Press release on the updating of CROUS grants based on social criteria announced by the Minister of Higher Education and Research
Since October 2022, Union des Etudiants Exilés (UEE) has been participating in the consultation led by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (ESR) in the framework of the reform of student life.
During those months of consultation, we have made our recommendations regarding the material conditions of life and especially the issues related to CROUS grants on social criteria for exiled students.
On March 29, 2023, the Minister of ESR Sylvie Retailleau announced an update in CROUS scholarships based on social criteria. The announced measures will make it possible to integrate 35,000 additional scholarship holders and to move 140,000 others up to the next level.
In concrete terms, there will be an increase of nearly 20% in the budget allocated to these grants and the amounts of the grants will be raised by 37 euros for all levels.
We welcome this measure which represents an important step forward in improving the rights of students. Even if an increase of 37 euros per month is not particularly significant to live with dignity, it is nevertheless a step forward that will help exiled students, in particular, for whom the CROUS grant represents an indispensable aid and often their only resource.
Only refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (BPI) are entitled to CROUS grants based on social criteria. A refugee or BPI who does not work on the side, receives, like French scholarship students, a grant between €108.40 and €596.50 per month depending on the level.
Exiled people are often forced to work alongside their studies (and they do not have the possibility of receiving aid from their families) because the CROUS grant is often not enough, and this can affect the pursuit of their studies and their social integration into the university.
Asylum seekers and students without a valid residence permit are not entitled to CROUS scholarships based on social criteria, but only to exceptional aid granted by the universities.
It should also be noted that asylum seekers have the right to work only after 6 months from the filing of the asylum application and for a period of 9 months only .
Asylum seekers receive the ADA (Allocation pour Demandeur d’Asile) for the duration of their asylum application, which corresponds to an amount of €6.80 or €14.20 (If they do not have a place in accommodation) per day for a single person .
The accumulation of different aids (ADA, RSA, CROUS scholarship…) is not possible at the moment, which would represent an efficient solution for exiled students to have dignified living and studying conditions.
Exiled people are particularly exposed to precariousness which does not allow them to live with dignity nor to be in the best conditions to study, especially in Ile-de-France where the cost of living is very high. Many students, especially those in the regions of Paris, whom we welcome during our permanent office hours, testify of their difficulties to survive with only the CROUS grant. Some of them have even had to abandon their studies due to a lack of resources.
The UEE’s recommendations
Union des Etudiants Exilés has been advocating for years for an increase in financial aid, particularly CROUS scholarships based on social criteria, to enable students to cope with precariousness, particularly the difficulty of finding housing and/or paying the rent.
The measure announced by the government represents a step forward but it would be important to further improve the CROUS grants on social criteria.
We ask for unhindered access to CROUS scholarships on social criteria for exiled persons, in particular for asylum seekers registered at the university, until the decision of the CNDA. Therefore, we ask for the modification of the Circular of June 23, 2021, regarding the modalities of attribution of higher education grants on social criteria in order to widen the access to CROUS social rights to asylum seekers.
We also recommend:
- That CROUS grants and the ADA be combine at full rate.
- For exiled people who do not have access to scholarships, and who would have the RSA as their only resource, it is necessary to make students’ status and eligibility for the RSA compatible.
- That Exiled students become a priority from the first phase of the allocation of student accommodations.
 Réfugiés : votre vie étudiante | Étudiant.gouv (etudiant.gouv.fr)
 Code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile : articles L554-1 à L554-4 – Access to the job market
 The amount increases according to the number of dependents (e.g. up to 17.60 euro/day for a family of two).
 En quoi consiste l’allocation pour demandeur d’asile (Ada) ? | Service-public.fr