How to apply for financial aid

  1. Apply for financial aid online. Log in to Kela's online customer service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your bank ID or a mobile ID.
  2. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet.
  3. You can use Kela's online service to see whether you application has been decided and the amount you will receive.
  4. Kela will send you a written decision about the financial aid. If you are under 18, Kela will communicate the decision also to your legal guardian.
  5. If you live and study in Finland, check if you can get general housing allowance. It must be claimed separately.

Alternatively you can complete fill in and print an application for financial aid and mail it to Kela or hand it in at your school.

  • If you are in secondary education, complete the application for financial aid (OT 1e) intended for students of vocational institutes, upper secondary schools and folk high schools.
  • If you are in higher education, complete the application for financial aid (OT 2e) for students of universities and universities of applied sciences.
  • If you are completing a degree abroad, compete the application for financial aid (OT 3e) for students completing a degree abroad.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you can either apply for financial aid yourself or your legal guardian can do it on your behalf. You can also complete and sign the application together. However, your legal guardian cannot file an online application through Kela’s online customer service on your behalf. Although you are minor, you may be able to get your own online bank ID and password or a mobile ID, which will allow you sign in to Kela’s online customer service. You should agree this with your guardian and with your bank or telecommunications service provider.
  • If you wish to apply for a loan guarantee for adult students, complete the form titled Aikuiskoulutustukeen liittyvä opintolainan valtiontakaushakemus (OT 12 available in Finnish and Swedish only). Submit your application to any Kela office or citizen service centre or append it to the application for adult education allowance you submit to the Education Fund.
  • If you are a permanent resident of the Åland Islands, apply to Ålands arbetskrafts- och studieservicemyndighet for financial aid.

If you are in higher education and receive a study grant, you will automatically be given a government loan guarantee for a student loan. If you are in secondary education, you can apply for a loan guarantee at the same time when you apply for a study grant. Once you have been given a loan guarantee, you can apply for a student loan at a bank of your choice.

Applications from university students are usually handled by the financial aid committee of the university. Your application will be reviewed by Kela if you are student of any of the following educational institutions:

  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Lapland
  • National Defence University
  • University of Oulu
  • University of the Arts
  • University of Tampere
  • University of Vaasa.

When to apply and what to enclose with your application

Apply for financial aid when you have gained admission to a school. Kela is notified of admissions to Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences as well as to upper secondary school and institutes of vocational education that participate in the joint application system. If you attend one of these schools, you can apply for financial aid as soon as your school shows up on the precompleted online application for financial aid.

The earliest that you can get financial aid is the beginning of the month of application. However, you can make additions to your application later on for example by sending supporting documentation.

Check the online customer service to see if your application for financial aid must be accompanied by supporting documents. The necessary documents are also listed on the paper application form. Applications for financial aid usually do not require any supporting documentation.

Example

A student wishes to receive financial aid starting from September. Her application must reach the school or Kela by 30 September. If she mails her application on 30 September but it arrives on 1 October, financial aid can be granted from the beginning of October.

Apply for the entire course of study at the same time. That way financial aid will continue to paid automatically for example after the summer break.

If you have applied for a benefit that disqualifies you for financial aid, wait for a decision on that application. If your application is turned down, you can get financial aid from the beginning of the month in which you applied for the disqualifying benefit. Apply for financial aid as soon as you have received a decision on the disqualifying benefit, or in any case within 6 months.

Report changes

Remember to report all changes in your circumstances to Kela so that benefits can be paid to correctly. The payment of benefits is affected by such things as leaving your course of study, moving away from your parent, or receiving some other social benefit. You can report changes through our online customer service, by phone or in person at any Kela office.

Additional information

Last modified 25/07/2017
Updated 25/04/2016