Study in France: Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Not only does France offer a top-tier education, but the tuition fees at public universities are also comparatively affordable. Citizens and permanent residents of EEA countries and Switzerland can pursue their studies tuition-free, with only a nominal immatriculation charge of approximately 200 euros per year. However, students from non-European countries will be required to pay around 3,000 to 4,000 euros per year at public universities. Private universities generally have higher fees, reaching up to 20,000 euros annually. For a comprehensive understanding of tuition fees in France, refer to our detailed guide.

Despite the higher living costs, tuition fees remain reasonable for both European and non-European students. European students are expected to pay only 170 EUR per year for a Bachelor’s degree, 243 EUR for a Master’s, and 380 EUR for a Doctorate, or 610 EUR at engineering schools.

Non-European international students can benefit from the French state covering two-thirds of their tuition fees. To qualify for this reduction, you must demonstrate that you are not permanently residing in France, and your school must fall under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation. In this case, you would only be required to pay 2,770 EUR per year for a Bachelor’s degree, 3,770 for a Master’s, and 380 EUR for a Doctorate.

Private institutions, on the other hand, have significantly higher tuition fees, ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 EUR per academic year. This also holds true for prestigious Grande écoles, where tuition fees in France vary between 450 to 1,100 EUR per year.

Scholarship Opportunities in France

France offers a range of scholarships annually for students aspiring to pursue academic studies in the country, provided by the French government and the Erasmus+ program. To begin your search for the right scholarship, visit the Campus Bourses website, where you can access comprehensive information about scholarships available to international students. Waste no time and apply for popular scholarships as early as possible!

The French Foreign Ministry collaborates with numerous organizations and European programs to offer a diverse array of scholarships. The Ministry of Higher Education also grants scholarships based on specific eligibility criteria.

Erasmus+ scholarships have proven instrumental in supporting over two million students and serve as a valuable means to finance your studies. Particularly for Master's and Doctorate programs, consider exploring the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program.

To find detailed information about the scholarships available in France, reach out to your nearest French Consulate or Embassy. Alternatively, explore the official websites of the institutions and programs that align with your interests.

Financial Assistance for International Students

Scholarships are accessible to students lacking the financial means to pursue their studies in France. Here are several opportunities available:

  1. Over 10,000 French government scholarships and internships were awarded by embassies in 2019. These grants cover tuition fees, and interested individuals can apply through the respective embassy department.
  2. As part of the tuition fee reform, embassies offer 14,000 tuition fee exemptions to non-European students, particularly those from North and sub-Saharan Africa. Applications for these exemptions can be submitted through the Campus France profile.
  3. Schools and universities have the authority to establish bilateral agreements with foreign institutions, allowing international students to pay fees equivalent to those of European students. These agreements must be reciprocal in nature.
  4. Institutions may also provide tuition fee exemptions based on their international strategies, ensuring that recipients do not exceed 10% of the total enrolled student population.
  5. Additional tuition fee exemptions are available for refugees, individuals under subsidiary protection, asylum seekers, and long-term residents of France, along with their children, spouses, partners, etc.

Living Expenses in France

Living in a captivating country like France can be a delightful experience, but it comes with a relatively high cost, especially in its desirable capital, Paris. The cost of living in France varies based on the region and the type of accommodation you seek.

University Tuition Fees in France
For European students enrolling in public higher education institutions in France, the government substantially covers tuition costs. The approximate annual fees are as follows:

  • €170 for Bachelor's programs
  • €243 for Master's programs
  • €380 for Doctoral programs
  • €601 for engineering schools

Non-European students are subject to different tuition fees if:

  • It's their first enrollment for a Bachelor's, Master's, or engineering program
  • They are within a higher education establishment under MESRI (The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation)
  • They are not permanently settled in France

The state covers two-thirds of the cost, and students pay:

  • €2,770 per year for Bachelor's programs
  • €3,770 per year for Master's programs

Doctoral fees remain the same for non-EU students.

Rent Costs (Student Housing and Private Accommodation)

Whether you opt for student housing or private rentals, the cost of living in France can vary based on your choice of location. Some less expensive areas include Creuse, Metz, Versailles, and Montpellier.

Student Housing Options:
1. University residence halls managed by CROUS (Centre régional des œuvres universitaires et scolaires):
  - Paris: €400 per month
  - Other cities in France: €200 on average per month
  - Eligible for housing assistance from CAF (France’s family assistance fund)

Application process for CROUS housing depends on whether you're a free mover, in an Erasmus+ program, or on a scholarship managed by Campus France.

2. Student residences owned and managed by private companies:
  - Higher prices than CROUS but offer furnished rooms, amenities, and interactions with students.
  - Websites include Fac-Habitat, Studea, Les Estudines, Suitetudes, Accueil, Lokaviz, Student Factory, Kley, Neoresid, Cardinal Campus, etc.

3. Private apartments and shared rentals:
  - Studio costs around €800 in Paris and €400 in other cities.
  - Websites: SeLoger, Lodgis, Le Bon Coin, Homelike, Appartager, Roomlala, etc.

4. Living with a family or elderly resident:
  - A cost-effective option, some families may offer reduced rent or free stay in exchange for assistance.
  - Consider intergenerational housing where students stay with older residents for modest or free rent.

Tax Costs for Working Students

  • Income from a student under 26 is tax-free up to €4,618 (2019 income).
  • Students with a contrat d’apprentissage are tax-free up to €18,255 (2019 income).
  • Excess income beyond these thresholds needs to be declared.

The most popular accommodation options for students in France are:

University Residence Halls: These student residences are managed by France’s regional centers for student services known as CROUS. They are publicly owned and are a top affordable accommodation choice among international students. Rooms in Paris are around 400 EUR and for other cities around 200 EUR.  

Student Residences managed by private companies: Getting student accommodation through CROUS can be competitive. If you are not able to get a room there, then private student residences should be your next option. They are a bit more expensive than CROUS but provide a range of advantages and facilities.

Private Apartments: Renting a studio apartment is another option if you want to live alone. However, the cost is much higher and you would be expected to pay around 800 EUR for an apartment in Paris and 400 EUR in other cities. 

Shared Apartments: Living costs can be significantly reduced if you decide to live in a shared apartment. Splitting the rent and utilities will save you a lot of money. Plus, you will be able to make new friends!

Living with a French family/Elderly resident: A very popular option in France is to live with a French family. There are families who provide lower or even free rent in exchange for assistance around the house. Is there a better way to practice French and immerse yourself in the French culture?

The living cost in France depends mostly on the city you choose to study in and, of course, your lifestyle. Studying in Paris would cost you more than in a smaller student city. On average, groceries will cost you maximum 400 EUR per month, internet connection 26 EUR per month, electricity below 50 EUR and health insurance 25 EUR per month. In any case, don’t forget to make use of your student discounts in transportation, sightseeing and eating expenses. In addition, CROUS, except accommodation, provides restaurants where you can eat for less than 5 EUR. How cool is that? 

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