Financing & Tuition

Tuition fees and financial support

Student Services offers information & advice relating to fees and funding. Tuition fees cover the cost of your registration, teaching, assessment and operating university facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Fees can vary between different programs, so ensure you check this before applying. When you accept the offer of a place in a program you are accepting responsibility for the payment of your tuition fees. This applies even if you are being sponsored and your sponsor fails to pay.

KLU is a great place to study

  • Research university with high academic standards combined with practical application
  • Top ranked in CHE university ranking and Handelsblatt research ranking
  • Intimate learning environment
  • Interactive teaching and excellent student-professor ratio
  • All courses taught in English
  • Internships and semester abroad integrated into the curriculum
  • Case- and project-based learning, excursions, business simulations, regular interaction with industry professionals
  • High quality career services and corporate network, career orientation and guidance
  • State-of-the-art campus in the heart of Hamburg’s HafenCity

Financing your studies

Brain Capital financing scheme

Brain Capital is a new, innovative tuition financing concept. Students participating in these models do not or only partially pay tuition fees during their studies at KLU. However, they commit themselves to make income-dependent payments upon completion of their studies. The total amount of payments is linked to the income earned. The model is based on a solidarity principle: Students with higher income repay more than students with lower income. There are limits for maximum annual and maximum total payments (about twice the tuition fee amount adjusted for inflation). 
If you wish to finance your tuition fees at KLU partly or wholly via the Brain Capital scheme, please fill in the Brain Capital application form and send it to by June 30th, at the very latest. Indicate the amount that is necessary to cover part of the tuition fees. Please keep in mind that the scheme may not allow a full coverage of your tuition. Applications for Brain Capital are only accepted before commencement of studies. 
The selection committee meets at the beginning of every month deciding on all applications received until the last date of the previous month. A positive decision on the application depends on various factors. In any case the number of applications received as well as a regional quota is considered.


For in-depth questions about how the Brain Capital scheme works you can contact 
Mr. Gordon Kirstaetter, Tel: +49 (0) 261 4509 34952 - Fax: +49 (0) 261/4509 3499 –
For any question about the Brain Capital selection procedure you are welcome to contact
Ms. Martina Heinrich, +49 (0) 40 – 328 707 – 161 or Ms. Jana Gruber +49 (0) 40 – 328 707 – 163 -

How does Brain Capital Financing work?

  • Solidarity: KLU graduates who are working support their successors who are still at university.
  • Flexibility: The repayment attunes to your career - who earns less pays back less. Those who earn more pay back more.
  • Safety: If in any year your income falls below a level of EUR 30.000, the loan is deferred for that year (EUR 15.000 for non-OECD countries).
  • Freedome: You are free in your career and family planning, because the repayment starts only if you have a minimum income of 30.000 EUR (15.000 for non-OECD countries).

KLU offers a limited number of scholarships. Candidates are chosen on the basis of academic achievement and distinctive personal accomplishment. You find more information on KLU scholarships here.

DAAD Scholarship Database

The DAAD's extensive scholarship database for foreign students, graduates, and academics offers you a wide range of tips and information on successfully applying for a scholarship for a degree program or research assignment in Germany. You can filter your search by country of origin, subject, and your current status.

Other scholarship databases


Gifted Education Scholarships

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports 13 institutions for gifted education that give scholarships to young people whose talent and personality indicate that they will be outstanding at university and in their professions, and take on social responsibility as well. Scholars of one of the institutions for gifted education supported by the BMBF can apply for a full tuition fee scholarship at KLU: please check here.

There are different loan schemes to finance the cost of living. These primarily target German and EU nationals. Candidates of other nationalities are only eligible if they have a German baccalaureate (Abitur) and permanent residence status in Germany. 

The German federal government and KFW banking group, a German government-owned development bank, offer the following loan to Germans and EU citizens. Non-EU candidates are eligible only if they have a certificate of graduation from a German secondary school and permanent resident status in Germany.

KfW Student Loan (KWF Studienkredit)

KfW banking group loan program: The KfW student loan supports you with €100 - €650 per month while you pursue your degree. It does not require collateral and is not based on income or assets. Read more about the KFW student loan.

Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) 

German federal government loan program: The loan program provides you with state funding to pursue education and training. You receive 50 percent of BAföG aid as a state grant and 50 percent as an interest-free loan. Your eligibility is dependent on your parent’s income. Read more about the Federal Training Assistance Act (in German).

Education loan (Bildungskredit)

German federal government in conjunction with KfW banking group loan program for students in advanced stages of their education: The education loan supports you with monthly installments of up to €300 for a maximum of 2 years (maximum loan amount €7,200). Read more about the education loan.

What it costs to study in Hamburg, Germany

Students of the full-time programs should budget around 11,650 € per year of study (excl. travel expenses). An amount of at least 8,640 € per year (soon 8,820 €) has to be deposited or proven when applying for a student visa at German embassies or consulates.
Estimated expenses for a single person per year in Euro:

Health insurance

(if you are ≥ 30 years)

1,080 €

(2,400 €)

Liability insurance      60 €
Housing / accommodation 4,800 €
Food, clothing, misc. 4,800 €
Textbooks (recommended)    800 €
Residence permit     110 € (extension 80 €)

Total (per year)


11,650 €

(12,970 €)

Students’ requirements may vary significantly depending on choice of housing, living or travel expenses. For further information check also the website by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Tax savings

In Germany, tuition can be claimed on tax returns and the tax savings can be used to partially finance students’ degrees.

All master’s degree students can claim all the costs of their degree program as anticipated income-related expenses before graduating and after completing their vocational training, and carry them forward over their time enrolled as cumulative losses – assuming they had no or very little income in that time. Loss carry-forwards make this possible: the losses that students incur because they are studying are offset from their incomes after graduation in subsequent years. This reduces the income for which taxes are due. The costs associated with the semester abroad and tuition are deductible.

It is only possible to take advantage of loss carry-forward if the degree program is a second degree (master’s degree after the bachelor’s or a bachelor’s degree after an apprenticeship). The costs of first degrees can be deducted as a special expense up to a limit of €6,000. Study-related expenses only have an effect in the same year and only result in tax benefits for people whose incomes are high enough that they actually pay income tax in Germany. The Federal Constitutional Court is reviewing the regulation regarding the costs of the first degree. For this reason, students should always claim their study-related expenses as income-related expenses on their income tax returns.

If students participate in the brain capital plan and defer payment of tuition fees, the fees can be deducted as soon as payment is initiated (outflow principle). 

*non-committal statement as KLU is not allowed to act as a tax advisor.

Opening a German bank account

International students who are planning on staying longer than a couple of weeks in Germany should open a current account here. They are usually free of charge for students. Please find more information on the website by the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD).


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Martina Heinrich

Head of Student Services & Admissions

Tel: +49 40 328707-161
Fax: +49 40 328707-109

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Jana Gruber

Student Services Manager

Tel: +49 40 328707-163
Fax: +49 40 328707-109