Scholarship, small job, work-study… how to finance your degree?

Few students have weeks as busy as Mohamed’s. Originally from Vitry-sur-Seine, he wanted to go to business school. “For me it meant achieving a certain social status. Furthermore, I was curious to discover all these new materials,” explains the young man. He joined ESC Clermont Business School last September. Previously, he found rental accommodation through his uncle, who lives in Clermont-Ferrand and works in real estate.

At the beginning of the school year, he also applied for a scholarship at the school which was granted. Is this enough to pay a tuition fee of 7,900 euros per year and extracurricular life? Mohamed laughs: “No, we are far from it! But it helps me a lot, in addition to my work,” says the young first year.

Because beyond classes, Mohamed works. A lot: between 20 and 30 hours a week, as an employee in a kebab restaurant. “I can adapt the schedules to my school schedule,” she explains. The student does not consider this volume of hours insurmountable.

A good dose of courage

“Nothing is impossible, it is the will that does everything!” I come from Vitry-sur-Seine, I have seven brothers and sisters and yes: I am here,” says Mohamed. At these tuition rates, ESC Clermont Business School is one of the least expensive schools. Its bachelor’s degree costs, for example, half that of ESCP Business School (15,600 euros per year) and is below other schools such as Iéseg (11,390 euros) or even Montpellier Business School (9,700 euros).

However, the amount to be paid de facto excludes a large number of young people. To make the note more digestible, there are several means. Let us first mention the Crous scholarships (Regional Centers for University and School Work), awarded according to social criteria. Depending on the economic situation of the student’s home, they are classified into eight levels, ranging from 0 bis (the minimum) to 7. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the amounts assigned range between 1,454 and 6,335 euros. These can increase further (up to 7,602 euros) under certain conditions, if the subsidy is received during the summer holidays.

Crous aid is calculated according to a series of criteria that range from the composition of the student’s home to the distance that separates his or her education from the family home. To know exactly how much you will receive, the Crous website proposes a simulation: https:/simulateur.lescrous.fr/. Warning: now is the time to take care of it! Application files for the year 2024-2025 must be submitted between March 1 and May 31.

Other forms of scholarships are possible, awarded by the schools themselves or through their foundation. To these you can add measures such as the APL (Personalized Housing Assistance), which will relieve you of part of the rent. Or more specific aid: merit aid (for those who obtained “Very Good” in high school), mobility aid (if you change geographical sector), specific aid to face economic difficulties, etc. The range of solutions is quite wide.

“We want tuition fees to not be a barrier for any student who wants to join us”

Depending on the school, the issue of tuition fees is not addressed in the same way. At the IMT (Institut Mines Télécom) business school in Évry, for example, scholarship students, regardless of their level, do not pay tuition fees. This represents more than one in two students. For non-investors, it is still one of the cheapest on the market (about 7,000 euros per year). “We want tuition fees not to be an obstacle for any student who wants to join us,” explains Herbert Castéran, director of IMT BS. This is possible thanks to the rather special status of the establishment: it is public. Like another important management school, EM Strasbourg, integrated into the university.

Some private groups are trying to move the lines. For several years now, Essca Business School has implemented a modulation of its tuition fees based on family income. Prices are now divided into thirteen sections, the last of which corresponds to a total exemption. This system applies to the first two years, with the third being an apprenticeship.

The learning solution

But this is probably the easiest way to avoid paying tuition fees, even at the most expensive schools. Although she was eligible for Crous scholarships, Manon renounced them and opted for this system: apprenticeship and scholarships based on social criteria cannot be combined. But few singles offer it from the first year. Istec Business School, in Paris, does it. “In addition, the school sent me a document at the beginning of the school year with a lot of useful information about the aid to which I could be entitled, in terms of accommodation, computer equipment, etc. », lists Manon.

Although she lived an hour and a half from Paris, the young woman had to move, which is not easy, with an apprentice’s income. But she Manon found a solution that she recommends: intergenerational housing. “I live with a lovely 75-year-old lady, who was alone in her apartment,” explains the Istec student. For her room in the center of the V district, she pays a rent of 587 euros per month, from which just over 200 euros of APL remains. “This financial balance suits me very well. And beyond this aspect, I advise everyone to do work-study training, it’s great,” says Manon.

In Clermont-Ferrand, Mohamed also plans to become an apprentice. But he will only be able to do it in the third year. In the meantime, you have to work, keep juggling classes, pending projects, and the sandwich shop. If the young man values ​​his new city as much as his school, he admits: “When I get home at night, I go straight to sleep. »It is not difficult for us to believe it.

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