According to reports from Fage and UNEF, the main student organizations in France, the cost of student life will be higher for the year 2020-2021. With the health crisis, a whole new sector of expenditure has been created, since each student will spend a minimum of 32 euros per month to be able to hide, according to the estimate of the Fage.

For students who will return to higher education in September, the next few weeks are written in dotted lines. Resume dates, distance or face-to-face courses: many of them still have no certainty about the health protocols that will be applied at the time of the coronavirus. One thing is certain: in 2020-2021, the cost of living will be higher than in 2019-2020, according to reports from the two main student unions, UNEF and FAGE.

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The masks will cost more than 230 euros per year for each student

The coronavirus will have a major impact on the start of the school year, according to the first federation of students in France. Because the Fage estimates at 32 euros minimum per month the cost of the masks for a student and already anticipates health problems with young people who would use their masks several days in a row, because they cannot afford to buy new ones. The same goes for the UNEF, which estimates the cost of the mask at 230 euros per year. 

The situation is such that several politicians are now asking that the masks be free for students and the most vulnerable. The demand dates from the start of the crisis for the left, but faced with the publication of these figures, the right could also demand free protective masks. "The cost of masks harshly penalizes the most vulnerable populations. To guarantee its equal access to all and the generalization of its use I call for its free", tweeted Monday the deputy LR Eric Ciotti. 

The cost of masks severely penalizes the most vulnerable populations.

To guarantee its equal access to all and the generalization of its use I call for its free

- Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) August 17, 2020

"Every year, we see an increase in the cost of housing"

Especially since these expenses related to the health crisis will be added to other student expenses, with a back-to-school cost which amounts to 2,361 euros for this start-up, according to Fage. Students see their budgets weighed down by rents (69% of the monthly student budget) and transport. According to the UNEF report, the average rent goes from 522 euros per month to 535 euros (+ 2.41%). "Each year, we see an increase in the cost of housing small surfaces in the private sector and it becomes quite worrying since we have very strong increases", explains at the microphone of Europe 1 Mélanie Luce, president of the student union, who quotes in particular Lyon (5% increase in rents) and Bordeaux (4%). "It really hurts the situation of students in these cities," she laments. 

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If the increase in transport prices is not significant, less than 0.5%, the union emphasizes "high prices" at more than 300 euros for the annual subscription in several cities (Paris, Rennes, Lyon, Lille ...). In addition, Lyon, Lille, Brest and Bordeaux are the four cities which accumulate increases in rents and transport, points out Unef.