'Schulstartgeld': How much are Austria's 'starting school' grants worth?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
'Schulstartgeld': How much are Austria's 'starting school' grants worth?
School supplies have increased 10 percent in price in Austria in just the last year. Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

Schulstartgeld – literally ‘school starting money’ – was introduced in Austria in 2011 to help parents offset the cost of school supplies. But it doesn’t buy what it once did.


In August, anyone in Austria with children born between January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2017 should have received a €105.80 payment from the government – per child – to help them pay for paper, pens, and other supplies their kids will need for school. No special application was necessary.

But a new analysis by the Momentum Institute finds that money has lost a third of its purchasing power. What costs €105 today in school supplies would’ve only cost €69 in 2011 when the payment was originally introduced.

The institute reckons that school supplies became ten percent more expensive just in the last year, and that in order for the Schulstartgeld to have the same purchasing power that it did when it was first introduced in 2011, payments would have to be raised by another €50 per child, at a cost of €45 million.

School starts in Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland on Monday, with the rest of the country following a week later on September 10th.


School support money is generally paid out automatically in Austria, based off of available birth and residency registration data and comes alongside Familienbeihilfe payments. These payments typically come automatically once a child’s birth is registered in Austria. If you didn’t get your payment, it’s advisable to contact your local Finanzamt – or tax office.

READ ALSO: Four things foreigners in Austria need to know about the education system


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