Description of statistics: Statistics on financial aid for students

Produced by: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Web page: Statistics on financial aid for students

The student financial aid statistics offer information about publicly funded financial assistance for students. They analyse the recipients of and expenditure on student financial aid from different perspectives. They also contain information on meal subsidies for higher-education students, student loans, interest assistance for student loans, student loan compensation, student loan tax deductions, and the government loan guarantees to support adult education.

Data content

Recipients of student financIal aid and financial aid paid out, average amount of financial aid, meal subsidies paid and the number of meals subsidised, recipients of interest assistance and assistance paid out, number of financial aid months used, government guarantees for student loans awarded by Kela, volume of student loan debt, persons with outstanding student loan debt, persons having taken out a student loan, recipients of the student loan tax deduction and deductions awarded, and recipients of the student loan compensations and compensations awarded.

Classifications used

Level of educational institution, level of education and general regional and demographic classifications.

Data collection methods and data sources

The financial aid statistics are compiled from individual-level datasets, which are based on benefit databases created in the course of providing student financial aid.

Updating frequency

Published monthly, once per calendar year and once per academic year.

Time of completion or release

Statistics are usually made available in the Kelasto statistical database within four weeks of the end of the reference period. Statistics on students loans are finalised during the academic term following the reference period. A publication containing statistics on benefits for students provided by Kela comes out by the mid-way point of the academic year following the reference year (in Finnish and Swedish). More exact publication dates can be found in the release calendar.

Time series

The principal statistical units used are for the most part comparable from academic year 1977/1978 onwards.

Since the academic year 2000/2001, recipients of student financial aid include persons to whom Kela during the statistical reference period made regular or retroactive payments of financial aid or who were granted a government guarantee for a student loan. In the academic years 1997/1998 and 1999/2000 recipients also included persons who returned payments of financial aid during the reference period.

Since 1 August 2011 government guarantees for student loans have been automatically awarded to higher-education students in receipt of a study grant.

Up to the year 2011 and the academic year 2011/2012, loan data were compiled based on the period of interest payment. In addition to data based on the period of interest payment, banks provide Kela with end-of-year and end-of-academic-year data on student loans. Starting with the statistics for the academic year 2012/2013, the data on student loans are based on the figures for the end of the year and the end of the academic year.

Payments of the study grant have (since 1 January 2018) included a provider supplement and (since 1 August 2020) a supplementary allowance for the purchase of study materials. The latter is also available to non-recipients of the study grant.


Statistics (data), social benefits for students, students, student financial aid, student loans, interest assistance, student loan tax deduction, student loan compensation, meal subsidy, adult education allowance.

Additional information