Learning in France: which scholarships are you entitled to?

For young exiles, studying in France can be expensive. Lack of resources can derail your academic career, and even threaten your graduation. To help them day to day, there are scholarships, awarded according to their status. InfoMigrants takes stock.

A few minutes before the baccalaureate results were announced, Jonathan was anxious. Even though the lycée formed in Brittany had, a month earlier, obtained a favorable opinion on its 25 wishes on the Parcoursup platform. To no real surprise, he finally earned the “very good” mention for his degree in Science and Techniques of Engineering and Sustainable Development (STI2D), and very good marks in philosophy, 17/20, and in the oral exam, 20/20. .

An exemplary career for this young man from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who arrived in France only in 2019, who had not been educated in college. His results even earned him, a few days ago, receiving the medal from the Academy of Rennes with great fanfare.

However, Jonathan’s future is threatened. Having reached the age of majority this year, the bachelor is still waiting for the issuance of the residence permit by the city hall. Without this precious sesame, it is much more difficult for him to get the help he needs to finance his studies at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Lyon.

But some scholarships remain affordable. If you are a student and, like the young Congolese, you need funds to continue your studies, here are the funds you can apply for depending on your status.

1/ The scholarship based on social criteria

Profiles involved: refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, persons with a residence permit and Ukrainian refugees (Ukrainian nationals) with temporary protection.

Children of refugees who arrived in France through the family reunification process are not eligible for this scholarship.

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Issued by the Regional Centers for University and School Work (Crous), the scholarship based on social criteria is “given to students with material difficulties that do not allow them to enter or continue higher education. Ministry.

It is granted to any foreign student under the age of 28, whose tax domicile has been domiciled in France for at least two years.

To apply, you must create your Student Social Form (DSE) on the portal www.messervices.etudiant.gouv.fr from January 15th to May 15th of the last year, to return to an educational establishment. October. You can also do it on this website of the Ministry of Higher Education, if you don’t come directly from high school. You can, at the same time, apply for accommodation in a student residence.

It is the addition of your school certificate, issued by the institution where you will study, which will trigger the first payment. It’s not up to you: this certificate is automatically sent to Crous by your institution of record.

Your rights, in case of a positive answer:

– Payment, at the beginning of each month, of a stipend in the amount fixed by level

– Exemption from university tuition fees

– Exemption from the Contribution of Vie Étudiante et de Campus (CVEC), a type of tax levied annually by Crous. Corresponds to 95 euros for the academic year 2022/2023

– Priority in the allocation of student accommodation at Crous de Paris

– The 1 euro meal at the university restaurants on Crous

In return, you must also respect certain obligations. For example, you must be diligent in classes, practical or guided work and mandatory internships, turn in homework and take exams.

In particular, training institutions carry out an attendance check every six months. They then send the lists of non-regular students to Crous, who may decide to suspend payment of the scholarship and/or ask for a refund. If you ever have to miss a class or an assessment, you must present proof of your absence to the relevant office at your institution.

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To supplement your finances, you can absolutely have a job in parallel with your studies or while on vacation. On the other hand, you will have to remain assiduous in the courses and not enroll in Pôle Emploi.

Please note that Crous grants are retroactive. If, for example, you apply for this aid three months after the start of the school year, the three months prior to your application will be paid to you. You can use up to 7 scholarship entitlements in total during your higher education. The degree course, as well as any other course with a duration less than or equal to BAC+3, cannot give rise to more than 5 grant entitlements.

A little more : if you have obtained the mention “very good” in the baccalaureate, you will be able to receive, in addition to the scholarship based on social criteria, a grant based on merit. This will be assigned to you after completing your DSE. The final decision to award merit-based grants is made by the dean of the host academy. You will then be notified and paid in nine monthly installments of 100 euros.

2/ The annual allowance

Profiles involved: people under the age of 35 who are eligible for the grant on social grounds, but who find themselves in an even more precarious situation due to their isolation: the student no longer benefits from material support from their parents, is in a broken family, or is raised by a family member (aunt, uncle, grandparents). “This isolation situation must be attested by a social assessment”, she specifies. The annual scholarship offers higher payment amounts than the scholarship.

For students with disabilities recognized by the Commission on the Rights and Autonomy of Persons with Disabilities, there is no age limit.

To benefit from the annual allowance, you must also apply here through the student’s social file (DSE), where you will explain your particular situation. A committee will decide whether you are eligible or not.

Your rights, in case of a positive answer:

– The annual allowance will then be paid from September to June, in 10 monthly installments. Its value corresponds to scholarship levels based on social criteria.

– Exemption from university tuition fees

– Exemption from the Contribution of Vie Étudiante et de Campus (CVEC)

Your duties? The same required by the scholarship in social criteria, in particular attendance.

A new annual allowance can be awarded the following year under the same conditions and within the limit of the total number of entitlements awarded to higher education grants based on social criteria.

Heads up : Specific annual aid cannot be combined with a grant based on social criteria. On the other hand, it can be combined with grants for international mobility, one-off grants and merit-based grants.

3/ Occasional help

The punctual emergency help “allows you to take into account new and unpredictable situations that arise during the academic year, explains the website of the Ministry of Higher Education. These situations, due to their seriousness, require that help be punctual to allow the student to continue their studies”. They are, like the annual allowance, certified by a social assessment.

Profiles involved: all foreign students. Refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, persons with a residence permit, asylum seekers or undocumented students.

To benefit from this emergency allowance, you must directly contact the Crous social service that your establishment depends on. You will not be able to start the process online.

Once your file has been compiled, a committee meets to review your request, which was sent to you anonymously. If necessary, a preliminary interview can take place with a Crous social worker. It allows you to assess your general situation, particularly in relation to your university career and the difficulties you encounter.

For Rudi Osman, founder of the Union of Exiled Students, this procedure is not the most appropriate for the students in question. “When you have big money problems, it’s hard to talk about it openly with someone who doesn’t know you or your history. And proving your motivation can be hard too,” he adds. The daily life of an undocumented student is exhausting, so sometimes there is a lack of energy, which can rightly be translated as a lack of motivation”.

Documents proving your expenses may also be requested.

Here again, says Rudi Osman, “theThe procedure is disconnected from the reality experienced daily by exiles. Many undocumented students who pay their rent informally do not have receipts. To feed themselves, these people – like many asylum seekers – go to the Restos du Coeur, or benefit from donations from associations and individuals. How, then, do you prove it to the Commission?”

After reviewing the case, the Commission issues a notice of granting or refusing to grant aid and proposes an amount to the director of Crous, who decides on the final amount of aid.

This will be paid in one go. The maximum amount of one-off aid corresponds to the annual amount of Tier 2 grants based on social criteria, ie €2,597 paid over ten months. If several one-off aids are granted during the same academic year, their cumulative amount cannot exceed 5,194 euros.

4/ The Foundation de France grant

This grant is awarded as part of the free contest “Déclics Jeunes”, organized annually by the Foundation. For the 2022 edition, entries for the competition were open from December 1, 2021 to February 2, 2022.

Profiles in question : all foreign students, regardless of their status. They must be over 18 and under 30, reside in France and demonstrate a good knowledge of the French language. Above all, this aid is intended for those who “want to carry out an original project in the service of a cause of general interest”.

To participate, applicants must connect to the Fondation de France scholarship application platform to complete an application file. You must explain your project in detail, according to your studies, and add two signed letters of recommendation. These projects must be related to the areas of ecology, solidarity or digital transition. “Special attention will be given to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds or with a difficult life path”, specifies the Fondation de France.

The decision is then submitted to a Selection Committee that designates 20 winners, notified by email.

This year, Armel won this scholarship. His digital project – the Ivorian student now has more than 250,000 subscribers on Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram – convinced the Fondation de France, which paid him 1,700 euros. A welcome help for the young exile, who managed to buy a computer to develop his young career as a comedian on social media. “That money, he says, also helped me pay my rent and buy food.”

Useful contact:

You can call 0 806 000 278, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. A consultant will advise you of the support or assistance that can be provided to you and how to request it from your CROUS.

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