Maximum period of eligibility for financial aid

The maximum period of eligibility for financial aid is different in higher education and upper secondary education. Also the number of months of aid you can get in a single school year varies depending on your school.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Higher education

In higher education, you can get 9 months of financial aid per academic year. The months of aid are September to May. You can apply for financial aid for a shorter period of time or for longer if you also study in the summer.

You can receive student financial aid for the starting month of your first year of studies and the ending month of your last year of studies if the month includes at least 18 days of active study.

The 18-day rule also applies to other than degree-oriented studies with fixed start and end dates. They include, for example, preparatory studies and continuing vocational training.

The National Defence University and the Police University College apply different rules to determine the months for financial aid is available during a specific academic year.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: General upper secondary school

Student financial aid for studies in upper secondary school can be granted for 10 months per school year as of 1 August 2019. The months of financial aid are August–May. If you already receive financial aid, Kela will automatically grant financial aid also for August, and you do not have to apply for it.

You can receive student financial aid for the starting month of your first year of studies and the ending month of your last year of studies if the month includes at least 18 days of active study. If you take the matriculation exam in the autumn, the right to financial aid usually ends in November.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Basic vocational education

If you are completing a basic vocational qualification or a course of study preparing you for a vocational qualification (VALMA), you can get financial aid for 10 months per study year. The months of aid are August to May. You can apply for financial aid for a shorter period of time or for longer if you also study in the summer.

You can receive student financial aid for the starting month of your first year of studies and the ending month of your last year of studies if the month includes at least 18 days of active study.

Months of financial aid available during the school year: Other education

In other vocational education, liberal adult education programmes for instance in a folk high school and in adult basic education, the number of months of financial aid available during the academic year depends on the period of study. You can get financial aid for calendar months in which there are at least 18 days of active study.

  • Financial aid is available for the first month of study in the school year if the first day of study is in the first half of the month with the result that there are at least 18 days of active study in that month.
  • Financial aid is available for the last month of study in the school year if the last day of study is the 18th day of the month or later.

Example

The period of study in folk high schools is 20 August to 24 May. There are only 12 active days of study in August (20 August - 31 August), which means that financial aid is not available for that month. There are 24 active days of study in May (1 May - 24 May), which means that financial aid is available for that month. Financial aid can be paid from the beginning of September until the end of May.

Study during the summer months

You can get financial aid for summer study. You can get financial aid for attending lectures, tests, job training or working on a thesis, among other things.

If you study in upper secondary school, you cannot get student financial aid for June and July 2019. You cannot get financial aid for the summer months until 2020. If you already receive financial aid, Kela will automatically grant financial aid for August 2019, and you do not have to apply for it.

If you are in secondary education but not in general upper secondary school, you can get financial aid in the summer if the period of study is at least 18 calendar days for each month for which you apply for financial aid. Inform Kela of the start and end dates of the summer studies. You do not have to provide information about the contents and the extent of the studies.

To students in higher education financial aid for the summer months is granted in accordance with application. Financial aid is granted for the period you indicate in your application.

Remember that your annual income is checked and your academic progress in higher education is monitored

Higher education students must remember that taking out financial aid for summer study counts against their total eligibility for financial aid, which is calculated in months. Any summer months for which a student receives financial aid are also taken into account when checking the student’s annual income and monitoring their academic progress.

Kela checks study progress every year in October. The check focuses on the entire preceding academic year (1 August – 31 July). Credits earned in August count towards the next academic year's study progress.

How to apply financial aid for the summer months

  1. Apply online for financial aid for the summer months. Log in to Kela's online customer service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID.
  2. If you are in secondary education, report the duration of the summer studies in the notification of changes and enclose a certificate on the summer studies from your school.
  3. If you study abroad, include your study plan for the summer in the notification of changes.
  4. Scan or take a photo of any supporting documents and send them online.

Alternatively you can complete and print out a notification of changes (OT 15e). You can send the paper application and the necessary supporting documents to Kela by mail.

Remember to apply for financial for the summer in good time. The earliest you can get financial aid is the beginning of the month in which your application arrives.

If you cannot study in the summer and you do not have a summer job, you can apply to Kela for basic social assistance.