Why do you need a scholarship

Scholarship: The most common grants + 6 tips for research

Contrary to popular clichés, you do not necessarily need a high school diploma for a scholarship. Many scholarships are aimed at gifted people, but not only for a long time. Other foundations support students with discontinuities in their curriculum vitae who have had to overcome a number of hurdles. It is not good grades that count, but the commitment and motivation of the applicants. We present the most famous and bizarre scholarships and give tips for the application ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Scholarship for students: who, whom, what, how?

Financing your studies is a major challenge for many students in view of the high rents. Since the majority of students depend on financial support anyway, scholarships are a welcome source of income in addition to BAföG:

Who is funding?
Scholarships run through foundations that promote talented students. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which provides the funds for financial support, is behind the 13 gifted funding agencies of the large foundations.

Who is funded?
The large organizations for the promotion of talented students dispute the support from tax funds. From a formal point of view, all Germans and their equals benefit from a scholarship. However, there are numerous foundations that specifically advertise scholarships for foreigners.

What is funded?
Good grades are welcome, but by no means the only criterion: Many foundations expect special commitment - this can be partisan, religious or voluntary in nature, for example. Anyone applying for a scholarship from a party affiliated foundation should be able to identify with the content and values ​​or at least be open to them - otherwise the chances of success are poor.

How is it funded?
The support looks different: It can be a degree, a stay abroad or a doctorate. Accordingly, the support does not necessarily run for the entire semester or even for the entire duration of the study, but for example in the first three months or in the hot end phase shortly before completing the doctorate.

The large organizations promoting talented students

The scholarship guide, one of the largest databases, lists well over 1000 scholarships. Who else should keep track of things? That is why we are starting with the thirteen large gifted funding agencies. Each of these foundations represents its own values, which as a whole should reflect our diverse society. The thirteen foundations include political, union, economic and religious orientations. Here is the overview:

Independent scholarship

  1. Study Foundation
    The Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (studienstiftung.de) is the oldest and largest organization to promote the gifted. Regardless of denomination or political orientation, it currently supports almost 13,000 students and 1,300 doctoral students. The patron is Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
  2. Klaus Murmann student funding agency
    The Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (sdw.org/) and the Klaus Murmann student funding agency are closely related to the economy. It not only promotes students of STEM subjects, but is also aimed at student teachers and advocates equal opportunities.
  3. Political scholarship

  4. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
    The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (fes.de/studienfoerderung/) is the oldest political foundation and is close to the SPD. Every year it supports around 3,000 scholarship holders. She attaches great importance to supporting people from disadvantaged families.
  5. Konrad Adenauer Foundation
    The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (kas.de/home) is the CDU-affiliated foundation. With more than 3,000 scholarship holders for study grants and another 500 for doctoral grants, it is one of the largest institutions for the promotion of talented students. It offers a special support program for budding journalists.
  6. Hanns Seidel Foundation
    The Hanns Seidel Foundation (hss.de/stipendium/) is the CSU-affiliated study foundation. It currently supports around 1,100 scholarship holders who are permanently involved in politics, church or other social activities.
  7. Heinrich Böll Foundation
    The Heinrich Böll Foundation (boell.de/de/stiftung/stipendien) is the foundation that is close to the Greens and supports around 1,200 students annually.
  8. Friedrich Naumann Foundation Foundation
    The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung Stiftung (freiheit.org/de/begabtenfoerderung-stipendien-fuer-studierenden-und-promovierende) identifies with liberal values. Students and doctoral candidates at universities of applied sciences and universities are equally funded. Also interesting: there is no age limit.
  9. Rosa Luxenburg Foundation
    The Rosa-Luxenburg-Stiftung (rosalux.de/stiftung/studienwerk/) is close to the DIE LINKE party and supports around 190 scholarship holders every year. The focus is on international understanding, social justice and solidarity with one another.
  10. Denominational scholarship

  11. Avicenna Studienwerk
    The Avicenna-Studienwerk (avicenna-studienwerk.de/) is the first Muslim organization to promote the gifted and the youngest. It primarily promotes Muslim students. Scholarship holders with other denominations will be admitted, provided that they are primarily committed to the dialogue with Islam.
  12. Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk
    The Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (eles-studienwerk.de/) was founded in 2009 and supports Jewish students and doctoral candidates. You can either apply for funding yourself or be suggested.
  13. Cusanuswerk
    The Cusanuswerk (cusanuswerk.de/startseite) is the organization for the promotion of talented students of the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1956. Here, too, you can submit your own application for funding or someone else will suggest you.
  14. Student Fund Villigst e.V.
    The Studienförderwerk Villigst e.V. (evstudienwerk.de/) is the gifted support organization of the Evangelical Church, which was founded in 1948 in view of the failure of the academic classes during National Socialism. It currently supports 1,450 students and a further 250 doctoral students.
  15. Union scholarship

  16. Hans Böckler Foundation The Hans Böckler Foundation (boeckler.de/20.htm) is a trade union foundation. It also promotes studies without a high school diploma. Applicants should show above-average performance and / or social commitment.

On the website stipendiumplus.de you will find the short profiles of the gifted support organizations as well as the individual requirements for a scholarship.

Small foundations and private sponsors

Students are not only supported by the large gifted funding agencies. More than 2,000 smaller foundations, private individuals and companies award scholarships. Performance does not always play a role; certain criteria often take precedence. For example, there is special funding for:

  • Women
  • Migrants
  • People with disabilities
  • foreign students
  • Orphans

The Hertie Foundation (ghst.de/) supports prospective teachers with a migration background with its Horizonte scholarships. Other funding programs are tied to a specific subject or region. For example, the Peter Gläsel Foundation (pg-stiftung.net/) only supports engineering and economics students from the East Westphalia-Lippe region. The Deutschlandstipendium (deutschlandstipendium.de/index.html) also originally emerged from a regional scholarship. Here, the universities and private sponsors jointly take care of the financial support of young scientists:

Other well-known scholarships are:

Doctors help doctors - Hartmannbund

Doctors' children are generally considered privileged, but the Hartmannbund has recognized that this does not always have to be the case. That is why “Doctors helping Doctors” offers various forms of assistance: A general support service for full or half-orphans from doctors' families and children of doctors who are in a difficult financial situation; for students there is a scholarship in cooperation with the Friedrich-Thieding-Stiftung (hartmannbund.de/der-verband/stiftungen/friedrich-thieding-stiftung/stipendium/).

Nassau Central Study Fund

Were you born in the former Nassau area? Then the Nassau Central Study Fund (rp-darmstadt.hessen.de/soziales/stiftungen/nassauischer-zentralstudienfonds) could be of interest to you. This only awards scholarships to students who were born in precisely this area. The area extends mainly in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Ikea Foundation

Business enterprises award scholarships. So does the big blue and yellow furniture store Ikea. If you are dealing with the topics of living or living culture, especially of children, in a scientific thesis, the Ikea Foundation (ikeastiftung.de/was-wird-gefoerdert) is the right place to go.

11 Strange Scholarships: Not Just For Good Grades

According to a survey by Statista, around 39 percent of those questioned do not even bother to apply for a scholarship because they think their grades are too bad. 30 percent think that their social commitment is insufficient, or they simply do not know where to apply. It's a shame, because good grades and outstanding ideas or achievements are by no means what most foundations or entrepreneurs want to promote. It is true that the great and best known among them support primarily talented and hardworking undergraduate or graduate students.

But that is only ten percent of all sponsors. The remaining 90 percent do not want to see good grades or innovative inventions. They want to support being different or unusual hobbies - many of them are bizarre and absurd, but they encourage the applicants' creativity and courage. The following scholarships are aimed at a wide variety of people with a wide variety of characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, problems and interests. However, they all show that not only good grades are eligible!

Scholarship for being different

A good example of such a scholarship is the (zu.de/studium-weiterbildung/das-studium/stipendien-finanzierung/zu-stipendium.php) Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen. There is a special "anti-nerdy scholarship" aimed at those who drop out of training and study, those who stay seated or, in general, people who have experienced failures.

Yak-camel research grant

It can also be much more exotic: The Yak-Camel Foundation (yak-kamel-stiftung.de/Foerdermittel) supports research work or doctorates that deal with the domestic yaks, wild yaks, double-humped mountain camels and wild camels that live in Asia. Condition: The thesis must not be older than three years and must be submitted in German or English.

Scholarship for adults

Did you have to bend down to meet friends at school to talk and do you know heads above all from a bird's eye view? Then you are at the right place at Tall Clubs International Student Scholarships (tall.org/tci-foundation.html). To be admitted there, the women must be taller than 1.78 meters and the men must be more than 1.88 meters tall. This club supports college beginners with up to $ 1,000.

Scholarship for left-handers

The doors of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, are open to all left-handers. Here you have a good chance of the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship (schoolscholarships.org/the-frederick-and-mary-f-beckley-left-handed-scholarship). In addition, leadership skills are required to qualify for the $ 1,000 grant.

Scholarship for the best quack quack

Freshmen in the US who have always been Animal Planet and other animal documentaries and are good at imitating animal sounds, you should definitely take part in the annual Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest (stuttgartarkansas.org/scholarship-contest.html). The competition takes place in Stuttgart (attention, not the one in Germany!) In the US state of Arkansas. The win: $ 4,250 in scholarships.

Scholarship for caddies

Being a golf caddy is no easy job: not only do you have to carry all of the player's equipment, but you also have to support them with advice about the game. The Evans Scholars Foundation (wgaesf.org/a-life-changing-opportunity/) trains boys and girls as caddies at its own expense and provides them with a scholarship and residential accommodation.

Scholarship for those with a sweet tooth

A big soft spot for candy, or to be more precise in making it, is the American Association of Candy Technologists (aactcandy.org/awards-scholarships/john-kitt-memorial-scholarship/) worth $ 5,000 in scholarship. This applies to students of chemistry, biology, or nutritional science.

Scholarship for the family name

There are universities in America that train students for free and even give them a scholarship just because they have a particular family name. Including the renowned Harvard University (scholarships.harvard.edu/us-students). Students should preferably have one of the following names: Baxendale, Downer, Hudson, or Thayer.

Scholarship for shoe fans

Are shoes your passion? Then you should become a shoe designer. The Two Ten Footwear Foundation (twoten.org/get-help/scholarships/higher-education-scholarships/footwear-design/) supports more than 400 students of shoe production or shoe design with a total of $ 700,000. Up to $ 3,000 annually for up to four years is in for a scholarship holder.

Scholarship for young vegetarians

Thanks to an anonymous patron of the Vegetarian Resource Group (vrg.org/student/scholar.htm), students from high schools who have campaigned for vegetarian nutrition in their schools and communities receive $ 20,000 annually.

Scholarship for zombie fans

Has the series Walking dead Are you particularly impressed? Do you see zombies everywhere now? Then you have come to the right place with the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship (unigo.com/scholarships/our-scholarships/zombie-apocalypse-scholarship). To win the $ 2,000 scholarship, you need to be able to explain how you will survive in the event of a zombie attack.

What are the advantages of a scholarship?

Financial support is an essential part of a scholarship. The idea behind this is to support people who deserve it or who need it in their endeavors. However, if you only apply for the money, you will hardly have any success. Rather, it is about checking whether the potential scholarship holder and the foundation are ideally suited to one another. If this is guaranteed, most foundations offer comprehensive funding in addition to the money, so that scholarship holders benefit from the following:

  • Knowledge transfer
    Lectures, seminars, language courses and arranging internships. There is the possibility of continuing education beyond your own studies and Insight into other areas to obtain.
  • contacts
    Another great advantage is the network. Many foundations have special mentoring programs and alumni networks. Events and meetings with former scholarship holders take place regularly. This is the way to attract advocates.
  • credentials
    Also not to be underestimated is the message that a scholarship sends. It signals special motivation and commitment. When applying, it is a plus point that sets you apart from the crowd.

6 research tips

Those who take enough time to search and apply have a good chance of receiving funding. Where to find information:

  • Scholarship Guide
    Stipendienlotse (stipendienlotse.de/informationen.php) is a platform of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It enables you to search through the database according to various criteria. You can search the results by subject, university and degree, but also by special scholarships.
  • e-follows
    E-follows (e-fellows.net/Studium/Stipendien/Stipendien-Datenbank/Stipendium-suchen- Find) also offers an extensive database. Without registering, you can search for region, type of scholarship or free text here.
  • Overview of the time
    Zeitonline (zeit.de/2013/44/stipendien-stiftungen-ueberblick) has put together an overview under the title “Scholarship for almost everyone”, which lists where, for example, lateral thinkers can apply. Unfortunately, only subscribers have access to the offer.
  • Overview of the southern Germans
    If you don't even know what to look for, you can look around here (sueddeutsche.de/bildung/uebsichtsliste-stipendiengeber-fuer-jeden-das-richtige-stipendium-1.1308455). The Süddeutsche Zeitung lists scholarships in alphabetical order with a brief description.
  • Overview of subjects for the South Germans
    If you want to apply for a subject-specific scholarship, you will find initial orientation in this article by Süddeutsche (sueddeutsche.de/bildung/studienfoerderung-geld-fuer-mediziner-bwler-und-kuenstler-1.1287551). It briefly describes funding programs for scientists, physicians, artists and economists.

A large scholarship guide for Germany is also available on the websitevergleich.org/stipendium/. On 122 pages you will find scholarship programs - sorted by institutions and subject areas, by parental occupation, political orientation, religious affiliation or impairments. Foreign scholarships and special funding opportunities are also included.

How can I apply for a scholarship?

The gifted funding agencies look for their scholarship holders in a multi-stage selection process:

  • canditature
    First you have to describe your motivation, your professional and family background.
  • proof
    Next, you will be asked to submit expert reports or letters of reference about your academic achievements and your social commitment. You usually only have a few weeks to do this. Therefore, you should think about who you want to ask before you apply.
  • Selection interview and exam
    If the documents are convincing, you will receive an invitation to a selection interview. This can be a conversation with one of the Foundation's liaison officers or with a member of the selection committee. In addition to the selection interview, a selection conference can also take place. One of these is organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, for example. Potential candidates complete a written exam that inquires about their level of general education and take part in a group discussion on a current political issue.

Be sure to find out about the application deadlines so that you have enough time to put your application together. It is recommended that you apply for a scholarship when you start your studies. Many foundations attach great importance to accompanying their scholarship holders throughout their studies. In principle, not only Bachelor students can apply, Master students also receive funding.

All further information and assistance, How to write a letter of motivation and what it takes can be found in our article on applying for a scholarship.

How is the funding calculated?

The thirteen gifted funding agencies are based on the BAföG guidelines for their support. However, in contrast to BAföG, you do not have to repay the funding you received after your studies. As with BAföG, the specific amount of funding is usually based on the parents' income. The maximum funding rate is currently 744 euros per month. Regardless of the income of their parents, scholarship holders receive a study fee of 300 euros per month. If the scholarship holder has health insurance himself, a monthly allowance for health insurance of up to 62 euros and for long-term care insurance of 11 euros can be granted.

In addition, many foundations provide support their scholarship holders with grants for language courses, study trips and semesters abroad. Double funding is excluded from the thirteen gifted funding agencies. Those who receive a scholarship no longer receive BAföG. For other scholarships, an exemption limit of 300 euros per month applies and these can be combined with BAföG.

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[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]