Applying to a German Uni: Uni-Assist vs Direct Application

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For most students applying to join a German University, there is always the question posed on whether to apply directly or apply via Uni-Assist. Although you can’t clearly pick one to be better than the other, the advantages of each are varied.

Uni-Assist

ProsCons
Single application fee and you get a discount for further applications. First Application costs €75 and each subsequent application costs €15 if applied during the same time periodUni-Assist has no power to make the final decision, thus have to go by the rules with no flexibility
Great overview of all applications and replies from the UniversitiesThe lack of flexibility may some times lead to you having to provide irrelevant documents e.g. a Kenyan student who went through 8-4-4 having to provide TOEFEL exams for a Masters program
Uni-Assist targets foreign students, thus offer guidance with the assumption that you might have never done this beforeNot all Universities allow applications via Uni-Assist
The list of required documents are clearly stated and are evident when you start the processAs a Kenyan, Uni-Assist insists that you take up Studienkolleg or have at least one year at a Kenyan Uni before being admitted for a study course at a German Uni

 

Direct Application at the Uni

ProsCons
You communicate directly to the Uni, thus may be able to provide extra documents and in some cases defend your case. The Uni may be more flexible than Uni AssistCan be quite expensive. Each University has its application fee and they don't care if you've already applied to tens others, you still have to pay the full fee for the Uni to consider your application
Some Universities charge no application feeCan be overwhelming to keep track of all applications and replies to and from the Universities
If your application is handled directly by the Uni, they may waive the need for StudienkollegThe whole process can be complex and confusing with no real guidance
Some Universities can demand extra documents that weren't clearly defined when you started the process

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