Eligibility for financial aid
You are eligible if
- and the total duration of your studies is at least two months
- you are in need of financial assistance.
You can get financial aid also for , if they correspond to a course of study in Finland that would qualify you for financial aid or are part of a course of study you are completing in Finland.
With this calculator you can check whether you are eligible for student financial aid and estimate the amount of the student financial aid. The calculator is available .
Institutions of higher education comprise universities, universities of applied sciences, the National Defence University and the Police University College. You can get financial aid in the following situations:
- You are studying for a bachelor's or master's level university degree or a post-graduate degree in a scientific field or in the arts or an advanced vocational qualification.
- You are completing a bachelor's or master's level degree at a university of applied sciences.
- You are attending studies aimed at preparing immigrants for studies at universities of applied sciences.
- You attend a separate programme of continuing vocational education.
You can get financial aid for studies in the open university or in the summer university if you have the right to pursue a degree in a higher education institution and the studies in question are part of your degree programme.
You can get financial aid also for completing a particular course or study module if you already have a degree from an institution of higher education and the studies in question would upgrade your professional competence or give you a specific qualification. Such studies include, for example, studies in library and information science aimed at qualifying as a librarian. Pedagogical education which is part of teacher training is one example of such studies.
Upper secondary education
Upper secondary education means a course of study that takes place after comprehensive school, for example in an upper secondary school, an institution of vocational education or a folk high school. You can get financial aid in the following situations:
- You attend an upper secondary school.
- You complete a basic vocational qualification or a part of such qualification.
- You complete a vocational qualification, specialist vocational qualification, or other vocational education.
- You attend preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification (TUVA).
- You attend a course of study that prepares you for work and independent living (TELMA).
- You study in a folk high school, a sports institute, Sámi Education Institute or the Snellman Academy.
If you attend an upper secondary school for adults, you can get financial aid in the following situations:
- You are entitled to free education. You are entitled to free education if you left comprehensive school in 2021 or later and were born in or after 2004.
- You are completing a double degree (upper secondary school and a basic vocational qualification)
- You attend an upper secondary school which is set up as a boarding school, such as a folk high school.
The above are the only situations in which you can get financial aid for study in an upper secondary school for adults.
If you are doing a dual degree combining a basic vocational qualification with upper secondary school for adults, submit a financial aid application for vocational education. Apply for financial aid for the upper secondary school only in the event that you have not yet completed upper secondary school when you earn the basic vocational qualification.
If you are doing a dual degree combining a basic vocational qualification with regular upper secondary school, you can apply for financial aid for either programme.
If you as part of your vocational education complete paid on-the-job training in the form of apprenticeship training, you cannot get student financial aid for the on-the-job training period. If a period of on-the-job training is unpaid, that means that it is completed in the form of a training agreement and that you can get student financial aid for it.
Private institutes of vocational education in Finland
Financial aid may also be available for specific vocational study programmes at certain private institutes of vocational education. Financial aid is not available for other vocational courses at private educational institutions. Kela does not provide assistance for tuition fees.
Adult basic education
You can get financial aid for students if you are in adult basic education. Financial aid is usually awarded on the same grounds as for secondary education. However, the rules regarding differ from the rules that apply to financial aid for secondary education.
In adult primary education, you can
- complete the comprehensive school curriculum and earn a school-leaving certificate
- study individual subjects
- improve individual scores in your school-leaving certificate for primary education
- complete the first stage of adult primary education either partially or from start to finish.
Financial aid for foreign students
If you are not a Finnish citizen and have come to Finland for study purposes, the general rule is that you cannot get financial aid from Finland.
However, you may qualify for financial aid if you meet the following requirements:
- You have arrived in Finland for some other reason than to study. Such a reason can for example be employment or family ties.
- You have been granted a continuous (A) or permanent (P) residence permit or an EU residence permit for third-country nationals (P-EU or P-EY) or a residence card as referred to in the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom.
- If you are a citizen of another EU or EEA country or of Switzerland, the family member of such a person, or a citizen of a Nordic country, you only have to register your right of residence or present your residence card.
- If you are living in Finland permanently.
If you are a citizen of another EU or EEA or of Switzerland or if you are covered under the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom, you can get financial aid even if you have come to Finland to study.
- You can get financial aid if you are employed in Finland for at least 4 months with an average of at least 10 hours of work per week, or if you have taken out statutory pension insurance for self-employed persons. The entitlement to financial aid for students only continues for the duration of the employment.
- You are also eligible for financial aid if you have a right to permanent residence in Finland as defined in section 1, subsection 2 of the Act on Student Financial Aid.
You are also eligible for financial aid if you are a family member of a citizen of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland who works in Finland or of a British citizen who works in Finland and is covered under the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom.