More and more students are falling into precariousness

Around a thousand students wait to receive a food parcel, in Lille, September 4, 2023.

A student sleeping in his car, in Dunkirk (North). Another who cannot find accommodation in Angers. A third who steals a tray of chicken from a supermarket in Paris. The start of the academic year is most alarming, report student organizations as a whole, who say they are already in great demand to help precarious young people.

It only took a few minutes for the distribution of 500 food packages from the Cop1 association to be sold out, Place du Panthéon, in Paris, on September 8. “The association has existed for three years, we said to ourselves that it wasn’t supposed to last… But the situation is getting worse”notes Benjamin Flohic, its president.

Cop1 publishes on Tuesday September 12 its survey carried out by the IFOP among of two samples of nearly 800 students each: one, made up of the only beneficiaries of the association’s meal baskets, the other, representative of the student population. It starkly illuminates a phenomenon of impoverishment among a portion of young people: 36% of students regularly deprive themselves of a meal due to lack of money, and 58% of young people registered for food distributions are in this case.

Read the survey (December 2022): Article reserved for our subscribers Faced with inflation, the difficult daily life of students: “I defy anyone to live on 12.50 euros per week! »

“The student population has experienced two very complicated periodsrecalls Mr. Flohic. The first, which justified the creation of our association, during successive confinements which caused students to lose their odd jobs and their parents to lose their jobs. There was then a small lull, and here is the second period, that of the inflationary spiral. »

61% have given up heating

Among Cop1 beneficiaries, 55% have already been overdrawn, 33% have less than 50 euros to end the month once rent and charges have been paid. And 61% gave up heating last winter, compared to 39% in the rest of the student population. “More than 70% of the students who come to us are not on scholarships. The subject of scholarships is indeed at the center of all discussions, because this aid is no longer calibrated at all”insists Benjamin Flohic.

Also read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers Student scholarships: the general education inspectorate proposes a revolution in the system

“When food distributions are already being prepared in September, we know that the year is going to be very difficult. In 2022, certain operations have attracted up to 1,000 students »relates Eléonore Schmitt, spokesperson for the Student Union union. “There is the tip of the iceberg, that is to say students who combine a job and their studies, and who, for some, will give up on university after six months. And there is the submerged part, which we do not see, with high school graduates who give up on entering higher education due to lack of financial means.underlines Félix Sosso, spokesperson for the Federation of General Student Associations (FAGE).

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