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School transport subsidy

The purpose of the school transport subsidy is to provide compensation for the cost of travelling to and from school. It is available to students in upper secondary level educational institutions, including upper secondary schools and institutes of vocational education.

Can you be granted school transport subsidy and to what amount?

To calculator (in Finnish)

You may be entitled to school transport subsidy if you travel to school on at least 10 days per calendar month. The terms of eligibility are somewhat different for students entitled to free education.

You can get school transport subsidy mainly for public transport or dedicated school transport. If neither of those options is available to you, you can get school transport subsidy for self-arranged transport, your own car, for instance.

You can get school transport subsidy if

  • you study and live in Finland
  • you study full-time
  • you have a long commute to school.

Your age, income or property do not affect eligibility. The income and property of your parents also do not affect the amount of the subsidy.

Who is entitled to free education?

You are entitled to free education if you meet both of the following requirements:

  • You have left comprehensive school in 2021 or later.
  • You were born in 2004 or later.

Please note that even if you meet the above criteria, not all educational programmes are free. Check with your school whether your education is free.

Eligibility

Travel distance and costs

You can get school transport subsidy if your trip (one-way) is at least 7 kilometres.

The travel distance is the shortest trip by car between home and school. If the travel distance is less than 7 kilometres, you cannot get school transport subsidy even if, by bus, the distance would be longer than that.

Common rounding rules cannot be used to calculate the number of kilometres. Refer to the route planner used by Kela (kelareitit.digitransit.fi) to find out your travel distance to school. You can also look up alternative routes and check the length of each leg of your journey.

Example

The route planner shows 6.8 kilometres as the distance between the student’s home and school.  This is not rounded up, which means that the distance to school is not at least 7 kilometres, and the student does not qualify for school transport subsidy.

The fare paid does not affect eligibility for the subsidy.

See further information about different modes of transport and the school transport subsidy paid for them.

Studies entitling to school transport subsidy

Your studies qualify for school subsidy if

  • you attend a general upper secondary school
  • you complete a basic vocational qualification or a part of such a qualification
  • you attend a folk high school and you are completing upper secondary school studies or a basic vocational qualification or a part of such a qualification
  • you attend upper secondary school in an adult student or night programme
  • you are completing a dual degree, i.e. studying for an upper secondary school diploma in an adult student or night programme, and completing a vocational qualification at the same time.
  • you attend the Emergency Services College (Pelastusopisto/Räddningsinstitutet) or the Training Institute for Prison and Probation Services (Rikosseuraamusalan koulutuskeskus/Brottspåföljdsområdets utbildningscentral), completing a course of basic vocational qualifications
  • you attend preparatory education for programmes leading to an upper secondary qualification (TUVA)
  • you attend a course of education preparing you for employment or for independent living (TELMA)
  • you attend basic education for adults
  • you complete a vocational qualification
  • you are enrolled in a liberal education programme for students in compulsory education.

You cannot get school transport subsidy in the following situations:

  • You pursue studies leading to or preparing for a basic vocational qualification at a private educational institution that does not have accreditation from the Ministry of Education and Culture (e.g. schools for massage therapists or barbers/hairdressers).
  • You complete a specialist vocational qualification.
  • There are other forms of financial assistance available for you to support your daily trips to and from school (e.g., compensation for expenses as an unemployment benefit for immigrants or compensation for travel expenses under the Act on Services for Persons with Disabilities).
  • You have the possibility to live free of charge in a school dormitory. However, you can receive school transport subsidy, if you travel daily from the dormitory at least 7 kilometres (one-way) to the school or workplace.

You can also not get school transport subsidy for a period of paid on-the-job training that constitutes apprenticeship training. 

Please remember to inform us about any changes, so that you are paid the correct amount of school transport subsidy.

Travel distance and costs

You can get school transport subsidy if your trip (one-way) is at least 10 kilometres.

The travel distance is the shortest trip by car between home and school. If the travel distance is less than 10 kilometres, you cannot get school transport subsidy even if, by bus, the distance would be longer than that.

Common rounding rules cannot be used to round up the number of kilometres to 10. Refer to the route planner used by Kela (kelareitit.digitransit.fi) to find out your travel distance to school. You can also look up alternative routes and check the length of each leg of your journey.

Example

The route planner shows 9.8 kilometres as the distance between the student’s home and school. This is not rounded up, which means that the distance to school is not at least 10 kilometres, and the student does not qualify for school transport subsidy.

You can get school transport subsidy for monthly travel costs of less than 54 euros if you use one of the following transport options:

  • Waltti
  • Helsinki Region Transport (HSL - HRT)
  • Tampere Regional Transport (Nysse)
  • Turku Region Transport (Föli)
  • Dedicated school transport
  • Self-arranged transport

See further information about different modes of transport and the school transport subsidy paid for them.

Studies entitling to school transport subsidy

Your studies qualify for school subsidy if

  • you attend a general upper secondary school
  • you complete a basic vocational qualification or a part of such a qualification
  • you attend a folk high school and you are completing upper secondary school studies or a basic vocational qualification or a part of such a qualification
  • you are completing a dual degree, i.e. studying for an upper secondary school diploma in an adult student or night programme, and completing a vocational qualification at the same time.
  • you attend the Emergency Services College (Pelastusopisto/Räddningsinstitutet) or the Training Institute for Prison and Probation Services (Rikosseuraamusalan koulutuskeskus/Brottspåföljdsområdets utbildningscentral), completing a course of basic vocational qualifications
  • you attend preparatory education for programmes leading to an upper secondary qualification (TUVA)
  • you attend a course of education preparing you for employment or for independent living (TELMA)
  • you attend basic education for adults.

You cannot get school transport subsidy in the following situations:

  • You pursue studies leading to or preparing for a basic vocational qualification at a private educational institution that does not have accreditation from the Ministry of Education and Culture (e.g. schools for massage therapists or barbers/hairdressers).
  • You are studying for a vocational qualification or a specialist vocational qualification.
  • There are other forms of financial assistance available for you to support your daily trips to and from school (e.g. compensation for expenses as an unemployment benefit for immigrants or compensation for travel expenses under the Act on Services for Persons with Disabilities).
  • You have the possibility to live free of charge in a school dormitory. However, you can receive school transport subsidy, if you travel daily from the dormitory at least 10 kilometres (one-way) to the school or workplace.

You can also not get school transport subsidy for a period of paid on-the-job training that constitutes apprenticeship training.

Please remember to inform us about any changes, so that you are paid the correct amount of school transport subsidy.

Last modified 19/1/2024

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