How to finance my studies in Austria: Tips for students

Written by Martin Högerl, Dec 15, 2022

Rent, groceries, transportation, leisure and costs related to your studies add up and quickly become a financial burden for students. In Austria, there are different types of student financing and financial support that we want to present to you. This way you can get a better overview and find the best option for you

Types of student financing in Austria

1. Part time jobs for students

Many students have a job alongside their studies. A mini job can improve your budget if your parents‘ or the national financial support is not sufficient. It’s essential that you have flexible working hours, so that you can easily combine your duties at work and at university. In this article, we present 13 student jobs that are usually well paid.

STUWO tip for international students: Students from the EU or Switzerland do not need any additional paperwork. International students have to ask their employer for a working permit. With this permit, you are allowed to work up to ten hours a week during your bachelor’s degree and twenty hours during your master’s degree.

2. Allowances and financial aids

Child benefitAll students under the age of 24 and whose parents‘ main interest of life is in Austria receive a monthly allowance via their parents, which can also be transferred to the students‘ bank account.• Parents‘ main interest of life in Austria
• Inscribed at university
• Under the age of 24
Until you turn 18, the child benefit is transferred to your parents’ bank account, but afterwards you can insist that it is transferred to your own bank account. The amount of child benefit depends on the number of children in a family. You’ll find all the information in our article on child benefits!
Study grantIf parents cannot support their children financially during their studies, students can claim a study grant.• Social eligibility (family income)
• Successful studies
The amount of the study grant depends on your parents‘ income and living situation. Even if you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, you should send an application!
Foreign grantStudents who receive study grants can apply for an additional financial support for studying abroad.• Recipients of the study grant
• Application in due time
• Proof of successful studies
This financial aid is meant to allow students on a tight budget to get this experience. The amount of the foreign grant depends on your target country. The maximum duration is 20 months. You can apply online via for a foreign grant!

3. Scholarships

ScholarshipFor whom?RequirementsExplanation
Graduation Scholarship (Studienabschlussstipendium – SAS)If you only have to write a few exams or your thesis and need some financial support during this time, a graduation scholarship can help you. All information on this type of scholarship as well as all the requirements are in this article!• At least 36 months employed
• No study grant
• Under the age of 41
• Max. 30 ECTS or thesis to be completed
If you only have to write a few exams or your thesis and need some financial support during this time, a graduation scholarship can help you. All information on this type of scholarship as well as all the requirements are in our article on graduation scholarships!
Mobility ScholarshipStudents who want to study abroad can apply for a mobility scholarship.• 15 ECTS as proof of work
• Application in due time
Studying in another country can be an interesting experience for you. In this case, a mobility scholarship can help you finance your studies abroad. You can apply for this scholarship after your first academic year. You have to show that you earned 15 ECTS. You can find more information on studying abroad in our articles!
Scholarship for working studentsSome universities offer scholarships for working students.Depends on the universityIt can be challenging to combine work and university. That’s why some universities offer scholarships for working students, which should reduce this burden. Get information directly from your university!
Scholarship for students who earn their own livingStudents who have earned their living before starting their studies can finance their students with this scholarship.• 4 years of employment
• Minimum income per year: 11,000€
If you have been employed at least four years before your studies and have received a minimum income of 11,000€ per year, then you can apply for a scholarship for students who earn their own living. The maximum amount of money is 891€ per month. You can apply via!
Scholarship for study performanceStudents with good grades can apply afterwards for a scholarship for study performance.• Minimum amount of ETCS
• Good grade average
• Application in due time
This scholarship is calculated afterwards for an academic year. The scholarship is based on your grade point average and ECTS. We have an article with all the information on scholarships for study performance!

4. Social funds by ÖH

The Austrian Students‘ Representation (ÖH) can help you during financial distress with the ÖH social funds. If you fall into a crisis because of increased rent, sickness, study costs, childcare or support for family members, the ÖH can support you with a one-time payment.

The requirements for a one-time payment are:

  • Social need according to the ÖH guidelines
  • Not living with their parents
  • Not receiving a study grant
  • 16 ECTS in the last academic year
  • Cooperation between the local university representation and the ÖH
  • Still within the double minimum study duration
  • Regular student

You can download the application form here and then send it to the competent department via mail or email.

5. Housing assistance for students

The housing assistance is paid, depending on different requirements, to everybody in Austria who has a low income. Each federal state has its own regulations and requirements that you can find on the website of the competent authorities. The amount of the housing assistance depends on the size of the flat, the housing effort and size of the household. If you live in a student dormitory or at home, you cannot claim housing assistance.

6. Student loans

Student loans can improve your financial situation. This loan consists of monthly payments. You start paying back the loan only after graduation. Generally, bank institutes offer better interest rates for student loans than regular loans. However, it’s always smart to compare offers. To apply for a student loan, you have to be

  • between 18 and 30 years,
  • inscribed at university and
  • have a residence in Austria.

We have a whole article on student loans, in which we explain everything in detail.

7. Living on a budget

Not only your income, but also your expenses are essential to your student financing. The less you spend in a month, the bigger is your budget. That is why we recommend saving money in your everyday life! You’ll be surprised how much you can save while cooking, working out or on a daily basis and therefore, we recommend the linked tips for saving money!

8. Tax equalisation & tax tips

Via your tax equalisation (in Austria: ArbeitnehmerInnenveranlagung – ANV) you can write off expenses against tax and get cashback for study related costs. Purchases for your studies belong to the category „occupational expenses“. So, keep all of your receipts. Furthermore, if you have more than one marginal employment, you can get parts of your social security contributions refunded with the so-called “negative taxes”. Here are more tax tips for students!

9. Student discounts

It’s generally known that students don’t have a big budget. That’s why many stores, restaurants, institutions, etc. offer special prices for students or student discounts. Iamstudent has a list of current student discounts! Entertainment facilities such as cinemas, museums, event locations and theatres usually have lower entrance fees for students. Students also get discounts for public transportation („Climate ticket“ in Austria, tickets, etc.). Several streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, etc.) have special deals for students. So, always check for student deals and have your student ID ready!

How much does studying in Austria cost?

The living expenses make up the majority of your costs as a student. They include rent, clothes, groceries, telecommunication (phone, internet, etc.) and car or public transport.

STUWO tip: In our STUWO dormitories, you pay an all-in rent, meaning that the monthly payment includes operating and ancillary costs, electricity, heating and warm water as well as TV fees. This means that you have one payment for all these services and can keep track easily!

Another aspect are the expenses regarding your studies, for example study materials, electronic equipment, tuition fees, ÖH fees, etc.

In the end, you should also think about leisure activities, gifts, vacation and other expenses. Ideally, you calculate a financial cushion for extraordinary financial strains, for example buying a new phone.

The Social Survey for Students has conducted research on the average costs for studying in Austria. On average, students spend 1,016€ per month (from 2019).

STUWO tip: When you calculate your budget, you should write down all your income and expenses for the first three months (e.g., in a money control app), so that you get a good overview of all your costs. This way you will get a realistic idea of your monthly income and expenses.

As the proverb says: “Money makes the world go round” and money plays an important role in the life of students. That’s why you should start thinking about student financing early on. It will be a lot easier with our tips. You’ll find more articles on studying and finances in our category „Finance tips“!


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