The cost of the start of the 2021 school year for students on the rise, according to FAGE

Driven in particular by the cost of sanitary masks, the cost of starting the school year increased in 2021 for each student by 1.32%, to 2,392 euros on average, said the Federation of General Student Associations (FAGE) in its annual barometer, published this Monday.

“We are seeing an increase in operating costs despite all the measures that may have been put in place during the Covid-19 health crisis,” FAGE President Paul Mayaux said during a press conference.

According to the cost indicator for going back to school published by the organization, the monthly current expenditure of students will remain practically stable during the academic year, at 1,132 euros (+ 0.09%) in the regions and 1,351 euros in Ile- de-France. (+ 0.68%). The specific costs linked to the beginning of the school year (tuition, insurance, real estate agency fees, etc.) fell slightly by 0.31%, to 1,164 euros on average. “This is explained by the merger of complementary health insurance that has lowered its price,” explained Anniela Lamnaouar, vice president in charge of social affairs.

“Accommodation is still the number one expense for students,” underlined Paul Mayaux, with an average cost of 500 euros per month in the regions and 674 euros in Ile-de-France. To cover their needs, almost one in two students is in a paid activity, the organization recalled. Faced with student precariousness, the FAGE sought to establish a student reentry subsidy (ARE) for the amount of 275 euros, the generalization of rent supervision or the reimbursement of consultations with the psychologist.

FAGE also advocates a “linearization” of grants – paid according to parents’ income – in order to “end the discriminatory tier system.” Such reform “would add 300,000 people to the current one million scholarship holders, out of a total of 2.7 million students.” “If tomorrow, we do not have a strong act, which is the AER or the extension of scholarships, we will be in one of the only five-year periods where there will not have been a strong gesture for the students at the end of their term,” stressed the president of the FAGE.

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On Sunday, the Unef union had estimated the annual fall in aid paid by the state since the start of Emmanuel Macron’s term at almost 40 euros per student, while the cost of student living has increased by more than 10 % in the same period. In a press release published on Monday, the Ministry of Education underlines “its strong commitment to student life” in the form of “3.3 billion euros for social assistance.” Among other measures adopted for this start of the school year, recalls the freezing of enrollment or the 1% increase in scholarships.

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