options for financing your studies, there is still the possibility of a student loan. It differs from a conventional loan because, in addition to the lower interest rate, there is another payment modality: Instead of a one-time payment of the entire loan amount, you receive monthly installments. The amount of the installments is usually variable, but the maximum loan amount is between 25,000 and 65,000 euros depending on the offer. Depending on the loan, the payment can also be suspended.

You should definitely take the time to research the right student loan and also set up a sample calculation to determine the loan amount that is absolutely necessary. Also pay attention to the interest rate, as this can vary quite a bit from bank to bank. The later charges for repayment are correspondingly different. You should only take out a loan once you have exhausted all other options.

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Social Fund of the Austrian National Union of Students

The Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH) is the legal representative for students. For cases of social hardship, the ÖH has set up a fund from which financial support (without legal entitlement) is paid to students. These basically cover every area of student life. It is possible to receive a one-off support every twelve months.

No matter how you finance yourself as a student, you always need one thing: a good account where the money can go. So that you don’t have to spend ages researching which student account suits you best, we have compared student accounts for you.

Tuition fees and other costs

According to the latest student social survey from 2019, students in Austria have an average monthly budget of 1,216 euros. At first glance, that sounds like a lot of money, but you have to use it to pay for the ÖH contribution, teaching materials and your living expenses. If you study at a private university, your tuition fees can range from a few hundred to several thousand euros per semester. You can find detailed information on the ÖH contribution and study costs at private universities on the advice page on tuition fees.

However, unless you study at an expensive private university, your living expenses make up the largest part of your expenses.

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Living expenses include:

  • Rent
  • Clothing
  • Groceries
  • Telecommunications (your smartphone, laptop and WiFi)
  • Maintenance of your own vehicle

It also makes sense to create a cushion for emergencies (e.g. repairing your laptop), but also for Christmas and birthday presents. Additionally, you should be able to afford recreational activities or buy a train ticket to visit home. So there is not much left: The total costs for studying determined in the social survey amount to an average of 1,016 euros per month.

The sums of money mentioned are average amounts: For example, first-year students have about 1,000 euros per month and a quarter of the students finance their studies, including living expenses, with less than 790 euros per month. In addition, the cost of living and studying can vary greatly, depending on the place of study and the educational institution.

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