Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:DGFiP
National Family Allowance Fund
MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
MENESR-DEPP
OECD
MENESR-DGESIP.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

Grants based on social criteria (Bourse sur critères sociaux - BCS) are awarded according to family income and outgoings. This support ranges from exemption from tuition fees and student social security contributions (grade 0) to the award of an annual sum of €5,500 (grade 7). In 2013-2014, two new grades were created: grade '0 bis' provides students from the lowest-income families on grade 0 with an annual award of €1,000; grade 7 is designed for students from families on the lowest incomes.

Since 2008-09, Merit aid has replaced grants based on university criteria and merit grants. This is an additional grant for students receiving a BCS (€1,800 for the academic year) who are entering higher education having passed their baccalauréat with honours, or who are starting a Master's course and have the best Bachelor's degree results.

Since 2008-2009, the National emergency aid fund has replaced the Single emergency allowance (Allocation unique d'aide d’urgence - AUAU) and study allowances.

Proportion of students receiving support relates to students enrolled in a university course for which a grant is available (mainly national diplomas leading to a Bachelor's or Master's degree and until the 6th year of health and medical studies), in STS, in CPGE, in engineering schools under the responsibility of the MENESR and in State-recognised business schools.

Quick access

Share


 
 
 
 

For a better experience of this site, take the time to update your browser.
 

03 social support for students

This page has been updated. Read 03. social support for students in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

At the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, the number of students receiving support stood at more than 660,000, or approximately 35% of students enrolled for a course for which a grant was available. In all, the amount of financial and social support provided came to almost €6 billion in 2013, compared with €3.5 bn in 1995.

In higher education, over 660,000 students were receiving at least some form of financial aid at the start of the 2013-2014 academic year (table 03.01a and table 03.01b). The proportion of students benefitting in this way was stable against the previous year. More than one third of students (34.8%) enrolled for a course for which a grant was available (see opposite) received support, a much higher proportion than was observed at the start of 2008-2009 (29.3% of students supported in 2007, 32.7% in 2008). At this point the income ceilings for awarding a grant based on social criteria were raised in order to increase the number of beneficiaries. The number of students whose grants are based on social criteria, and who now represent 96% of assisted students, increased by 1.7% in 2013, whereas fewer requests are now made to the national emergency aid fund (Fonds national d'aide d'urgence - FNAU) (aid on a one-off or annual basis). The proportion of student grant-holders is slightly down in universities (34.8%). It is stable in classes preparing for admission to Grandes Ecoles (Classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles - CPGE) (27.9%) and in the Advanced technician's section (Section de technicien supérieur - STS) (45.3%), the branch of study where the proportion is highest (chart 03.02).

However, these data do not cover the entire range of financial, social, and fiscal support, both direct and indirect, that students may receive.

In addition to scholarships, loans and grants (including emergency aid) provided by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR), direct support in 2013 consisted of Social housing benefit (Allocation de logement à caractère social - ALS) and Personalised housing benefit (Aide personnalisée au logement - APL) both paid by the National Family Allowance Fund (Caisse nationale d'allocations familiales - CNAF), as well as various tax benefits (tax reduction for a dependent student, granting of an additional half-share allowance when the student is attached to the parents' tax household). Lastly, indirect support is available. This includes support services provided by the French Regional Student Services Agency (Centre régional des œuvres universitaires et scolaires - CROUS), support for associations, exemption from payment of tuition fees for grant-holders, university medical and social staff and from the charge levied due to the deficit in the student social security system.

In 2013, this student support amounted to a total of almost €6 bn, compared with €3.5 bn in 1995, an increase of more than 65% at current prices and 28% at constant prices (table 03.03).

International comparisons published by the OECD of the support students receive show only grants and loans awarded by the State, which in France amounts to about €1.8 bn. Thus the ALS and APL, and also tax benefits, which represented €2.9 bn in 2013, are not taken into account in the OECD indicators. The amount used for these international comparisons therefore under-estimates the total amount of support that students in fact receive. If these benefits were taken into consideration under the heading of public support, in the same way as grants, then the share of aid provided by the State would rise from 8.0% to 19.7% (2011 data) of public spending on higher education (chart 03.04).

&

 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

How to cite this paper :

DAUPHIN Laurence, LANDREAU Aline. Social support for students. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 03, 16-17 [Accessed 05/24/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_03-social_support_for_students.php

close

Cite :   Share:          

Grants based on social criteria (Bourse sur critères sociaux - BCS) are awarded according to family income and outgoings. This support ranges from exemption from tuition fees and student social security contributions (grade 0) to the award of an annual sum of €5,500 (grade 7). In 2013-2014, two new grades were created: grade '0 bis' provides students from the lowest-income families on grade 0 with an annual award of €1,000; grade 7 is designed for students from families on the lowest incomes.

Since 2008-09, Merit aid has replaced grants based on university criteria and merit grants. This is an additional grant for students receiving a BCS (€1,800 for the academic year) who are entering higher education having passed their baccalauréat with honours, or who are starting a Master's course and have the best Bachelor's degree results.

Since 2008-2009, the National emergency aid fund has replaced the Single emergency allowance (Allocation unique d'aide d’urgence - AUAU) and study allowances.

Proportion of students receiving support relates to students enrolled in a university course for which a grant is available (mainly national diplomas leading to a Bachelor's or Master's degree and until the 6th year of health and medical studies), in STS, in CPGE, in engineering schools under the responsibility of the MENESR and in State-recognised business schools.

 

Key figures


Number of students receiving at least one form of support
664,675
 students receiving support
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-607-number_of_students_receiving_at_least_one_form_of_support.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of grant-holders based on social criteria
639,884
 grant-holders according to social criteria
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-608-number_of_grant_holders_based_on_social_criteria.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Amount of financial and social support for students
5,799 M
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-609-amount_of_financial_and_social_support_for_students.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP, DGFiP, National Family Allowance Fund
Share of university students receiving support
34.8%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-610-share_of_university_students_receiving_support.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Coverage: students enrolled in courses for which a grant is available
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Share of students in Advanced technician's sections (STS) receiving support
45.3%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-611-share_of_students_in_advanced_technician_s_sections_sts_receiving_support.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Coverage: students enrolled in courses for which a grant is available
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of students in classes preparing for admission to Grandes Écoles (CPGE) receiving support
27.9%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
See:   Embed:    Share:    
You can embeded this tile to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:
<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/CC-612-share_of_students_in_classes_preparing_for_admission_to_grandes_ecoles_cpge_receiving_support.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "03. social support for students".

Coverage: students enrolled in courses for which a grant is available
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

03.01a Trend in the number of students receiving direct financial support - by type of support

 
2000-01 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Social criteria grants 452,616 565,798 593,057 620,213 629,035 639,884
of which merit aid 20,815 23,344 25,332 26,617 30,821
University criteria grants 14,539 0 0 0 0 0
Merit grants 497 728 549 273 80 14
National emergency fund (one-off) 53,829 65,491 36,181 35,611 34,542
National emergency fund (annual) 7,521 7,508 5,822 5,636 5,413
Study allowances 8,090 0 0 0 0 0
Student loans 2,858 0 0 0 0 0
Number of students receiving at least one type of support 1 478,600 626,382 665,114 647,101 654,772 664,675
% of students concerned 28.6 35.8 37.5 36.1 35.1 34.8
Average amount received by a social criteria grant-holder (in euros) 2,320 2,500 2,569 2,666 2,701 2,800
 

Scope: grants based on social criteria (including AIE until 1999), grants based on university criteria (abolished in 2008), merit grants, study allowances (abolished in 2008), student loans (abolished in 2009), IUFM benefits (abolished in 1998), national emergency aid fund on a one-off or annual basis (introduced in 2008).
1 Several types of aid can be combined. In 2013-2014, 14,242 students received a social criteria grant plus occasional emergency aid and 936 received both types of emergency aid. However, it is not possible to combine a social criteria grant with annual emergency aid.

 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

You can embed this table to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

<iframe src="https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/illustration-EESR8EN_ES_03-0-trend_in_the_number_of_students_receiving_direct_financial_support_by_type_of_support.php" width="500px" height="700px" frameborder="0" id="EESR8EN_ES_03-0" scrolling="auto"></iframe>

close

Download:     Embed: <\>   Share:            

03.01b Trend in the number of students receiving direct financial support - by type of course 1

 
2000-01 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
University 335,187 407,445 2 441,304 460,261 465,690 474,558
% of students concerned 26.6 32.5 33.8 35.0 35.1 34.8
CPGE and STS 97,989 110,849 114,787 120,258 121,984 123,709
% of students concerned 35.7 37.8 39.2 41.2 40.6 40.8
of which CPGE 12,361 19,813 20,016 20,916 21,984 22,375
% of students concerned 17.1 25.0 25.7 26.9 27.7 27.9
of which STS 85,628 91,036 94,771 99,342 100,000 101,334
% of students concerned 42.4 42.6 44.1 46.3 45.2 45.3
 

Scope: grants based on social criteria (including special individual aid (Aide individuelle exceptionnelle - AIE) until 1999), grants based on university criteria (abolished in 2008), grants on merit, study allowances (abolished in 2008), student loans (abolished in 2009), teacher training college (Institut universitaire de formation des maîtres - IUFM) benefits (abolished in 1998), national emergency aid fund on a one-off or annual basis (introduced in 2008).
1 Grants based on social criteria, grants based on university criteria and grants awarded on merit.
2 In 2008 and 2009, students enrolled in IUFMs attached to a university were not counted. There were 13,422 grant-holders in IUFMs attached to universities in 2009-2010.

 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

You can embed this table to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

<iframe src="https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/illustration-EESR8EN_ES_03-1-trend_in_the_number_of_students_receiving_direct_financial_support_by_type_of_course_1.php" width="500px" height="700px" frameborder="0" id="EESR8EN_ES_03-1" scrolling="auto"></iframe>

close

Download:     Embed: <\>   Share:            

03.02 Trend in the proportion of students receiving grants by branch of study (%)

  
Universities
STS
CPGE
 
 

1 In 2009, students enrolled in IUFMs attached to a university were not counted. There were 13,422 grant-holders in IUFMs attached to universities in 2009-2010.

 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

You can embed this chart to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

<iframe src="https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/illustration-EESR8EN_ES_03-2-trend_in_the_proportion_of_students_receiving_grants_by_branch_of_study.php" width="500px" height="700px" frameborder="0" id="EESR8EN_ES_03-2" scrolling="auto"></iframe>

close

Download:     Embed: <\>   Share:            

03.03 Support for students (in €M, %)

 
1995 2013 Structure 2013 (%) Change 2013/1995 (%)
in current € in constant €
Central government budget aid [a] 2,062.4 3,846.0 66.3 +86.5 +44.5
Direct support 1,787.8 3,381.5 58.3 +89.1 +46.6
Grants and loans (programme 231 action 1) 927.7 1,843.7 31.8 +98.7 +54.0
Merit aid (programme 231 action 1) 1 47.7 0.8
Social housing benefit (ALS) 672.6 1,261.7 21.8 +87.6 +45.4
Personalised housing benefit (APL) - Share from central government 187.5 228.4 3.9 +21.8 -5.6
Indirect support 274.6 464.5 8.0 +69.2 +31.1
University support services 253.4 333.9 5.8 +31.8 +2.1
Support for associations and university medical staff 12.8 26.0 0.4 +103.4 +57.7
Compensation for tuition fee exemption by student grant-holders 2 8.4 104.6 1.8 +1,145.2 +865.0
Fiscal support from central government [b] 1,067.1 1,422.0 24.5 +33.3 +3.3
Increase in family quotient for children/students attached to parents' tax household 942.1 1,217.0 21.0 +29.2 +0.1
Tax reduction for tuition fees for children in higher education 125.0 205.0 3.5 +64.0 +27.1
Total central government support [a+b] 3,129.5 5,268.0 90.8 +68.3 +30.5
Payments by social security systems [c]
Contribution by different systems to funding student social security 375.1 515.2 8.9 +37.4 +6.4
Payments by universities [d]
Solidarity and development fund for student initiatives 6.1 16.2 0.3 +166.2 +106.3
Total other support [c+d] 381.2 531.4 9.2 +39.4 +8.0
Total overall [a+b+c+d] 3,510.7 5,799.5 100.0 +65.2 +28.0
 

1 Merit aid was introduced in 2008.
2 Within universities and engineering schools.

 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

You can embed this table to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

<iframe src="https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/illustration-EESR8EN_ES_03-3-support_for_students_in_em.php" width="500px" height="700px" frameborder="0" id="EESR8EN_ES_03-3" scrolling="auto"></iframe>

close

Download:     Embed: <\>   Share:            

03.04 Public support (loans and grants) for higher education as a % of public expenditure on higher education in 2011

AU
 
JP
US
SE
IT
 
FR 1
 
GB
DK
NL
ES
BE
 
  
Grants
Loans
 
 

On average in the OECD countries, public support (loans and grants) represents 19.6% of public expenditure on higher education.
1 For France, if housing and tax benefits were included, the share of central government aid would rise to 19.7% in 2011.

You can embed this chart to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

<iframe src="https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/illustration-EESR8EN_ES_03-4-public_support_loans_and_grants_for_higher_education_as_a_of_public_expenditure_on_higher_education_in_2011.php" width="500px" height="700px" frameborder="0" id="EESR8EN_ES_03-4" scrolling="auto"></iframe>

close

Download:     Embed: <\>   Share:            

Related statistical publication

 Tableaux statistiques 7192 - Statistics on grant-holders in higher education. Public and private sectors, 2013-2014. - Laurence Dauphin - November 2014
Summary tables: grants based on social criteria and merit grants: by education authority, sex and type of institution. Comparison 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. Detailed tables: grant-holders based on social criteria: by socio-occupational background and grade, by income bracket and number of points on hardship scale; grade. All grants: type of institution, year of study and type of grant. Based on social criteria: foreign students: type of institution, year of study and nationality; EU nationals: type of institution and nationality; French students abroad: by education authority and grade. In the appendix: course codes (AGLAE).

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
03 - social support for students - Elisabeth Algava & Aline Landreau
During 2015-16, 711,000 students received at least one form of financial aid, i.e. around 36% of the population concerned. Financial and social support for students reached nearly 6.1 billion euros in 2015, 61% of which was direct aid from the State [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
03 - social support for students - Elisabeth Algava & Aline Landreau
During 2014-2015, nearly 680,000 students received at least one form of financial aid, i.e. around 36% of the population concerned. Financial and social support for students reached nearly 6 billion euros in 2014, 60% of which was direct aid from the State [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
03 - l’aide sociale aux étudiants - Laurence Dauphin & Aline Landreau
À la rentrée 2013, le nombre d’étudiants aidés s’établit à plus de 660 000, soit environ 35 % des étudiants inscrits dans une formation ouvrant droit à bourse. Au total, l’aide financière et sociale en leur faveur atteint quasiment 6 milliards d’euros (Md€) en 2013, contre 3,5 Md€ en 1995 [Consult the following page in french]


Quick access

Share