Academic Foundation of the german people

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Academic Foundation of the german people
legal form Registered association
founding 1925
Seat Bonn
purpose Promotion of the higher education of young people, whose high scientific or artistic talent and whose personality lead to special achievements in the service of the community.
people Reinhard Zimmermann (President), Annette Julius (General Secretary)
Employees around 145 permanent employees

The Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes e. V. is an institution for the promotion of gifted students in Germany that awards scholarships to particularly gifted students and doctoral candidates . The Studienstiftung, Germany's largest and oldest organization to promote the gifted , is politically, religiously and ideologically independent. Its office is in Bonn , and it also has an office in Berlin. The Studienstiftung is financially supported by the federal government, the federal states and municipalities, foundations and companies as well as private donors. The Studienstiftung's budget in 2018 was a good 117 million euros. Since its inception, it has supported around 65,000 particularly talented students and doctoral candidates; currently (as of 2019) it has more than 60,000 alumni worldwide.

Admission to the Studienstiftung is very competitive. Less than 0.5% of all German students are funded by the Studienstiftung.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been the patron of the Studienstiftung since April 2017 , continuing the tradition of Federal Presidents since Richard von Weizsäcker in 1984.


former logo with Daidalos head

In 1925 in Dresden, initially as a department within the Economic Aid of the German Student Union . V. founded, the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes was dissolved in the time of National Socialism in 1934 and replaced by the Reichsförderung des Reichsstudentenwerk (RSW). In 1948 it was re-established as a German National Academic Foundation in the legal form of a registered association (eV) in Cologne . In addition to the funding programs at the federal level, the Studienstiftung has been running the Max Weber program for the promotion of gifted children since 2005 in accordance with the Bavarian Elite Promotion Act .

Admission to the Studienstiftung

The German National Academic Foundation supports particularly talented students and doctoral candidates. The selection is based on the model of the Studienstiftung, which sets out the criteria of performance, initiative and responsibility . A recording can take place in different ways:

  1. School proposal: The school management of a grammar school or another type of school with a grammar school upper level can suggest one pupil for admission to the Studienstiftung for every 50 high school graduates who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements in technical terms, but also through social commitment . The proposed high school graduates attend a three-day selection seminar, in which the eligibility of the prospective students is determined in individual and group discussions. Of the nominees, 25.3% were accepted into the Study Foundation in the 2017 selection year. There are no fixed admission quotas for admission.
  2. Proposal by university professors: Students at universities and technical colleges can be proposed directly by professors for funding. A selection seminar also follows here. In the selection year 2017, 46.7% of the proposed students were accepted.
  3. Examination office proposal : At universities and technical colleges, one second-year student can be proposed for every 50 students. A professor must support the proposal. The selection seminar is organized in a similar way to the high school graduate selection, whereby one of the two individual interviews is designed in a subject-specific manner and focuses on the course content and focus. In 2017, 27.7% of those proposed were accepted.
  4. A self-application for a grant has been available since February, 2010. Students in their first and second semesters can register for the Academic Foundation's selection test in January / February; the test is offered nationwide in various test centers. The best third of the participants will receive an invitation to the selection seminar. While the selection test determines cognitive performance, the selection seminar focuses not only on intellectual abilities but also on motivation, a wide range of interests, social commitment and social competence, which are determined through personal and group discussions.
  5. Prize winners of a federal or state competition or proposal by selected cooperation partners: Prize winners or participants in various competitions at federal, state and international level (e.g. federal computer science competition , federal mathematics competition , federal foreign language competition , youth research , youth debates , international mathematics -Olympiad , International Physics Olympiad , Ancient Language Competition of the State of Baden-Württemberg Humanism Today ) are accepted into the Academic Foundation. In addition, cooperation partners (e.g. the START Foundation or the NRW Center for Talent Promotion) can propose candidates for funding.
  6. Proposal by alumni: Alumni of the Studienstiftung can suggest suitable students who they know personally from school or university courses for a scholarship.
  7. Funding for musicians or artists: Students from the subjects of fine arts, music and performing arts can be nominated by their universities for participation in a selection seminar of the Studienstiftung after an internal pre-selection.
  8. Doctoral funding : Technically excellent and socially committed doctoral students can submit an application for funding for their doctorate together with the supervisor. The prerequisites are a degree above average, broad interests and a scientifically extremely demanding and innovative doctoral project.

If the admission takes place before the end of the fourth semester, the funding commitment is usually valid until the end of the sixth semester. Whether the funding is extended beyond the sixth semester is usually decided on the basis of the academic performance of the first four semesters and it is checked whether the scholarship holders admitted at the beginning of their studies are among the best 10 to 15% of the Students belong. In cases of doubt and borderline cases, in addition to the academic achievements, other aspects - such as an exceptional extra-curricular commitment or special personal living conditions - can be the positive factor in favor of further funding. After a successful application for further funding, funding will be granted beyond the 6th semester until graduation (e.g. master's degree or state examination in the standard period of study). In 2017, 91% of applications for further funding were approved.


The Studienstiftung supports its scholarship holders both financially and ideally.

Financial support

The financial support amounts to a study fee (in 2008 this was 80 euros / month, from 2011 to 2013 150 euros; in September 2013 the study fee was increased to 300 euros / month) and a basic scholarship, which is roughly based on the rates of BAföG , but is not repayable after graduation. Since October 2006, the scholarship holder's assets have also been offset against the amount of the scholarship. In addition, there may be other components, such as a family allowance of 155 euros per month for married scholarship holders and a childcare allowance of 130 euros per month for every child who is under 10 years of age and lives in the household.

Doctoral students receive a monthly grant of 1,350 euros; In addition, there is usually a monthly research fee of 100 euros. Doctoral scholars with children also receive family and childcare allowances of 155 euros per month for the first and 50 euros for each additional child. The financial support is based on the guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Since September 2017, the Studienstiftung has been able to support its doctoral scholarship holders with a subsidy for health insurance: Doctoral students without compulsory membership in the statutory health insurance (which for some of the sponsored people about a quarter of a position in research and teaching) can now receive a grant of 50% of the proven Apply for insurance costs. The maximum amount for the grant is 100 euros per person per month.

Stays abroad are additionally funded through scholarships or foreign allowances and the partial assumption of tuition fees. According to § 3 No. 11 Income Tax Act (EStG), payments from the scholarship are tax-free.

Non-material support

The ideal funding program includes summer academies , academic colleges, language courses , short conferences and support from local liaison lecturers who take on this task on a voluntary basis for the Studienstiftung . In the early semesters (usually up to the end of the fourth semester), the scholarship holders must write a report on their studies and other commitments every semester and every year thereafter. In addition, the sponsored have the opportunity to develop and implement their own conferences and other events independently.

Other scholarship programs

In addition to regular funding, there are other scholarship programs, some of which are carried out and financed in cooperation with other organizations. These are divided into internal programs, to which only sponsors within the Studienstiftung (and some alumni) can apply, as well as open programs to which students outside the Studienstiftung can also apply. Well-known open scholarship programs include the McCloy Academic Scholarship Program , the ERP Scholarship Program and the Carlo Schmid Program .

In the musical field, for example, residency scholarships are awarded to young composers supported by the Studienstiftung in cooperation with the Beethoven-Haus .


  • In the selection year 2017, the Studienstiftung made 2,389 grants to students and awarded around 343 doctoral grants.
  • In 2017, 66.7% of the scholarship recipients only received a flat-rate study fee of 300 euros, 20.4% received a partial scholarship and 12.9% a full scholarship.
  • In 2017, more than 90% of the German National Academic Foundation was financed from public funds.
  • In recent years, the Studienstiftung has increased the proportion of students from non-academic backgrounds and students with a migration background : Currently, 30.5% of the scholarship holders come from a non-academic home and 19% have a migration background
  • The share of women in basic funding was 49.8% in 2017, the share of women in doctoral funding was 48.0%.
year Funded students and PhD students Number of
students in
Education promotion total
2007 8,438 1,080 9,518 1,941,405
2008 10,030 1,194 11,224 2,025,307
2009 11,482 1,211 12,693 2,121,178
2010 11,336 1,303 12,639 2,217,294
2011 11,123 1,350 12,473 2,380,974
2012 11,373 1,274 12,647 2,499,409
2013 11,195 1,273 12,468 2,616,881
2014 11,858 1,184 13,042 2,698,910
2015 12,158 1,141 13,299 2,757,799
2016 12,879 1,156 14,035 2,807,010
2017 12,749 1,202 13,951 2,844,978
Number of students and scholarship holders at German universities and colleges with a share of scholarship holders over 1% (2016/2017)
university Students in
winter semester 2016/2017

Number of students supported
Funded students
Heidelberg University 29,740 640 2.15
Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg 25,028 392 1.57
University of Mannheim 11,800 148 1.25
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen 28.001 260 0.93
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich 50,995 408 0.80
Georg-August-University Goettingen 30,656 243 0.79
Humboldt University of Berlin 33,816 250 0.74
University of Bonn 36,432 263 0.72
University of Leipzig 27,325 195 0.71
Technical universities
RWTH Aachen 44,546 372 0.84
Technical University of Munich 39,587 291 0.74
Medical colleges
Charité Berlin 6,874 184 2.68
Hannover Medical School 3,279 60 1.83
University of Lübeck 4,218 63 1.49
Universities of applied sciences
Evangelical University of Freiburg 941 6th 0.64
University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde 2,074 10 0.48
Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin 3,666 14th 0.38
Private universities
Bucerius Law School 853 74 8.68
Hertie School of Governance 574 23 4.01
University of Witten / Herdecke 2,317 61 2.63
WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management 1,130 20th 1.77
Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen 1.104 14th 1.27

Well-known former scholarship holders of the Studienstiftung

An overview of known former scholarship holders can be found under List of former scholarship holders of the German National Academic Foundation .


  • Anant Agarwala: How the scholarship holders of the Study Foundation are changing. The top becomes more colorful. In: The time . 21/2016 ( ).
  • Annette Julius: Diversity as a Resource - Programs and Measures of the Studienstiftung with regard to underrepresented groups. Contribution to the results of the 2011/2012 evaluation of the selection process of the Studienstiftung, Bonn 2014.
  • Annette Julius: Promote personalities. In: Gerhard Roth, Manuel Hartung (Ed.): Resource Talent: How Can Germany Use Its Potential Better? Berlin University Press, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-86280-053-7 , pp. 112–126.
  • Rolf-Ulrich Kunze : The German National Academic Foundation since 1925. On the history of the promotion of gifted children in Germany. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-05-003638-9 ( ( memento from September 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 412 kB]).
  • Thomas Ludwig: “Students are no longer the children of rich people.” The social structure of the Studienstiftung since 1925. In: Annual Report of the Studienstiftung 2009. pp. 105–121.
  • Thomas Röbke: With the best of recommendations: Anyone who can get hold of a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation is in a good position - but what to do if nobody suggests one? In: The time. No. 33/2002 ( ).
  • Center for Evaluation and Methods (ZEM) of the University of Bonn: Evaluation of the selection process of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes e. V. Bonn 2012.

Academic Foundation and Contemporary History

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ Statutes of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation V. Version of November 29, 1996.
  2. a b Board of Directors | Academic Foundation of the german people
  3. Annual report 2017. In: Retrieved April 15, 2019 .
  4. patron. German National Academic Foundation, June 3, 2018, accessed on June 3, 2018 .
  5. Application and selection - self-application with selection test. In: Retrieved April 15, 2019 .
  6. Funding for doctoral students. In: Retrieved September 19, 2017 .
  7. Application. In: Retrieved September 19, 2017 .
  8. Funding for doctoral candidates - financial support. In: German National Academic Foundation, accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  9. General overview of funding requirements and benefits. In: Retrieved March 15, 2014 .
  10. Scholarship Programs . In: Retrieved March 15, 2014 .
  11. Funding for students - composer residency. German National Academic Foundation, June 3, 2018, accessed on June 3, 2018 .
  12. SDV: Funding in figures 2017: Financial support. (PDF; 4.35 MB) In: P. 272 , accessed February 4, 2019 .
  13. SDV: Funded students and PhD students. (PDF; 4.35 MB) In: P. 260 , accessed February 4, 2019 .
  14. Number of students in Germany - total. Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  15. Students by federal state and more detailed information.
  16. SDV: Number of students and scholarship holders at German universities and colleges with a scholarship share of over 1%. (PDF; 4.35 MB) In: P. 270 , accessed February 4, 2019 .