Our Definitive Guide to Student Funding at Catalyst

catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

Big news! Citizens of the EU, migrants and refugees can now apply for student funding at Catalyst via Bafög (German state funding). Funding options for Scandinavian residents are also available via the respective nations’ funding organisations. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for student grants and loans. 

Further opening up our institute to creatives of all backgrounds, eligible citizens of the European Union, migrants and refugees who live (or have the prospect of living) in Germany can now apply for student funding at Catalyst via BAföG. 

Funding options for residents of Sweden, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands, via the nations’ respective funding organisations are also available. 

Ahead of our recruitment round for the 2022 course year, opening at the end of November, find out all you need to know about funding options for BA and MA study at Catalyst below. 

A word to the wise: we recommend that you submit your application to Catalyst by March 2022 to allow yourself plenty of time to apply for funding or a visa.

catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

BAföG: Germany, the EU and Migrants/Refugees 

Residential Eligibility

You don’t need a German passport to apply for BAföG, the Federal Training Promotion Act in Germany. Citizens of the European Union, migrants and refugees who live in Germany can also receive BAföG as financial support during their studies.

The basic rule is that if foreigners have the prospect of staying in Germany and if they are socially integrated, they are considered eligible for funding. These are, for example, persons with a right of permanent residence under the Freedom of Movement Act / EU, a permit for permanent residence in the EC or a settlement permit. 

You can also apply for BAföG as a recognized asylum seeker, a recognized refugee according to the Geneva Refugee Convention, or as a beneficiary of subsidiary protection. Refugees who are only tolerated must have been legally permitted or tolerated in Germany for 15 months before they are eligible for BAföG. Asylum seekers whose asylum procedure has not yet been completed cannot receive BAföG as it has not yet been sufficiently clarified whether they can stay in Germany.

Financial Eligibility

BAföG funding is delivered to eligible students monthly, half as a grant that does not have to repaid and half as an interest-free loan from the German state, to applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • Your parents and/or partner earn comparatively little.
  • You have no or little income.
  • Your assets are less than €8,200
  • You are studying full-time
  • Age limit: 30 years; in the Master 35 years (exceptions are possible)

The maximum monthly BAföG rate for students is 853 euros. Half of the loan must be repaid, but no more than a total of 10,000 euros.

See a further breakdown of BAföG financial eligibility and potential funding options for students here.

Finding Your Desired Course 

During the BAföG application process, you will be prompted to search for your desired programme of study. As shown in the gallery below, do not search for “Catalyst.” You must instead search for one of the following Catalyst course names:


  • Electronic Music Production & Performance 
  • Creative Music Production & Sound Engineering 
  • Film Production
  • Screen Acting
  • Visual Effects


  • Creative Production (Music)
  • Creative Production (Film)

Scandinavia & The Netherlands

The following organisations can provide financial support for BA or MA study at Catalyst: CSN in Sweden, Lín in Iceland, Lånekassen in Norway and DUO in The Netherlands. If you are from The Netherlands, you can also apply to BAföG.

catalyst Berlin Welcome Day 2021 by Dico Baskoro

Need assistance?

Our monthly Ask Admissions sessions are an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding our application procedure.

In case you need further advice or assistance regarding applications, funding and visas, don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions team.

More details on our application process, course fees and entry requirements can be found in our Info Hub.

Catalyst Application Deadlines

Our next recruitment round opens in November 2021. No matter where you’re from, our Priority Application Deadline for the 2022 course year is the 29th of April. Apply by this date and we guarantee you’ll get a place on the course, providing your application meets our entry requirements. As mentioned above, if you need to apply for funding or a visa, we recommend submitting your application to Catalyst by March 2022 to allow plenty of time for the funding or visa to be processed.

The standard application deadline is the 1st of July. Please be aware that after the 29th of April, course places will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Visit a Virtual Open Day

Want to get a taste of our school from the comfort of your home? You’re invited to our official Virtual Open Days taking place in November (19th) February (4th) and April (1st): a live tour of our spaces and facilities combined with programme-specific group sessions with our tutors and students. We also have a selection of Taster Workshops for those of you interested in getting to know our tutors and learning approach. And in the meantime, feel free to check out our spaces in our guided virtual tour below.