General Info

With the Income Share Agreement, you are free to repay your tuition fees: Only when you earn and according to your individual ability to pay, you pay back part of your income – to support current students.

Repayment amount: percentage x repayment years

The amount of your repayment is determined by the percentage agreed in your “Contract for the Support of Studies at Witten/Herdecke University” and the agreed repayment years. Based on your income, we will use the percentage to calculate an annual repayment amount and will continue to do so until the specified number of repayment years has been reached.

Each year in which your relevant income exceeds the lower limit specified in the contract counts as a repayment year. If this minimum limit is not reached, you will be exempt from repayment for that year and the corresponding year will not count towards the repayment period. The maximum repayment period (in the event that you are repeatedly exempted) extends to a maximum period of 25 years after exmatriculation.

Definition of the Income

The basis for calculating the amount of the contribution to be repaid is your gross income minus income-related expenses and pension lump sums according to BAföG (the so-called relevant income – see your contract).

Upper and lower limit: Socially acceptable repayment

If your relevant income is below the minimum limit stipulated in the contract, you are exempt from repayment in the respective year. Only if your relevant income exceeds the minimum limit will the year be considered a repayment year. Under certain circumstances, studying at the UW/H may therefore cost nothing at all.

The ISA not only sets a minimum limit, there is also a contractually agreed maximum limit. A maximum of twice the fixed amount of the immediate payment contribution is therefore repaid.

The upper and lower limits are adjusted for inflation. In this way, we can ensure equal contributions for all repayers and immediate payers.

Important: Income tax liability & name change

By concluding the “Contract for the Promotion of Studies at the Private University of Witten/Herdecke”, you undertake to submit an income tax assessment for the entire repayment period after exmatriculation. This obligation also exists in the following cases:

  • Your relevant income falls below the contractually defined lower limit (currently around EUR 21,000) and you are exempt from repayment for the corresponding year.
  • You will not be assessed and will receive a so-called “zero assessment”.
  • You receive your income abroad. In this case, you are obliged to submit the equivalent of the German income tax assessment (e.g. “Lohnausweis” in Switzerland, “Tax Returns” in the USA).

Furthermore, you are obliged to inform the SG of any changes of name and address as soon as possible, as otherwise you may incur costs as a result of an investigation.

Repayment procedure

The repayment period for tuition fees at UW/H begins on 1 January following your exmatriculation. It does not matter whether you exmatriculate for the summer or winter semester. As soon as you come into repayment, we will send you access to our online area for the specific processing of the repayment.

Your repayment amount will be determined on the basis of your income tax assessment notice. As this is not available until after the end of the respective year, advance payments are agreed during the year. These payments on account are considered advance payments for the repayment amount for the year in question. As soon as the final income tax assessment is available, the year is finally settled. Any overpayments are credited for further repayment; any underpayments are to be paid to the SG.

For the 1st year of repayment, there are three variants of the advance payment depending on your expected income:

  • Variant 1: Minimum advance payment

    Your “Contract for the Promotion of Studies at the UW/H” provides for monthly minimum instalment payments. These vary depending on the degree programme and enrolment date and are based on the repayment conditions of your contract. The minimum instalment payment is collected monthly from your account by SEPA direct debit mandate.

  • Variant 2: Individual down payment

    If you can foresee from your income situation that the final repayment amount of a year will exceed the instalment payments, you can make higher instalments. This can avoid a larger additional payment at the end of the year. Please contact us – we will be happy to advise you on your personal instalment payment.

  • Variant 3: Provisional exemption

    If it is foreseeable that your relevant annual income will not exceed the contractually defined minimum income limit, you can provisionally be exempted from the usual instalment payments for this year. For spouses and each tax-recognised child, this income limit is increased by a fixed amount.

Subsequent Years

In the following years, we will jointly adjust your monthly instalment payment to the expected income situation. This corresponds at least to the minimum instalment payment. If it is expected that your relevant annual income will not exceed the contractually defined minimum income limit, you can be temporarily exempted from repayment.

In case you expect a significantly changed income situation (job change, sabbatical year, MBA, etc.), please contact us directly here.

Repayment from abroad

Of course, the free choice of profession does not stop at our national borders. Thus, the number of our repayers who move abroad and earn their income there is increasing.

No separate conditions apply in this case. To determine the amount of the repayment contributions, we only need the national equivalent of your adopted country instead of the German income tax certificate. In Switzerland, for example, this is the “Lohnausweis”, in the USA the “Tax Returns”. If you have any questions regarding the relevant documents from abroad, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

Questions and answers

A model like the Income Share Agreement is not always self-explanatory. Repayment period, decisive income and instalment payments – you will find many answers here for all terms, questions and the exact course of the repayment phase.

Shortly before moving?

StudierendenGesellschaft of a change of address in good time. This is particularly important when moving abroad, as an investigation procedure can be associated with high costs for you.

Social Committee and Concilitation Board

The aim of the Social Committee is to avoid undue hardship in connection with the processing of the “Contract on the Promotion of Studies at the Private University of Witten/Herdecke”. In the event of hardship through no fault of one’s own, exemption from repayment can be obtained through the Social Committee under certain circumstances. In addition to SG staff, the Social Committee consists of external, independent student representatives who decide on submitted applications by consensus.

If you have any questions in this regard or are specifically thinking about appealing to the Social Committee, please do not hesitate to contact us via

When it comes to money, disputes unfortunately arise from time to time. In such cases, the StudierendenGesellschaft has set up a conciliation board that tries to find an amicable out-of-court solution. For its part, the SG undertakes to call on the conciliation board before taking legal action. In the past, problems and misunderstandings could often be resolved in this way without having to accept high costs and lengthy procedures.

If you have any questions or concerns about conciliation services, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Nils Luerweg