Students may be eligible for a student loan compensation or student loan tax deduction if their studies have been delayed due to the coronavirus epidemic

Students may be entitled to a student loan compensation or tax deduction if they have completed their degree outside of the target time because of the coronavirus epidemic.

If a student can show that they have been unable to complete all of the study units required for the degree because of the coronavirus epidemic, they will not lose their eligibility for student loan compensation or tax deduction. This change in requirements applies to students who have completed a higher education degree in 2021 or later. In order for a student to retain their entitlement to the compensation or tax deduction, the studies must not be delayed by more than one academic year.

Students whose graduation was delayed because of the coronavirus epidemic can request a review of their case

Kela will send a preliminary decision to students who have graduated in 2021 and who have exceeded the target time to qualify for the student loan compensation or tax deduction. The decision will state that the student loan compensation or tax deduction has been denied. Students who have graduated in the spring term of 2021 will receive their preliminary decisions in October–November 2021.

Students whose graduation was delayed because of the epidemic can ask Kela to review their case. In the request for review, the student must explain how the coronavirus epidemic has affected the completion of the study units required for the degree and thus delayed their studies. The reasons for the delay can be related to for instance

  • the study arrangements
  • the health or general life situation of the student or a family member of the student
  • travel restrictions
  • other recommendations by authorities.

Students may be eligible for a student loan compensation even if the start of their studies has been postponed

Kela may take into account delays caused by the coronavirus epidemic also in the case of students who have postponed the start of their first higher education studies because of the epidemic. This applies to, for example, students whose first admission to a degree programme is for a programme scheduled to begin in the autumn term of 2020 or later, but who due to the coronavirus epidemic have postponed the start of their studies.

If a student attends a Finnish institution of higher education and at the start of their studies has registered as non-attending due to the coronavirus epidemic, the period of study is, for purposes of the student loan compensation, considered to begin on the first day of the first term for which the student is registered as attending.

If a student attends a foreign institution of higher education and has postponed the start of their studies due to the coronavirus epidemic, the period of study is, for the purposes of the student loan compensation, considered to begin on the first day of the term during which the student actually starts their studies.

The changes made to the Finnish Act on Student Financial Aid are aimed at preventing students in higher education from losing their eligibility for student loan compensation or tax deduction if they take longer to complete their degrees because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The changes to the Act will take effect on 1 August 2021. The amendment also applies to students who have graduated in the spring term of 2021.

Edited on 30/6/2021. The following information was deleted: The legislative amendment has been approved by Parliament and is currently awaiting confirmation by the President.

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