France 2016/17 - student fees and grants

Country: France
Date of publication: 2017
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 184
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 256
Fees - note: Approximately 64 % of students pay fees
Grants - note: Approximately 36 % of students receive grants
Need-based grant (euro): max 5551
Merit-based grant (euro): min/most common 900

National student fee

The amount of annual fee fixed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research is EUR 184 in higher education short cycle and first cycle (L1, L2, L3) and EUR 256 in the second cycle (M1, M2). In addition, a fee of EUR 215 per year is charged to all students aged 20-28. These fees are related to the social security system. Some universities add associated costs related to specific services (e.g. for diplomas related to continuing learning and training).The 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 610 per year – not including fees related to social security (EUR 215) and partnerships with universities. Tuition fees in some institutions reach up to EUR 10 000 per year, depending on family income. However, there are also grandes écoles which not only deliver education without charging fees, 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 (35.8 % of the student population in 2014/15) are exempted from fees.

Non-EU students pay the same fees as those from within the EU.

Student grants

Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need to students (short, first and second cycle) less than 28 years of age. The annual amount awarded for need-based grants depends on an assessment of social criteria, with students classified into nine categories based on family income. All grant holders receive free tuition and a waiver from social security contributions (EUR 215). In 2016/17, the amount of the annual grant ranges from EUR 0 (for lower middle-class students who only receive a fee waiver and a waiver from social security contributions) to EUR 5 551. An additional grant amounting to annual EUR 1 009 is available for the most deprived (based on family income) lower middle-class students.

Students who receive a need-based grant can also get a complementary merit-based grant (based on school performance from the baccalauréat results) which amounts to EUR 900 per semester.


State guaranteed loans up to an annual maximum of EUR 15 000 are also available for all EU/EEA students aged under 28. Loans are guaranteed by a special fund 'OSEO'. Less than 0.1 % of university students take out such a loan. Interest rates are defined by banks. Repayment must start 2 years after graduation, but early redemption of interests is possible.

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. Students below 26 are also eligible for tax relief.

Family allowances

Family allowances are paid for two or more dependent children that are under 20 years old. The amount for families with two children is EUR 130.12 per month (less for high income families).

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