Business schools: possible help with rising tuition fees

With tuition fees that seem destined to rise continuously, how do you attract young people from humble backgrounds? Sure, business schools have become experts in financial aid, scholarships, partnerships with banks to guarantee loans, etc. But some have revised their model more thoroughly, such as Essca Business School, which modulates tuition fees based on the household income of the student. student. A system that has already been imitated, as several schools have since imitated it.

Don’t censor yourself

The comparison is not so simple. “The financial aspect is an important element of social openness, but it is not the only one,” says Marie Courtois, director of the Student Experience at Essca. Giving every young person the opportunity to attend business school requires a relentless fight against self-censorship, she says. “This is the obstacle we face in each of the problems of access to higher education: young people from humble backgrounds, with disabilities, gender equality…”, notes the manager, well aware that “social openness cannot be proclaimed. It presupposes moving established representations”.

Information work

A sharp reduction in rates – in some cases to 0 euros at Essca – does not automatically lead to a change in image. You have to convince and that happens at orientation fairs, colleges, high schools… So many places where you meet brilliant students who never thought of going to a business school. Sometimes all a young person needs is a conversation to think, “Why not me?”.

The business school mobilizes itself at all levels to welcome these potential students who do not yet dare to do so. For young people with disabilities, Marie Courtois knows that “every situation, every personality is unique. We have a disability referent on each of our six campuses. Our mission is to convince that we know how to support regardless of the necessary arrangements,” she defends.

Cumulative Scholarships

For EM Strasbourg, welcoming a wide range of audiences is “both an opportunity and an obligation,” says Managing Director Herbert Castéran. The school enjoys a special status. Integrated in the University of Strasbourg and therefore public, it announces tuition that is lower than that of its competitors (€8,500 for a year of the Grande Ecole program). But if the costs for a family remain too high, it is possible to mobilize different levels of scholarships: those of the business school and those of the university. “With us, one in three students has a scholarship”, the school welcomes. It reflects the following objective: “If we have 4000 students, we want to help an average of 100 each year by offering them the equivalent of a year of schooling, all the help together.”

Still, the chief executive knows his teams will have to continue their work to deconstruct the elitist and overpriced image that persists. “Every young person with sufficient education can study with us”, summarizes Herbert Castéran. But this will have to be repeated.

Tuition is rising…as always

“There are the tools that are offered; Above all, there is the rise of the apprenticeship system, where students can take a course for free. But parallel to these two solutions, tuition fees continue to rise inexorably. According to Major Prépa’s site, which closely monitors price developments, business schools have doubled them on average in ten years. In the past five years, the acceleration has been even greater. The three top-ranked PGEs (Grande Ecole programmes, which last three years) – HEC, ESCP and Essec – have increased by 20% per year, bringing the full course to more than €50,000.

In the middle of the table, a more controlled rise

Then the evolution is slower (+4% per year on average). The costs are roughly correlated with the ranking of the branches: Audencia (8th in our list) charges €14,700 for a year of PGE, Toulouse BS (12th), €13,250, ICN Business School (15th), €11,400.

There are still a few schools whose annual price does not exceed €10,000 and are starting to become rare. Let’s call the ESC Clermont, just below this symbolic bar, or South Champagne BS, which asks 8800 €.

Two courses should remain slightly cheaper than their competitors, for a reason not due to their recognition, but to their status as public schools: IMT BS and EM Strasbourg. They will cost you €7,750 per year for the first, €8,500 for the second.

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