Higher education and student life represent a significant budget! Between tuition fees, rent, food, transport or leisure, what are the scholarships, aid and other solutions to finance your studies and lighten your monthly budget a little? We take stock in this article by type of expense.
Housing is one of the items of expenditure that weighs the most on the student budget. According to the study on the cost of the start of the 2022 student year published on August 16 by FAGE, the average rent for student accommodation in Paris is €671. It is around €510 in the region.
Housing assistance (APL or ALS)
All students can apply for housing assistance from the CAF. It is indeed the Family Allowance Fund that allocates and pays the APL (personalized housing assistance) or the ALS (social housing assistance). This process must be carried out once the lease has been signed. A little financial help to pay your rent and finance your studies.
Your eligibility and the amount of the APL or ALS depends on several criteria:
- The type of accommodation (empty or furnished private accommodation, shared accommodation, Crous university residence),
- The amount of your rent
- The location of your student accommodation,
- The number of people occupying the accommodation,
- Your resources for the last 12 months (automatically updated every 3 months).
As the CAF specifies, only the request for housing assistance will allow you to know the exact amount of your APL.
Living in a Crous residence also gives you the possibility of receiving housing assistance. This will be paid directly to the residence. You will only have to pay the difference in rent. This may also be the case with your landlord in private accommodation.
On the other hand, if you are related to your owner, then you will not be eligible.
Sharing shared student accommodation can often make it possible to divide the rent and monthly charges (electricity, Internet, etc.), while living in a larger space. Even in shared accommodation, each tenant can apply for APL. It will suffice to clearly specify this case when you apply to the CAF. So will you rather be roommates with friends or with strangers?
Do you know that there is also solidarity intergenerational cohabitation ? As defined by the Code of Social Action and Families, “solidarity intergenerational cohabitation allows people aged sixty and over to rent or sublet to people under thirty years of age part of the accommodation from which they are owners or tenants in compliance with the conditions set by the intergenerational solidarity cohabitation contract provided for in Article L. 631-17 of the construction and housing code”; all for a modest financial contribution and/or daily life services. A sort of give-and-take contract to strengthen social ties and facilitate access to housing for young people.
Are you away from your accommodation for a while for a vacation or a long weekend? And why not sublet your apartment when you are not occupying it? If the subletting of your student accommodation is legal, you must nevertheless respect certain rules.
First, you must first obtain the written agreement of your landlord and inform him of the amount of rent applied. Second, you cannot sublet your apartment for more than what you pay to your landlord. As the INC specifies, “unauthorized subletting constitutes a breach of the lease and may justify its termination”.
Please note, however, it is forbidden to sublet accommodation in a university residence managed by the CROUS.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND STUDENT AID
One of the known levers for financing one’s studies are scholarships. There are several, awarded according to certain scenarios and under certain conditions, whether you are a scholarship holder or not.
The Crous scholarship
Surely the most widespread, the Crous scholarship, or scholarship based on social criteria, is a state scholarship. According to the Ministry of Higher Education, 38.8% of students in 2020-2021 were scholarship holders, i.e. 750,000 students. Financial assistance to cover quotient expenses, rent, etc.
Awarded as its name suggests on social criteria, it takes into account resources, siblings from the tax household and distance from the family residence. The Crous scholarship is broken down into 8 levels (0 bis to 7) and its annual amount varies from €1,084 to €5,965. The payment of the Crous scholarship is guaranteed over 10 months (12 in certain cases), subject to attendance and presentation of the scholarship student’s exams.
The Crous scholarship application is made online when submitting the student social file (DSE) between January and May preceding the start of the academic year. Whether you are in BTS, license or master, there is no condition of level of studies to request it.
Good to know: as a scholarship student, you are exempt from CVEC (€95/year) and university registration fees (€170 for a bachelor’s degree, €243 for a master’s, €380 for a doctorate).
Specific aid: one-off aid and annual allowance for students in difficulty
Whether you have a scholarship or not and you encounter occasional financial difficulties during your studies, you can request specific one-off assistance from the Crous. This is granted after a social inquiry and an anonymous examination before a commission chaired by the director of the Crous. It is also he who decides on the amount of aid granted, up to a limit of €2,701 (level 2 scale of the Crous grant).
If it is possible to request this specific emergency aid several times during an academic year, the maximum amount cannot exceed twice the annual amount of level 2 of the Crous scholarship, i.e. 2 x 2,701 € / year.
If you are not eligible for Crous scholarships but are experiencing lasting financial difficulties, then you can apply for the annual allowance. It is a kind of aid equivalent to scholarships based on social criteria, which also gives you exemption from the CVEC and university registration fees.
To apply for it, you must submit a scholarship application via the student social file, and explain your situation. A commission then studies your file and issues a notice of award or refusal. It is the director of the Crous who sets the amount of your annual allowance. Depending on your situation, it corresponds to one of the Crous scholarship levels (between €1,042 and €5,736 / year). The payment of the annual allowance is then made every month for 10 months, from September to June. In some cases, the payment of the aid can be made over 6 months.
Parcoursup mobility aid
Another boost to finance your studies, the Parcoursup mobility aid . This concerns only baccalaureate holders and students in reorientation in the 1st year .
If you accept a Parcoursup admission proposal to a course outside your home academy and you receive a high school scholarship, then you are eligible for Parcoursup mobility assistance of €500.
Once you have completed your administrative registration, submit your request directly on the messervices.etudiant.gouv.fr website, Parcoursup mobility assistance tab . You must attach proof of registration in the establishment corresponding to the wish outside the academy that you have accepted and a bank details.
The Parcoursup mobility aid is paid in one installment at the start of the academic year. It can be combined with the Crous scholarship.
Did you have a very good honors in the baccalaureate this year or during the previous session? Are you eligible for Crous scholarships for the start of the academic year? Then you can apply for merit aid .
You don’t have to do anything special to request it. It is the Crous services that make the link.
The merit aid amounts to €900 and is paid in 9 monthly installments and for a maximum period of 3 years; provided that you are diligent, that you do not repeat a year or that you do not reorient yourself (excluding reorientation during the year in the same year of study).
Institutional internal merit scholarship
Some private higher education institutions award merit-based scholarships. Committees study the files of the candidates according to their own criteria.
This usually results in reduced tuition fees or monthly aid. To find out if the establishment in which you are going to follow your course grants aid or payment facilities, do not hesitate to push the door of the secretariat.
Do you want to go international in your studies? Depending on your project (academic exchange, internship, work-study) and the destination, Erasmus+ grants allow you to finance your studies abroad. Most universities and higher education establishments are partners in this exchange programme.
The amount of Erasmus+ scholarships varies from €200 to €750 per month depending on the mobility. An “inclusion” supplement of €250 may also be granted to students with grants based on social criteria for levels 6 and 7, or to students with disabilities.
Find here the partner establishments of the program and the Erasmus+ scholarship simulator.
Ask the international relations department of your institution to find out about the procedures and deadlines for submitting your mobility request. It often takes you six months to a year to prepare for this project. They will also be able to direct you to the associated aid to which you may be entitled.
Although it is not necessary to be a scholarship holder to benefit from the Erasmus+ scholarship, it can nevertheless be combined with the Crous scholarship, international mobility assistance or certain aid granted by local authorities.
International mobility assistance
To help you finance your studies abroad, there is also international mobility assistance (AMI), paid by your higher education institution. Its amount is 400 € / month.
To be eligible, you must meet the following conditions:
- be a Crous scholarship holder or benefit from the annual allowance,
- go on a stay of 2 to 9 consecutive months (internship or academic exchange),
- that your international mobility is part of your course of study,
- and that your training is recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education.
To request it, you must file a file with your international relations department. This is then studied by the university president or the head of the establishment, who may or may not grant this AMI.
Please note that you will not be able to combine this aid for international mobility for more than 9 months over all of your higher education. However, it can be combined with the Crous scholarship and merit aid.
National number dedicated to student aid
If you encounter material, financial or psychological difficulties during your studies, you can call the national number dedicated to aid: 0 806 000 278 . This line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
An adviser will be able to inform you about the aid that can be mobilized according to your situation and guide you through the procedures.
Many students choose to take out a student loan to finance their studies. Indeed, some higher education courses in private schools in particular apply tuition fees of several thousand euros. Scholarships and student jobs do not always cover these expenses, in addition to those of daily life.
Many Grandes Ecoles have partnerships with banks. Preferred rates or reimbursement conditions can then be more advantageous for subscribers. Check with your school to find out about potential partners.
State-guaranteed student loan
To help young people finance their studies, there is the state-guaranteed student loan . Through this specific consumer loan, it is the State that stands surety for the subscription in one of the partner banks. No means test is required. However, you must meet the following criteria:
- prepare a higher French diploma at university, in a Grande Ecole or in high school for a BTS for example,
- be between 18 and 28 years old,
- be French or a citizen of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA),
The maximum amount of the student loan guaranteed by the State is €20,000. On the other hand, the bank is free to set the amount granted, the duration of the loan (2 years minimum) as well as the interest rate applied. Indeed, it is not a zero rate loan.
Since it is a loan, you will have to repay it. You have the choice between repaying the entire credit (monthly payments and interest) after your studies. Or apply an interest-only reimbursement during your studies according to a defined schedule and settle everything at the end of your training. To add to all this, loan insurance.
Also include in your financing, compulsory loan insurance. The bank where you sign your government-guaranteed student loan may offer you one. But know you can also take it in another establishment.
WORK TO FINANCE YOUR STUDIES
In addition to scholarships and bank loans, many young people have regular or occasional work alongside their studies. Enough to end the month or put butter in the spinach.
It is a training rhythm that is more and more popular with students. Alternately , you share your time between course periods and immersion in a company.
In addition to the educational benefits of gaining real work experience related to your field of study, you also earn a salary. Depending on the type of contract (apprenticeship or professionalization contract), the apprentice’s salary corresponds to a percentage of the minimum wage.
For example 43% if you are between 18 and 20 years old and you are in the 1st year of apprenticeship, i.e. €721.95 / month. 61% for an apprentice aged 21 to 25 in the 2nd year of apprenticeship, ie €1,024.16/month .
But doing work-study requires good organization between your study time and your time in the company, framed by a contract and schedules. Because the objective at the end of your training is to obtain your diploma.
You should know that an apprentice, who therefore receives a regular salary, cannot also benefit from scholarships based on social criteria from the Crous, even at a low level.
Waitress in a restaurant, salesman in a store, hostess, usher in a concert hall or babysitter, here are some typical examples of student jobs to finance your studies or earn some pocket money.
There is no student contract as such. Your employer will therefore offer you a part-time CDD or CDI of 5, 10 or even 15 hours depending on the need. It is important that these student jobs, or odd jobs, remain compatible with your pace of study: being able to attend classes, having time to revise or carry out your group projects, etc. So be prepared to work evenings or a few hours on weekends.
If you want to work during school holidays and work more hours, then your employment contract should mention it.
A student, like any other employee, must be paid on the minimum basis of the hourly minimum wage, ie €11.07 gross per hour and sign an employment contract.
Civic service is not an employment contract or an internship but a voluntary commitment of 6 to 12 months, at least 24 hours a week. The missions proposed in civic service fall within various fields of general interest: environment, education, solidarity, etc.
As a volunteer in civic service, you receive a fixed monthly allowance from the State of €489.59 , to which is added the equivalent of € 111.35 (in cash or in kind) by the organization of welcome. Scholarship students can benefit from an additional allowance of €111.45 .
We tell you more about civic service in this article.
TRANSPORT, LEISURE AND HOLIDAYS
And because the student budget is not just about rent and tuition fees, here are some good tips to save money on a daily basis for your leisure or travel. Expenses to take into account in the financing of your studies.
The student card
Once enrolled in higher education, you will be able to prove your student status with your school certificate . You will also be the proud holder of a student card or an apprentice card .
Thanks to student status, you can benefit from the social meal rate in university restaurants. It is €3.30 for non-scholarship students and €1 for Crous scholarship holders and students experiencing financial difficulties. The €1 Ticket U is renewed for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The student advantages also apply to public transport. Indeed, in many cities, subscriptions or youth tickets are specifically dedicated to students. Enough to reduce your monthly budget by a few tens of euros.
Discounts also apply for cultural venues, restaurants or solidarity grocery stores but also in certain businesses such as hairdressing salons, shops or even sports halls.
Some telephone operators or banking establishments set up back-to-school operations for students. This may be a way to save some money there too!
Departure program 18-25 years old
A change of scenery and taking a vacation during your university year can be good! Still little known, the departure program for 18-25 year olds piloted by the ANCV, finances up to €250 for your stay at the sea, in the mountains or in a big city.
To benefit from it, you must be between 18 and 25 years old, reside in France and be in one of the following situations:
- have a tax income of less than €17,280/year for a tax share,
- be a scholarship student,
in an apprenticeship or professionalization contract,
- enrolled in a 2nd chance school,
- volunteer in civic service or have carried out a mission for less than 1 year,
- benefit from a PACEA with a local mission,
- be followed by Childhood Social Assistance.
Depending on the stay chosen on the depart1825.com website , benefits from coverage of up to 80% of the price of the stay (up to a limit of €250 per calendar year) and with a remainder payable of at least €50 after deduction of aid.
The Pass’Sport is a sports allowance of 50 euros to finance all or part of your registration in a sports structure. This must be eligible for the 2022-2023 season. This aid is open to scholarship students in higher education.
If you are eligible, you will receive an email from the Ministry of Sports in October. This will contain a unique code that you can use when registering.
You can use it in a club affiliated with a federation recognized by the Ministry of Sports, associations supported by the State’s “Educational Cities” program or even JEP (youth popular education) or Sport approved associations operating in the neighborhoods urban policy priorities.
Here is an overview of aid, scholarships and good plans to finance your studies. Know that aid for the financing of the driving license or the BAFA exists. Do not hesitate to contact the services of the regional and departmental councils of your place of study to find out more. The Crous of your academy is also a privileged point of contact to find out about the aid you can claim depending on your situation.