Income limits for student financial aid to be raised significantly
The income limits for student financial aid will be increased by 50 percent from 2021. Additionally, the target time to earn a degree and qualify for a student loan compensation for higher education students can be extended by one academic year. The changes will take effect on 1 January 2023.
Parliament has approved an amendment to the Act on Student Financial Aid, raising the income limits applicable to student financial aid. The amendment will also bring a change to the qualifying criteria for a student loan compensation.
The limits on annual income will be raised across the board in 2023 to a level 50 percent higher than that applicable in 2021. Compared to 2022, the income limits will go up by about 20 percent.
Students who get financial aid for 9 months can next year have up to 18,720 euros in earnings before taxes. The corresponding limit for students who receive financial aid for 10 months is 16,640 euros.
No per-month income limits apply to student financial aid. Students can earn their income at any time during the calendar year as long as it does not exceed the annual income limit.
Students studying in a country under martial law can take longer to earn a degree and qualify for a student loan compensation
Students who complete their degree within a specified target time can get a student loan compensation. In academic year 2021–2022, about 40 higher education students in Ukraine received financial aid from Finland. Having had to interrupt their studies in Ukraine following Russia’s attack on that country, these students could lose their right to a student loan compensation.
The amended law makes it possible to extend the target time for earning a degree for students attending school in a country which is under martial law. The target time can be extended by one academic year.
For example, students pursuing a 300-credit university degree typically qualify for a student loan compensation if they complete their degree in six academic years or less. However, if the country in which they study is under martial law, students can get a student loan compensation if they take seven academic years to earn their degree.
The target time to earn a degree can also be extended by one academic year for other exceptional circumstances comparable in severity to a state of war. This can include a serious mass casualty incident or natural disaster, a large-scale armed attack, or a dangerous communicable disease that has spread widely.
In 2021, the average student loan compensation for students having completed a degree in a foreign institution of higher education was 8,210 euros.