Maximum period of eligibility for financial aid

The maximum period of eligibility for financiaid is different in higher education and secondary education. Also the number of months of aid you can get in a single school year varies depending on your school. Kela grants financial aid based on the periods of study reported by schools.

If a course of study is interrupted during the academic year with the result that there are fewer than 18 active days of study in a given calendar month, you cannot get financial aid for that month. However, this does not apply to the Christmas break if it does not exceed 24 calendar days.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Higher education

For higher education you can normally get 9 months of financial aid per academic year. The months of aid are usually September to May. However, you can get financial aid for a longer period if you for example study during the  summer.

If you attend a university of applied sciences and you begin your course of study in the spring term you can get financial assistance for the first month of study if there are at least 18 days of active study in that month.

The 18-day rule also applies to other than degree-oriented studies with fixed start and end dates. They include, for example, preparatory studies and continuing vocational training. Your can get financial aid for the first and last month of study only if there are at least 18 days of active study in the month in question.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Vocational education

In vocational education (i.e., other than upper secondary school or higher education), the number of months of financial aid available during the academic year depends on the period of study. You can get financial aid for calendar months in which there are at least 18 days of active study.

  • Financial aid is available for the first month of study in the school year if the first day of study is in the first half of the month with the result that there are at least 18 days of active study in that month.
  • Financial aid is available for the last month of study in the school year if the last day of study is the 18th day of the month or later.

Example 1

The period of study in the school year is 12 August to 31 May. There are 20 active days of study in August (12 August - 31 August), which means that financial aid is available for that month. Financial aid can be paid from the beginning of August until the end of May.

Example 2

The period of study in the school year is 15 August to 14 June. There are 17 active days of study in August (15 August - 31 August), which means that financial aid is not available for that month. There are 14 active days of study in June (1 June - 14 June), which means that financial aid is not available for that month either. Financial aid can be paid from the beginning of September until the end of May.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Upper secondary school

You can get financial aid for study in an upper secondary school for 9 months per school year. The months of aid are usually September to May.

If you complete the matriculation examination in the autumn, you can get financial aid starting from August if instruction begins on 14 August or earlier. Apply for additional financial aid for the month of August by the end of August. Eligibility for financial aid usually ends in November.

Study during the summer months

You can get financial aid also during the summer if you pursue degree-oriented studies on a full-time basis.  The summer is normally considered to consist of June, July and August. You can get financial aid for attending lectures, tests, job training or working on a thesis, among other things.

If you are in upper secondary you cannot normally get financial aid in the summer. If you are in secondary education but not in upper secondary school, you can get financial aid in the summer if

  • you study full-time in order to complete a degree or a course of study
  • the extent of study is on average at least 4.5 credit points or 3 credit units per month of study and there are at least 18 calendar days of study in each month for which you seek financial aid.
  • If you are in higher education, you can get financial aid if you study full-time in order to complete a degree as specified by the financial aid committee of your university.

Usually this means that you must earn at least 5 credits per month of study.

The academic progress requirements which apply in the summer are averaged out over the entire summer. You need not make the specified amount of progress in each month for which you receive financial aid. You can make up for any deficit in another month. The main thing is that you study in each month for which you receive financial aid and that the amount of credits you earn is sufficient.

Please note the study progress in higher education

Kela checks study progress in higher education every year in October. The check focuses on the entire preceding academic year (1 August - 31 July). Credits earned in August count towards the next academic year's study progress.

How to apply financial aid for the summer months

  1. Apply online for financial aid for the summer months. Log in to Kela's online customer service using your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate.
  2. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet .
  3. Enclose with the application a study plan for the summer months.
  4. If you are in secondary education, enclose with the application a certificate from your school.

Alternatively you can complete and print out a notification of change for financial aid (OT 15). The paper application and the necessary supporting documents can be mailed to Kela.

Remember to apply for financial for the summer in good time. The earliest you can get financial aid is the beginning of the month in which your application arrives.

If you cannot study in the summer and you do not have a summer job, you can apply to Kela for basic social assistance.

Last modified 19/10/2017
Updated 25/04/2016