Important changes for students in 2024
Table of contents
Table of contents
The new year has begun – high time to take a look at the most important changes for students in 2024. We have collected the most important changes for you and pass on some personal tips!
This will be better in 2024
This year you can look forward to the following positive changes:
#1 Higher mini-job limit
Mini-jobbers have been earning more since January 1, 2024. The upper limit for a part-time job without compulsory social insurance has been increased from €520 to €538 per month.
Our tip: check a new mini-job contract before you sign it. Will you be paid according to the new upper limit? If you already have a mini-job, renegotiate it now.
#2 Rising minimum wage
The statutory minimum wage is also increasing: instead of 9.82 euros, it has been 12.41 euros per hour since the beginning of the year.
Our tip: Make sure that you are paid according to the current minimum wage in your current or new employment relationship. This is not a salary negotiation in the traditional sense; your employer is obliged to pay the minimum wage, unless you are a volunteer or internship.
#3 Semester ticket instead of Germany ticket
From the 2024 summer semester, there will be a uniform mobility tariff for students. The fixed price will be 29.40 euros and the costs will be integrated into the semester fee. With the new semester ticket, you will be able to use trams, suburban trains, underground trains, regional trains and buses throughout Germany at this fixed price.
Our tip: Due to the new tariff, the transport associations expect a significant increase in use (30% and more). You should therefore avoid longer journeys and explore the best rail routes in Germany before the new semester ticket is introduced.
#4 Facilitated access to higher education
Germany wants to make it easier for people to study – without an Abitur or similar school-leaving qualification. The prerequisite for this is that you have completed vocational training and have at least two years of work experience. You can then take an aptitude test at the relevant university and start your studies there.
Facilitated access to higher education has been available in Germany for several years, but in 2024 this access will be intensively promoted. The exact conditions and options are still being determined by the individual federal states.
Our tip: regularly check the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the websites of the individual federal states for new announcements on facilitated university access.
Are you from abroad and want to know whether you are eligible for admission? Then the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) admissions database is a good place to look for courses that match your school-leaving qualification.
#5 Increase in the citizen’s income
If you receive state support in the form of citizen’s allowance, you can be happy: in 2024, the citizen’s allowance is increased, the basic amount for a single person is 563 euros per month.
Our tip: It is rare for students to be entitled to citizen’s allowance, as BAföG is available as financial support for students. However, special conditions may have to be met, e.g. Bürgergeld can be used as a top-up for BAfÖG if you are still living with your parents.
We recommend that you find out from your local Studentenwerk whether and to what extent you are entitled to Bürgergeld.
This will be worse in 2024
Unfortunately, not all changes are positive for students. But don’t worry: we’ll give you creative solutions for dealing with the negative trends in 2024.
#1 BAföG increase has (still) not materialized
In mid-January, the Federal Government intends to discuss whether and to what extent BAföG rates should be increased. Until then, however, it is still unclear whether there will be an increase at all. The stagnation has been criticized by the Deutsches Studierendenwerk, which claims that the BAföG rate is chronically too low. We hope that the government will manage to increase the rate, and as quickly as possible.
Our tip: don’t rely on BAföG alone, but look around for other sources of income, e.g. a part-time job or mini-job. This will allow you to benefit from an increased minimum wage and a higher upper limit for mini-jobs (see above).
Extra tip: BAföG can be extended under certain circumstances, for example due to pregnancy, disability or raising and caring for a child under the age of 14.
#2 Increased tuition fees
This year, several universities will increase their tuition fees for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses by up to 10 percent. The individual increases will be announced by the universities on their websites, so be sure to check there before you enrol.
Our tip: Is your dream university too expensive? Look around for alternatives, you can find excellent universities in our university ranking article.
#3 High interest rates for student loans
Students pay an average of 9% interest on student loans. According to media reports, the interest burden has tripled in recent years. There is no end in sight to this negative trend for 2024 either, on the contrary: the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) only increased interest rates in October 2023.
Our tip: student loans are expensive, inflexible and you get into debt with them. Therefore, consider a student loan as the last choice of financing and try to find better alternatives beforehand (support from parents, BAföG, part-time job, etc.).
If these alternatives do not work out, we think it may be better to take out a private loan from relatives (preferably interest-free). Make sure you put the amount, payment installments, repayment dates, etc. in writing.
#4 Higher additional contributions for health insurance
Over 36 health insurance companies are increasing their contributions in 2024, which will unfortunately also affect a number of students with student health insurance. The additional contribution will increase by an average of 0.4 percentage points, with increases ranging from 0.1 to 0.8 percentage points depending on the health insurance provider.
Our tip: regularly compare health insurance offers for student health insurance. Switching is very easy, the notice period is two months and your new health insurance company will even take over the termination process. Please note, however, that you are tied to a new health insurance company for 12 months.
#5 Rising cost of living
Food, medicine, petrol: overall, life in Germany is becoming more expensive, due to inflation and other crises. Rising prices affect everyone, but this development is particularly difficult for students with little money. But don’t worry, in our blog you can find tips on saving energy and help with your tax return to save money.
Our tip: Get an overview of your costs as a student with our article. You can save money by switching to cheaper insurance, buying second-hand clothes or cooking for yourself instead of eating out, for example. You can find more money-saving tips in our article!
More articles in our blog
New year, new luck: maybe now is the time to start your own business while studying? Or would you like to be happier in your everyday life? With the following articles, you’ll be well prepared for the new year:
We wish you every success, happiness, health and joy in your studies in 2024!
Your Staytoo team