France 2013/14 - student fees and grants

Country: France
Date of publication: 2014
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 183
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 254
Fees - note: Approximately 65 % of students pay fees
Grants - note: Approximately 35 % of students receive grants
Need-based grant (euro): min 0 - max 5500
Merit-based grant (euro): max 1800

National student fee

The amount of fees per year fixed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research is EUR 183 in the first cycle (L1, L2, L3) and EUR 254 in the second cycle (M1, M2). However, a number of universities have decided to add associated costs related to specific services (e.g. for diplomas related to continuing learning and training). In some public universities, the tuition fees can reach more than EUR 2 000 per year.

Fees in the grandes écoles and Engineering Schools vary, but the most common amount is EUR 550 per year. However, tuition fees in some of them reach up to EUR 10 000 per year, depending on family income. However, there are grandes écoles which not only deliver education free of charge, but may even pay some students (such students are prospective civil servants and receive a wage from the State), e.g. in école polytechnique and écoles normales supérieures.

Students who receive a grant (34.7 % of the student population in 2012/13) are exempted from fees.

Student grants

Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need to students that are less than 28 years of age.

The amount awarded for the need-based grant depends on the assessment of social criteria. Students are classified into categories based on the family income; within the framework of a reform of the grants (2013), a new category has been created for lower middle-class students, and a new one for the most deprived students. All grant holders get tuition for free and social security contribution waivers (EUR 211). In 2013/14 the amount of the annual grant varies from EUR 0 (for lower middle-class students who only get the waivers) to EUR 5 500. In addition, students having a need-based grant can get a complementary merit-based grant (based on school performance from the baccalauréat results) which amounts to EUR 1 800.


Loans are also available. In 2008, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research started a new policy to get loans easier for all students aged less than 28. It provides loans with a maximum amount of EUR 15 000, guaranteed by a special fund 'OSEO'. Less than 0.1 % of university students take out such a loan.

Tax benefit for student's parents

Parents are eligible for tax relief if students are financially dependent on them and are less than 25 years old. The amount of tax relief is proportional to the amount of taxable income of the household.

Family allowances

Family allowances are paid for two or more dependent children that are under 20 years old. The minimum amount is EUR 128.57 per month and increases with the number of eligible children; as of 5th child the amount is EUR 164.73 for each child. An additional amount of EUR 64.29 per month is paid for every child that is aged 16-20 years.

Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017
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