Grants from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research

How the Higher Education grants are attributed :

AGE CONDITIONS Students must be under the age of 28 on the 1st of September of the university year of the first grant request made. From the age of 28 onwards, grantholding students must not interrupt their studies if they wish to continue receiving a grant. No age limit is applied to a student with a disability which is recognized by the commission of rights and autonomy of disabled persons (CDAPH).

PRIOR QUALIFICATIONS   The candidate must have proof of having passed the ‘baccalaureat’ diploma (French final school-leaving certification) or of a recognized equivalent title. This condition does not apply for the award of a grant for admission to the second year of higher education.  

CONDITIONS CONCERNING NATIONALITY The grant awards on social criteria of the Ministry of National Education and of Higher Education and Research are reserved:

  • for French students,
  • for Andorran students educated in French,
  • for foreign students possessing the nationality of one of the Member States of the European Union or another State which is part of the European Economic Zone or the Swiss Confederation, so long as they fulfill one of the following conditions:
    •  to have previously held a job in France, full time or part-time. This activity must by verifiably true and have been either waged or non-waged.
    •  to show proof that one of their parents or a legal guardian has gained income in France, or can testify to a certain degree of integration into French society. The degree of integration is assessed notably through the length of stay in France (one year minimum), of schooling undertaken in France or of family ties in France. These conditions are not however applicable if the student can provide verifiable evidence of 5 years of uninterrupted residence in France.
  • for foreign students benefitting from refugee or stateless status, recognized by OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons).
  • For foreign students domiciled in France for at least two years and who are part of a taxable household (through father, mother or legal guardian) situated in France for the previous two years at least.


To benefit from a higher education grant based on social criteria, the student must be enrolled in an initial training programme, in France or in a member state of the Council of Europe, in a public or private institution of higher education and in a recognized programme to receive grant-holders. The student moreover must be in an authorized full-time programme.

Please note: Students in an Institute of Nurse Training, or a School of Trainiong for Social Work, specialized education and physiotherapy come under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and should therefore contact their Regional Council or their own institution to obtain a grant. Students in an ISAB, agricultural school, or veterinary school should contact the ministry of Agriculture. But they can apply for a housing grant by filling in a DSE.


The resources taken into account are in the majority of cases the income (revenu fiscal) which figures in the tax notification (avis d’imposition) of the family, to which should be added, where relevant, income gained abroad. The resources taken into account in the French system are those of 2016 for the university year 2017-2018, with certain exceptions including the expenses incurred by the student and his or her family.


  • Civil service internships, those occupying public positions of the State, local or regional government or public hospital officer, either in active service, on leave of absence with or without pay;
  • Persons enrolled with ‘Pole Emploi’ (state employment agency) for seeking employment, or those benefitting from social integration or job-retraining schemes. N.B. This category does not include those receiving a grant for teacher training redeployment (emploi d’avenir professeur) ;
  • Persons who are remunerated under apprenticeship or professionalization schemes or individual training schemes.
  • Students following foreign language improvement courses in a foreign country
  • Students having successfully passed entrance examinations (in medicine, pharmacy or odontology);
  • Persons receiving a retirement pension.

FURTHER CONDITION FOR GRANT AWARD : Regular attendance at courses is required for full-time regular students and also for students enrolled in ‘CNED’ (national distance learning centre)

In application of the provisions of decree n°51-445 of 16 April 1951, students receiving a grant must be enrolled and in regular attendance of courses, including all assigned practical work and work placements/internships which are an integral part of the training programme. Similarly, in the case of distance learning schemes, the student must be enrolled and fulfilling all activities and assignments required by the scheme.

This obligation applies to all students on all schemes, requiring the student’s presence at classes or the distance-learning schemes. In the case of distance learning, the CNED considers that regular participation is achieved when the student completes 75% of the work assignments due during the training period.

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