When you register or re-register at the university you will have to give proof that you paid the social contribution. Only students taking a sabbatical are exempt from paying this fee. The social contribution is not a tuition fee – the full amount is paid to the Studierendenwerk, which then uses the money to provide social and cultural services for the students' benefit.
Government grants only affect the services relating to BAföG issues, cafeterias and childcare facilities. All other services offered are financed through the social contribution and other income. The contribution amount is subject to the decision of the Studierendenwerk’s administrative board, university representatives, and students. The Studentierenwerk uses the money for many different programs, as follows:
The Studierendenwerk uses the income from the social contribution to finance its canteens and cafeterias, the administration and maintenance of its residence halls, and our private accommodation services. Students in Karlsruhe and Pforzheim are covered by liability insurance while they are registered at one of our universities.
Two psychotherapeutic teams assist students in any difficult situation at no cost. Graduation loans and short-term loans are granted in cases of need. Tutoring programs for students are also funded by the social contribution, and cultural works of students are promoted. For students with children, two daycare facilities for children offer openings at a reduced rate.
Since 1996, the social contribution has included the so called "Studi-Ticket" for public transport in Karlsruhe (17.50€) and Pforzheim (25€).
The amount of the contribution varies depending on the university. It always depends on to what extent the services mentioned above are available at the different institutions. The current Rules of Contribution are as follows:Rules of Contribution valid from Winter semester 2020/21Rules of Contribution valid from Winter Semester 2019/2020