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In order to get financial aid, you must make satisfactory progress with your studies. Your progress is regarded as satisfactory if your period of full-time study does not substantially exceed the standard study time for your course of study.
If you do not make satisfactory progress, Kela can make your financial aid payable for a specified period of time only or stop payment altogether. Financial aid can be recovered by Kela if it is discovered that your study progress has been particularly slow and if it is evident that you never intended to study at all.
For more information, see Study progress in higher education.
Reasons for not being granted financial aid
Your application for student financial aid may be denied if you have not made sufficient progress in your studies, and
- payment of financial aid has been stopped, and you have not made sufficient progress after this
- your financial aid has been changed to be paid for a specified period of time, and you have not during that period or thereafter made sufficient progress, or
- payment of financial aid has been stopped due to some other reason, and you have not, during the months for which you received financial aid or thereafter, made sufficient progress.
You can be denied financial aid on the basis of insufficient study progress only after first having studied for at least one academic year and received financial aid. The number of months for which you have received financial aid is of no relevance.
Study progress in secondary education
If you are in secondary education, your school will monitor your study progress. Your progress is regarded as satisfactory if your period of full-time study does not substantially exceed the standard study time for your course of study. The period of eligibility for financial aid is 4 months if you are studying for a basic vocational qualification or you attend upper secondary school.
If your school discovers that you are not making sufficient progress, it will notify Kela. Kela will then send you a reminder or a request for information about your studies. If you receive a request for information, you should reply to it and state why you are falling behind with your studies. You can continue to get financial aid if your progress was slowed because of an acceptable reason.
Such acceptable reasons are for example the illness of a close relative or an otherwise difficult life situation. Not making sufficient progress because of the COVID-19 epidemic is accepted as well.
Kela stops paying you financial aid if
- you do not reply to a request for information
- you do not provide an acceptable reason for falling behind with your studies.
If Kela stops paying you financial aid, you may get it back if you, after the aid was discontinued, have earned enough credits in order to be able to complete your studies within the standard financial aid period.
Kela may also require that you complete a given amount of studies in a specified period of time. In that case Kela will make your financial aid payable for a specified period of time only. If you complete the required studies within the specified period, Kela may resume paying your financial aid. You must file a new application for financial aid.
Kela may also require you to pay back financial aid if it is discovered that your study progress has been particularly slow and if it is evident that you never intended to study at all.
If you begin an entirely new course of study, you can usually get financial aid even if you did not make satisfactory progress with an earlier course of study.
For more detailed information on the procedures involved in monitoring study progress, please contact your school or Kela.
Social assistance is a form of last-resort financial support
If all your earnings and assets and other social security benefits that you have been granted are not enough to cover your necessary everyday living expenses, you can apply for basic social assistance from Kela.