Published on: 14 March 2023
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All You Need to Know About Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students
When you are a student, budgeting can be a big challenge. Depending on your situation, it may not be possible for you to continue living with your family. So you may be forced to live alone which entails considerable expenses.
Besides those who are supported by their parents, some students choose to take out loans to cover their expenses. Others opt for student employment in order to have additional income alongside their studies. This is a common solution but it can be hard to combine with your schooling depending on your pace. Finally, depending on your situation and that of your parents, you may be eligible for scholarships and/or government aid.
Studapart brings you up-to-date with the different educational grants and financial aid opportunities available during your higher education studies.
How to Manage Your Student Budget?
Managing your budget can be a tedious exercise for a young student. Just out of your family home, you will have to be able to organize yourself to ensure your new everyday life according to your finances.
You can start by making a list of your fixed expenses:
- Rent and bills
- Transportation subscription
- Grocery budget
Also make a point on your fixed incomes:
- Student loan
- Parents' pension
Subtracting your monthly expenses from your contributions, you'll have a more precise idea of the monthly budget you need to live on and thus the possibility of putting in place solutions to assume it for the duration of your studies.
To keep an eye on your finances, you can use an Excel spreadsheet with which to do your accounts regularly in order to avoid surprises. You should also make sure to save money as much as possible in case of hard times or to treat yourself with occasional expenses so that you can enjoy your life as a student (student nights out, drinks with friends, activities, school trips, etc.). There are also various very well made apps that you can even connect to your account to manage and optimize your budget according to your habits. You will find them easily on the various download platforms.
What Scholarships are Available for Students?
There are many grants and subsidies offered by different organizations. You may be eligible under certain conditions and in consideration of your personal situation.
The Higher Education Scholarship based on Social Criteria (BCS)
Are you a young or future student facing financial and material difficulties in order to pursue your higher education? You may be eligible for the BCS. This grant is an additional aid received by your family.
To obtain it, several criteria are taken into account:
- You must be pursuing full-time initial training in France or Europe, in a public or private accredited establishment
- You must be less than 28 years old at the time of your first scholarship application and hold a French baccalaureate or equivalent
- The total amount of your income should not exceed a certain amount.
The Regional Scholarship
The regional scholarship is a financial aid intended to help students in higher education. It is paid by the regional council to eligible members, residents of the region. Like the BCS, it is awarded on the basis of social criteria. Its amount is calculated in view of the income and resources of the household.
The Departmental Scholarship
The Departmental scholarship is awarded by the departmental council with the aim of helping students in the department to continue their studies. This grant is cumulative with national and municipal grants depending on your personal situation.
The Municipal Scholarship
The Municipal scholarship is awarded to students by the mayor of the city where they reside and according to criteria defined by the territorial authority. These criteria vary from one city to another. The City of Dijon, for example, grants its municipal grant to Dijon students:
- Residents for at least 3 years in the territory,
- Enrolled in an educational institution of the metropolitan area,
- Engaged in associative missions at least 12 hours per year,
- With modest resources
You can benefit from this scholarship in addition to your regional, departmental and municipal scholarships.
The Excellence Scholarship
The Excellence Scholarship is intended for foreign students. Each year, 800 pre-selected students based on their records and results are supported by the regional budget for 5 years to pursue their studies in France.
The ERASMUS Scholarship
Some students choose to take part in the ERASMUS+ program to experience a foreign exchange, whether it be an academic experience, pursuing one semester or one year at a university in another country; or a professional experience through an internship. Within this experience, the ERASMUS Grant may be awarded to you to finance your travel within the European Union and your life on site. The amount of this grant is determined based on your project and destination country.
In France, there are many private foundations that aim to encourage and help young people to receive training in their field of action: it can be national, regional, attached to a certain field, etc.
For example, if you are a medical student, you could be eligible for the Doctor Alexandre and Sonia Feigenbaum scholarship. If you have a project to start up after your studies, you could receive the ATI Foundation Scholarship. If you have an artistic or cultural project, you could be helped by the Charles Oulmont Foundation. There is a wide variety of them, whatever your field of study may be.
What Financial Aids Are Available for Students?
In addition to scholarships, national, regional, departmental and municipal financial aids are also set up for students.
Check with the relevant bodies and your local authorities to see if you are eligible and, if so, make the request.
International Mobility Assistance
If you wish to have an international experience during your studies, in the context of a university year abroad through an exchange program or internship, you may be eligible for international mobility assistance. To benefit from it, you must have a BSC or a specific annual aid and prepare a higher education degree recognized by the State.
The national merit aid is added to the BSC and is intended for the most meritorious students, that is to say those with the best grades at the baccalaureate. You will be eligible if you have obtained the "very good" mention at your baccalaureate or if you have already received this aid in the previous year. It is paid in addition, without any application from you and according to your file.
Emergency Aid is given to students in severe financial distress. It is granted and personalized based on your personal situation. It can be paid regularly or on an ad-hoc basis depending on the context. To receive it, you must be under the age of 35, unless you are recognized as disabled, and enrolled in an initial higher education course.
Diversity Allocation for the Public Service
Renowned Talent Scholarship since 2021, this merit aid aims to support the most deserving candidates in order to prepare and apply for certain public service competitions. The amount and criteria for awarding vary whether you are a student or not of a “Talent Prep” class.
This scholarship is reserved for meritorious, motivated and resource-poor students. Please contact the pedagogical referent of your institution to apply for it.
Housing benefits are awarded by the Family Allocation Fund (CAF) depending on your situation and resources. To get them, you must reside in a dwelling that is approved by the state and register on the dedicated website. Their amount will be calculated according to your personal situation. Be sure to read our article to learn what housing benefits are.
Other local aid may be put in place by public and private structures. Some municipalities, departments or regions choose to dedicate part of their budget to encourage students to develop the local economy. Check with your city hall or another collective.
The CROUS is a social actor that helps students to find housing through the allocation of housing at moderate rents and whose amount in euros is adapted to each situation. After registering with this organism, your file will be studied and housing solutions may be proposed to you.