Under certain circumstances, you have the opportunity to improve your chances of admission by submitting a special application. The following special applications are possible and are briefly explained below:
- Hardship Application
- Claiming disadvantage compensation: Improvement of the average grade
- Claiming disadvantage compensation: Improvement of the waiting period
The procedures are intended to take individual peculiarities, under specific, narrowly defined conditions, into account in the individual case (§ 30 HZVO). The following applies to all special applications:
Special applications are subject to strict evaluation standards and are only granted in rare cases
Many study applicants place too much hope in special applications. Not every reason that you consider relevant can be recognized as a "special case" in the allocation of study places. Read the respective description of the standards carefully and critically examine whether your case meets these criteria.
Special requests must be thoroughly justified and supported by appropriate evidence
If you wish to submit a special application, you must enclose suitable supporting documentation. Details regarding the required supporting documents are provided in the notes to the respective application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
As a general rule, you must present your "special case" in such a way that an outsider is able to understand the circumstances of your case based on the attached documents.
The special requests must be submitted together with your application within the deadline.
In the case of a hardship application, you will first participate in the regular application process. If you receive a study place through this procedure, your hardship application will not be considered further.
Only if you are unable to obtain a place through the regular allocation procedure will the hardship application come into consideration.You will receive the result of this decision in writing by regular mail or email. A detailed explanation will be provided upon written request.
When you apply for disadvantage compensation, the decision on your application will be made before the allocation process begins. You will be notified of the outcome of this decision in writing by regular mail or email. A detailed explanation will be provided upon written request.
Below you will find a short explanation of the special applications together with the most important details (without claim to be complete). They are intended to help you decide whether an application is even an option for you and, if so, which application fits your case best.
For more detailed information please refer to the information sheet for the respective special application.
- Hardship Application
The hardship application is a request for immediate admission. The applicant requests to be admitted in preference to all other candidates.
This is only rarely possible and only if there are serious reasons.
This only applies to a very small number of applications and rarely has a chance of success.
A maximum of 2% of the places in a degree program are available for hardship cases. This usually corresponds to 1 - 2 places.
Example of hardship cases that are usually approved:
The applicant suffers from a serious illness / disability with a tendency to get worse, which requires immediate admission to the study program. The severity of the illness and in particular the tendency to worsen is attested by a comprehensibly written document by a medical expert.
Note: Even an approved hardship case does not necessarily lead to admission as soon as there are more approved applications than reserved places for hardship cases.
You will find detailed information and examples of the necessary documentation in the information sheet on hardship applications (German only).
- Disadvantage Compensation
Claiming disadvantage compensation: Improvement of the average grade
This is a request to improve the grade of the study qualification (e.g. Abitur grade). With an improved average grade, the person moves up the list of applications ranked by grade point average, improving the chance of admission.
Your performance while obtaining the study qualification must have been seriously and verifiably impaired and for reasons that were out of your control.
It must be proven that and how this impairment affected your average grade.
Example of disadvantage compensations that are usually approved:
Prolonged illness/death in the family has caused a dip in the performance curve. E.g., the applicant has a grade point average of 2.5 prior to the incident, and after the incident the grade point average drops to 3.5. A school report confirms that the student is not responsible for the drop in performance, but that the drop in performance is largely due to adverse circumstances. An assessment is given as to what average grade the applicant could have achieved without the adverse circumstance. This school assessment can be taken into account.
You will find detailed information and examples of the necessary documentation in the information sheet on Claiming disadvantage compensation - Improvement of the average grade.
Claiming disadvantage compensation: Improvement of the waiting period
This is an application to improve the waiting period. With more waiting semesters, the applicant moves up the list of applications ranked by waiting time, thus improving the chance of admission.
The applicants must prove that circumstances beyond their control prevented them from obtaining their university entrance qualification earlier.
Examples of improvements of the waiting period that are usually approved:
If health, but also family related circumstances (e.g. caring for relatives in need) during the school years lead to a one-year delay in graduation. Two additional waiting semesters could then be credited.
You will find detailed information and examples of the necessary documentation in the information sheet on claiming disadvantage compensation - improvement of the waiting period (German only)