Broadcasting contribution for students: Is an exemption possible?

Is the broadcasting fee also compulsory for students? There are some exceptions, but usually they also have to make the contribution of € 17.50 per month to be paid by each household.

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When do students not have to pay a broadcasting fee?

In the following cases students do not have to pay a broadcasting fee:

• still live with the parents
• under 25 years old, parents are exempt from the broadcasting fee
• Spouse is exempt from the license fee
• approved application for exemption

As a rule, people who are severely handicapped or receive social benefits are exempted from payment – as a rule, the BAföG is the decisive factor for students. Although hardship applications are possible, they are hardly ever approved in reality. Important: The receipt of social benefits alone does not automatically lead to an exemption from the broadcasting fees for students – this requires an official application to the Fee Collection Center.

How can students get rid of the broadcasting fee?

The fee collection center website has a pre-printed application that must be completed and submitted with a copy of the BAföG notice, preferably within two weeks of approval of the training grant. While a certified copy was needed in the past, a simple one is enough today.

Also new since 2017: The exemption from the broadcasting fee is possible up to three years retroactively. Even former students may be able to recover their broadcasting fees under certain circumstances.

Shared room and dorm: What counts for the GEZ as an apartment?

The apartment is a room that is suitable for sleeping and accessible via a public corridor; no matter if bathroom and kitchen are available. A room in a dorm can therefore also be considered an apartment as a fully equipped shared apartment with multiple residents. Students in the dorm therefore often pay only the broadcasting fee of 17.50 euros a month, while a three-person flat share the costs by three. If one of the students is exempted from the obligation to contribute, this does not apply to the whole shared flat.

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