Maëlle’s life only depends on three small points. Those forgiven by the Crous who appreciate that the 7800 km that separate them from their parents is worth 100 euros. For this new school year, this 4th year student at Sciences-po will only see this amount on her scholarship notification.
If she normally reserves her sobs for calls to her mother, on Monday November 1st she decided to show her tears. In an ultra-shared video on TikTok, she denounces her situation and that of thousands of students, especially those from overseas.
Maëlle was unaware of the financial difficulties involved in integrating the renowned institution. “When I was younger, every time I wanted to go on a school trip, I had to pay for it myself. I figured I should do the same at Sciences-po. She approaches the Crous for a scholarship. Then the roller coaster ride begins: after a first year in level 4, in which she receives 400 euros and help from Sciences-po, she crashes to level 1 in the second year, before returning to level 3 in the third year.
“I ended up in the hospital”
“I started working alongside my studies. Aside from being the year of Covid-19, it was very tough. I taught remotely from my room. A camera that has suffered hundreds of students who, like Maëlle, were stuck thousands of kilometers from loved ones. An internship is added to this overloaded timetable in the second semester. If he fascinates the young woman, he exhausts her even more. “I was overworked and ended up in the hospital because of deficiency symptoms,” she recalls.
This year the shock is even harder. Maëlle becomes “0 to” and can only claim charging points set up for students studying very far from where they live. The reason ? Her parents, a civil servant and an unemployed father, saw an increase in income when they arrived in Mayotte two years ago. “My parents received financial support because of the high cost of living. I appeal to tell the Crous that they are making mistakes in their calculations,” Maëlle stormed.
In reality, the organism does not err. “Our services contacted Maëlle to ensure that her file did not contain any anomalies,” explains Clément Cadoret, deputy director general of the National Center for University and School Work (CNOUS). The regulations are national and uniform throughout the territory. The income limits are the same for parents in mainland France and in the DOM-TOMs. »
Different economic situations between mainland France and overseas
However, the economic situation there is very different. According to the competition authority, the difference between prices on the mainland and in Mayotte was 6.9% in 2019. With inflation, prices continue to rise there.
“Life is more expensive and the unemployment rate is much higher than in mainland France. Some students can only rely on the grant to live on, but that’s not enough,” laments Jean-Marie Bargot, director of the Solidarité DOM-TOM association. “Of 180 students surveyed, 90% have a living of between 10 and 50 euros at the end of the month,” he explains.
14,000 euros collected
This issue could quickly come to the table of the government, which has launched consultations for reform. Among the titles is the territorialization of the stock market. The union La Fage calls for geographical criteria and amounts to be determined on the basis of these criteria. “We will see how we can improve the system. We would not have launched this consultation if we thought everything was going well, “replies the Ministry of Higher Education, which recalls that the government has increased its support for these students.
In the meantime, some young people can count on Maëlle’s help. She’s used to the numbers dropping, but she’s seen things skyrocket: the number of subscribers to her page, the views and comments under her video. But also the Euros, on a kitten put up by a netizen in response to his distress.
“I didn’t think that so many people would drop out of their studies,” the young girl blows. I want us to stop hiding and normalizing this uncertainty. “Maëlle will keep part of the 14,000 euros collected and donate the rest to clubs. So that the lives of other students no longer depend on a few numbers.