French university fees to rise: what rates for 2024-2025 study year?

Sign-up fees will rise for first time since 2020, but discount meal costs remain the same

A photo of a student from behind, wearing their university graduation cap
Most students will pay around €10 more per year to attend university in France

Fees for students at French universities are to increase by 2.9% at the beginning of the 2024-2025 academic year, the ministry of education confirmed.

There will be increases to both sign-up fees (frais d’inscription) and the Contribution de vie étudiante et de campus (CVEC), which helps universities fund certain activities on campus to improve student experience. 

It is the first time fees have increased since 2020, when they were frozen across the board to help students during the cost of living crisis spurred on by Covid-19. 

The rises are tied to the monthly consumer price index for goods (excluding tobacco), to keep costs in line with inflation increases.

Sign-up fees will go up to: 

  • €175 per year for an undergraduate, an increase of €5
  • €250 per year for a master’s, an increase of €7
  • €391 per year for a PhD, an increase of €11

The CVEC will increase from €100 to €103.

Meals at the Crous (university restaurants) will remain frozen at the same cost however – €1 for students in financial difficulty, and €3.30 for all others. 

Note these fees are paid by French and EU students. International students from outside of the EU have to pay significantly higher fees.

International students who are not studying as part of a cultural exchange programme or a scholarship must pay around €2,770 per year for an undergraduate course, or €3,770 for a master’s.

Read more: Visas for France 2024: is there an option for young workers?

Fee rises are ‘moderate’

The ministry called the rises “very moderate… in relation to the real cost of these courses and state expenditure” during an interview with student media L’Etudiant

“Despite this indexation, the cost of enrolling at university has fallen sharply compared with 2017,” it added. 

In 2017, registration fees were higher (€184 per year for an undergraduate), and social security contributions, averaging €217, had to be paid. 

These contributions were cancelled and replaced with the CVEC, alongside a lowering of fees. 

Although students must pay these registration and administration fees, these are the main costs for students (unless they move into on-campus accommodation, etc). 

Unlike in the UK and US, however, where students often take out tuition loans to pay for education, the low cost of these fees means students and their families must pay these costs from their own pocket, unless the student is on a scholarship of some kind.

University culture is also different in that many students live at home and study at a local university, as opposed to leaving home to study, which is more common in the UK and US.

Read more: Why are private schools so affordable in France compared to the UK?