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Extension of the period of eligibility for financial aid

If you were unable to complete your degree within the maximum period of eligibility for financial aid, it may be possible to get an extension of up to 9 months to your financial aid.

The extension is available only if you can show that your progress was slowed by an illness or another particularly good reason. Acceptable reasons include, for instance, difficult circumstances, such as 

  • divorce or end of cohabitation
  • accident
  • falling victim to a crime
  • illness or death of someone close to you
  • the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic
    • Describe in your application in what way the coronavirus epidemic caused delays to your studies.

Acceptable reasons also include difficulties with the practical arrangements pertaining to your studies if these difficulties prevented you from taking or completing your courses. This refers to situations where, for instance 

  • instruction/teaching was not offered
  • two or more compulsory courses were held at the same time
  • a compulsory course has been offered only infrequently and you have not been able to complete the course on any previous occasion due to reasons beyond your control.

However, an extension cannot be granted on the grounds that you are choosing to earn more credits than is required for your degree. The following circumstances do not constitute grounds for an extension either:

  • studying for more than one degree
  • discontinuation of previous studies
  • employment
  • active participation in a student organisation
  • leisure activities
  • changing your line of study 

Nevertheless, an extension may be granted if you have changed your line of study due to illness, injury or some other good reason. When the extension is granted, it does not matter how far along you are to completing your studies.

You cannot get an extension if you have already used up your entire maximum period of eligibility of either 70, 64 or 54 months of financial aid.

An extension is not available for completing a post-graduate degree in sciences or arts or an advanced vocational qualification.

If your maximum period of eligibility for financial aid was extended earlier, but you have used less than 9 months of the extension, you can apply to use the remaining extension for the same or another course of study in higher education.

How to apply for an extension to financial aid

  1. Apply online for an extension to financial aid. Log in to Kela's e-service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your bank ID or a mobile ID.
  • your own explanation of the reason why your studies have made slow progress and on how the reason has affected your studies and over what time period. 
  • a medical statement or an extract from MyKanta (for example a photograph or a screenshot) if your studies are delayed due to health reasons. Log in to MyKanta via kanta.fi.
  • some other official certificate (if possible) if the slow progress of your studies is caused by difficult life circumstances, such as someone close to you falling ill or becoming victim to a crime.
  • proof from your education institution, stating that there have been difficulties in arranging studies
  • If relevant, an explanation stating in what way the coronavirus epidemic caused delays in your studies. You can describe the situation in your own words.

Alternatively you can complete and print out a notification of changes form OT 15e (PDF). The paper application and the necessary supporting documents can be mailed to Kela.

You should apply for an extension when your maximum eligibility for financial aid is about to end. The earliest you can get financial aid is the beginning of the month in which your application arrived.

A written decision on your application will be sent to you by post. You can also view the decision in the OmaKela e-service.

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Last modified 22/4/2021

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