Mar 2nd, 2022, 08:00 AM

Is There Financial Support from AUP Administration for COVID-19 Testing?

By Chandler Sumpter Gillyard
Image credit: Unsplash/Mika Baumeister
Image credit: Unsplash/Mika Baumeister
Students have concerns about the rising prices of testing despite accessibility in Paris.

After two years of the global pandemic and three waves of variants, the AUP student body vocalizes COVID testing support from administration amidst rising prices and financial burden from the process of testing. From pharmacy walk-ins to self-testing, those concerned about contracting COVID-19 can regularly test with easy access but with increasing prices for coronavirus testing, students wonder what steps AUP administration can take to support them. 

Academic institutions around the world have taken extra preventative measures to ensure the safety of their students and the outer community. In the United States, public and private universities have installed regular testing mandates and opportunities for their communities. Considering the efficacy of the vaccine in France, as well as the relatively low exposure rates on campus (as of last semester), it would make sense that the administration would strive to continue this trend by helping students access testing without financial worry.

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Pricing for testing has increased in the last few months for those who do not possess a Carte Vitale. PCR tests go for around 50 euros while antigen tests can be anywhere from 25 to 45 euros. There is supposed to be government regulation surrounding the pricing of these tests, but depending on the testing center, and area of the city you’ll find different results.

“I usually just get a pack of take-home tests for 40 euros instead of regularly testing… for students on a tight budget it makes it difficult to test when you need to. The self-tests, while not as reliable are vastly cheaper, two packs of ten for 40 euros is still less than two tests at a center,” said AUP student Melissa Dodo Garba.

Image credit: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

According to the French guidelines, testing should be conducted under these circumstances: a contact case, incomplete vaccination cycle, or the appearance of symptoms.

On-campus, there have been minimal cases of COVID, however, those concerned about testing have many questions about possible clinics or testing coverage. AUP's Vice President for Security, Operations, and Student Services, Marc Monthéard, advised that potential clinics on campus would only happen in the case of an absolute emergency like AUP having a COVID cluster.

“It is hard to create a testing clinic on campus where it is mainly privatized by the French health authorities," said Montheard. "Unlike in America, where there is individualized freedom in what universities can and cannot do concerning COVID, France has instated specific protocols for schools. The reliance here is on the state, pharmacies, and protocol, there are no individualized decisions."

Options for Getting Tested 

  1. Get a prescription from a doctor or health official.

The health insurance that AUP provides for students, MSH, reimburses COVID tests if they were prescribed by a doctor but not on their own. This is a good option if you aren’t in a dire need of a test and don’t want to pay but it can get a bit tedious

  1. Carte Vitale

If you are here for the long haul there are many reasons why you should apply for the Carte Vitale process but for visiting students this option isn’t viable. With the Carte Vitale, you can get reimbursed for all health-related things within five days. Simple, quick, and easy.

  1. Pay the fee

If you are ineligible for the former options, this is the only way. But the bright side is that with the ever-changing COVID regulations, testing is minimally required so unless you need it (ex; travel, exposure, etc) you don’t have to test.

Image credit: Unsplash/Jakayla Toney  

In the future there might be a solution to the rising prices of testing or a scenario where a testing clinic is an option on campus, but for now, it doesn't seem that the administration will be conducting any plans of providing AUP students with financial support for COVID testing.