How to calculate housing assistance for a student (APL)?

Personalized housing assistance (APL) allows everyone, and in particular students, to receive an allowance that helps reduce housing costs. It is very easy to request it.


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Housing Assistance

There are a large number of financial aids for students. Some are institutionalized, such as the APL (personalized housing assistance) or CROUS student grants, others are more ad hoc, such as state aid decided by the government for specific situations, such as the current crisis. sanitary. To establish your budget, it is best to stick to the regular aids that we describe to you here.


What are the housing benefits for students?


 In the field of housing, the APL is accessible to any tenant of an apartment or a house that is approved, that is to say recognized by the CAF, family allowance fund, to be eligible for the 'APL. The owner or the lessor must have taken the step in this direction. Do not hesitate to ask him for the supporting documents.


As the APL is intended for people with low resources, students are of course concerned, and very often eligible because of their low income. There is also a student APL that we discuss later in this article.


Students can claim other housing subsidies such as the ALF (family housing assistance) which student tenants with a dependent can claim, or the ALS (social housing allowance), which the student can receive if ever the accommodation he occupies is not approved. Each of these social assistance can be requested from CAF on its website.


As a reminder, know that the ALF is the oldest allowance distributed in France since it was created in 1948 to help families who could no longer keep up with the increase in rents. In 1948, in fact, a new law gave rental companies complete freedom to set the amount of their rental, although this had until then been strictly regulated. The rents had suddenly become much more expensive. The other two allowances are more recent: The ALS was created in 1971, again to combat the housing crisis, and the APL, finally, was created in 1977. The latter is today the most important allowance. used.


What is the Student APL? Definition


The student APL is not much different from the classic APL. In both cases, the calculation is made according to the amount of the rent, the number of dependents occupying the accommodation and the salaries that the occupant may receive. Only the student's income is taken into account, that of the parents is ignored. On the other hand, if your parents pay real estate wealth tax, you cannot claim the APL.


What are the conditions for benefiting from the student APL?


The conditions to be met to benefit from the APL (including the student APL) are quite simple:

  • you must be a tenant, or co-tenant (or even a sub-tenant),
  • you have to pay rent (it doesn't work if you stay free),
  • you must not be over 30 years old,
  • the accommodation must be your main residence (you must reside there for at least eight months in the year),
  • the accommodation must be approved: the landlord must have signed an agreement allowing the tenant to benefit from the APL,
  • the accommodation must be located on French territory,
  • the accommodation must not belong to a member of your family (parents, spouse, etc.),
  • housing must be considered decent: living space equal to or greater than nine square meters, access to drinking water, heating, ventilation, etc.
  • you must be in a regular situation (rental contract in due form)


If you already receive student grants and / or live in a university residence, you can apply for housing assistance, one does not prevent the other. You can also claim the APL if you are subletting. For example, if you rent a room with someone over sixty or with a disability, you will be able to earn the APL. And the person you are helping, if they are a tenant, can also benefit from the APL.


Please note, the student APL payment always stops in June. If you have decided to keep your accommodation for the summer, and even later for a new academic year, you must report this to CAF as soon as possible. Just log on to the site to make this statement. You will be sure to receive the APL in July and August.
Another important point to take into account: as soon as you perceive the APL, CAF no longer considers you a dependent child for your parents. It can have an impact if they ever receive benefits from you.


How do I apply for an APL?


Am I entitled to APL? The question often arises as soon as we hear about this housing assistance. The best way to find out if you are eligible or not is ... to apply.


To apply for an APL, simply go to the CAF website and complete your online application. If you are not a CAF beneficiary, your registration will be done automatically at the same time as your request for an allowance.


You will be asked for your contact details (last name, first name, email address, telephone number), the address of your accommodation, the contact details of the landlord, the type of rental (single, shared accommodation, etc.), the number of people in the housing, marital status, information on your income, etc.


You will have three documents to provide:

  • an identity document (identity card, passport, residence permit if you are a foreigner),
  • the rental certificate that you have requested from the landlord or owner,
  • your RIB, bank identity statement of the account where you want your APL to be paid.


If you are staying in a university residence, you may be asked to make your APL request through the head of the establishment. He will send your file to CAF.


We advise you never to delay in making your APL request. The first monthly payment only comes after two months, which is a very long time. Also, if you do it late, there is no retroactive effect. We therefore advise you to enter your APL request from the first day you settle in your student accommodation.


How to do a simulation of the Student APL?


How much could I get if I applied for APL? You will easily find sites on the internet that offer you a simulation that will let you know if you can benefit from the APL.


We advise you to preferably use the simulator offered by CAF, since it is the reference organization and you will have to go there to make the APL request. You can also use the simulator on the government site The other sites that offer an APL simulation are not necessarily up to date on the calculation bases and above all, we do not always know what they do with your personal data. Be careful !


Doing an APL simulation on the CAF website only takes you five minutes. You will be asked if you live alone or with a partner, if you have dependents, if you are possibly pregnant. Information will be requested about the accommodation: its postal code, whether it is furnished or not, how you occupy it (alone or with a roommate), whether it is an agreed accommodation (i.e. meeting the standards to be eligible for the APL), etc.


You will also be asked for your net taxable resources over the last twelve months. Previously, the APL was calculated on income received two years earlier, which caused a significant gap between the allowance and the current situation. Since January 2021, the calculation has been made over the last twelve rolling months.


Have you finished your APL simulation? Please note: keep in mind that the number the simulator will give you will only be an estimate. The exact amount will be given to you during the effective APL request, where you will have to enter more precise elements than on the simulation, in particular the allowances from which you can benefit and some real costs.


How much is the APL for a student?


The amount of the APL is calculated according to the person's situation in their accommodation: is they alone? does she live as a couple? does she have a dependent? how many more people are in the apartment or house? In addition, the amount is determined according to the geographical location of the accommodation: there is a rate for Paris and Île de France (zone 1), a rate for towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants (zone 2) and a rate for the smallest localities (zone 3).



Zone 1

(Paris, île-de-France)

Zone 2

(City > 100.000 hab)

Zone 3


Single Person €296,82 €258,59 €242,46
Couple €357,99 €316,64 €293,92
Couple with dependent person €404,60 €356,30 €329,56
Additional people +€58,70 +€51,86 +€47,23



The amounts shown in the table above are those in effect on September 25, 2020. We deliver them to you for information only, knowing that they change over time (without one direction or the other). We remember that in 2017, the new government applied a sharp drop in the APL and then a freeze for two years. As the elections approach, the trend has reversed. A slight increase is announced for October 1, 2021.

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