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 such as a divorce or other difficult circumstances. An acceptable reason can also be slower study progress due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Describe in your application how your studies were delayed because of the exceptional situation.

Changing your line of study, withdrawing from an earlier course of study, working, activity in student organisations, or hobbies are not acceptable reasons.

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 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 be given the possibility to apply the remaining extension towards 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 online customer service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your bank ID or a mobile ID.
  2. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet . Enclose with the application:
  • a statement explaining why you made slower academic progress
  • a medical statement if your studies are delayed due to health reasons
  • other certificate from an authority (if possible) when studies have been delayed due to difficult life circumstances, such as the illness of a close relation or having been a victim of a crime
  • when necessary describe how your studies were delayed because of the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic. You can describe the situation in your own words.

You can use Kela's online service to see whether you application has been decided and the amount you will receive.

Alternatively you can complete and print out a notification of changes (form OT 15e). The paper application and the necessary supporting documents can be mailed to Kela or delivered to the nearest Kela's customer service points or citizen service centre.

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.

Additional information