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Hardship application

At University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, up to 3 percent of the study places in admission-restricted programs are available for cases of exceptional hardship. Recognition of a hardship application leads directly to admission before all other applicants without consideration of selection criteria (such as average grade, waiting period, other selection criteria).

Information on the hardship case

Exceptional hardship exists if serious personal health, social or family reasons make it absolutely necessary for the applicant to take up studies immediately and if, applying particularly strict standards, the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to wait even one semester for admission. As a rule, such an exceptional situation will only exist if several circumstances coincide. In this context, the overall assessment of all circumstances of the individual case is therefore of particular importance.


The following documents must be submitted for an application:

  • informal detailed justification/personal statement of the facts of the case
  • information supported by evidence(s). Certificates from bodies officially authorized to use an official seal must have an official seal imprint. Copies must be officially certified.

Examples of reasoned requests

For the following exemplary cases, a hardship application can usually be granted:

  • Illness with a tendency to worsen, which will result in a high probability of not being able to withstand the stresses of studying in this degree program in the future (expert medical opinion).
  • Disability due to illness. Vocational rehabilitation can only be ensured by immediate admission to the degree program because the disability makes it impossible to reasonably bridge the waiting period (expert medical opinion).
  • Restriction to a narrow occupational field due to physical disability. The intended course of study gives reason to expect successful rehabilitation (expert medical opinion).
  • Necessity of giving up the previous studies or profession for health reasons. A reasonable bridging of the waiting period is not possible for these reasons (expert medical opinion).
  • There is a physical disability. The disability stands in the way of any other reasonable activity until a study place is allocated (specialist medical report).
  • Restriction in the choice of occupation or occupational practice as a result of illness; due to this circumstance, the applicant is prevented from meaningfully bridging the waiting period (expert medical opinion).

The expert medical opinion must sufficiently comment on the individual criteria mentioned in the respective number. The expert opinion should contain statements on the origin, severity, course and treatment options of the disease as well as a prognosis on the further course of the disease. It should also be comprehensible to medical laypersons. Additional evidence may include, for example, the severely disabled person's ID card or the assessment notice from the pension office. A chronic illness can be equated with a severe disability if this is clearly expressed in a specialist medical report.

Please submit appropriate documentation as proof.

Official certificates of late resettlement and certificate of commencement of appropriate studies in the country of origin is required.

Proof of compelling reason that prevented enrollment and previous admission letter is required.

Examples of unfounded requests

In the following exemplary cases, the application cannot be successful in principle, unless there are further exceptional reasons in the person of the applicant:

  • Commitment to a place because of the need for home care and assistance with an existing illness.
  • Necessity of giving up previous studies or profession for health reasons. However, bridging the waiting period is possible and reasonable.
  • Restriction in the choice of occupation due to illness. However, a bridging of the waiting period is possible and reasonable.

  • future discontinuation of a possibility of private financing of studies in case of further delay of the start of studies.
  • The financing of studies is limited by contract or other legal transaction. This is no longer secured for the intended course of study if admission is further delayed.
  • Receipt of orphan's benefit, which is only granted up to a certain age during an education. The orphan's allowance can no longer be claimed if the start of studies is further delayed.
  • Temporal limitation of the receipt of pension payments from the German Armed Forces.
  • Receipt of study support from public funds, orphan's allowance, pension or similar income for an alternative study program that has been started. The alternative studies are counted towards the time for which this income is granted.
  • Financing of an alternative course of studies by own work, because the study support from public funds is to be taken up only after the admission to the desired course of studies because of the imputation obligation.
  • Financing an alternative course of study by means of a loan. If admission to the intended course of study is further delayed, the burden of repayment and interest obligations becomes too high.
  • Maintenance by working spouse
  • Necessity of abandoning the position of the working spouse providing maintenance.
  • The spouse is also still in education. Therefore, in his own opinion, the financial situation requires an immediate start of studies.
  • Applicant is widowed or divorced and wants to secure the future livelihood of own dependent children by studying.
  • Financial difficulties of parents
  • Applicant wants to support or provide for his or her parents who are suffering from financial difficulties or to care for his or her siblings as soon as possible.
  • Applicant is an orphan or half-orphan.
  • Applicant is married.
  • Applicant has one or more children.
  • Father or mother or both parents are ill or severely disabled.
  • Father or mother or both parents are ethnic German repatriates, expellees, politically or racially persecuted persons or refugees from the former GDR.
  • Physical disability, need for care or incapacity of siblings.
  • Coming from a family with many children; all or almost all siblings are still in education.
  • Need for financial support from parents, siblings or other dependents in the near future.
  • Abandonment of previous studies or occupation due to unemployment or poor job prospects.
  • Abandonment of previous studies or occupation due to lack of motivation, aptitude, or for reasons of conscience.
  • Claim of special aptitude for the course of study and the corresponding profession
  • Existence of creditable study achievements and/or periods.
  • many years of theoretical work in the field of the intended studies
  • Applicant is already of advanced age.
  • Repeated rejection for the desired course of study
  • Exceeding an important age limit in the case of a further delay in the start of studies (e.g. for admission to the preparatory service or for admission to civil service).
  • Without immediate admission, loss of study and examination privileges provided by law.
  • Completion of a service
  • A study program begun abroad cannot be completed there and should therefore be continued here.


Andrea Voigt
Sachbearbeiterin Bewerbungs- und Studien-Service