Grants and scholarships until 31 December 2018

If you receive a tax-exempt grant or scholarship in 2019 or thereafter, you do not have to report this to Kela, and the tax-exempt grant or scholarship is also not taken into account as income in the income review.

Taxable grants or scholarships are considered as income for purposes of the financial aid income check in the same manner as other taxable income. Tax-exempt grants and scholarships are also taken into account as income in the income review in connection with the student financial aid, but only when the grant or scholarship has been paid in 2018 or earlier.

The following rules and advice only concern grants or scholarships that have been paid in 2018 or earlier.

Kela usually considers the full amount of the grant or scholarship as income. It is applied to the calendar year in which it was paid to you. However, grants and scholarships associated with international student exchange programmes are, not taken into account as income.

Declaring a grant or scholarship

You must declare any scholarships or grants to Kela. Based on your declaration, Kela examines what part of the grant or scholarship is regarded as income for purposes of the income check.

  1. Declare any grants or scholarships online. Log in to the online customer service using your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate. It is recommend that you make the declaration immediately when you have been notified that you have been awarded a scholarship or a grant.
  2. Select Opintotuen muutosilmoitus > Ilmoitan muusta muutoksesta tai haen lisätukea > Omat tulot. Use the Lisätiedot (Additional information) section if needed.
  3. State the amount, the payer and the date of payment.

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

Grants and scholarships intended for an international student exchange need not be reported. Scholarships intended for studies at educational institutions outside Finland are, for example, Erasmus and Nordplus scholarships and scholarships for student exchange granted by a school or university. Student exchange may also consist of studies at an educational institution abroad which are related to your course of study, or vocational training or on-the-job-learning abroad.

Remember to submit your notification of any scholarship or grant in time. This will give Kela time to look into the matter and you can repay financial aid voluntarily – should that be necessary.

Deduction of special expenses from grant or scholarship money

Certain acceptable special expenses may be deducted from your grant or scholarship money, for example expenses incurred in buying special study or research material, study trips abroad and tuition fees. Also report if you have received a sports or arts scholarship, and detail any additional expenses you incur because of participating in sports or arts.

Costs for buying a computer and other normal student expenses are not considered acceptable special expenses. If you intend to use part or all of your scholarship or grant money for special expenses, please specify the expenses in question in your notification.

Kela will determine which of the special expenses that you have specified that may be deducted from the grant or scholarship money that you have received. They will then inform you of what portion of the money will be taken into account as your income when your income is checked.

Grants and scholarships reported to Kela by the Tax Administration

Do as follows if the Tax Administration reports that you have received grants or scholarships but you have not yourself declared them to Kela.

If the information provided by the Tax Administration is correct, you do not have to do anything. Kela will take the grants or scholarships into account as your income when performing the income check for financial aid.

You can provide Kela additional information for example about the following, which may affect whether Kela considers the grants or scholarships as your income and the amount at which they are taken into account.

  • If you have used the grant or scholarship for particular purposes such as to perform research or to purchase a musical instrument, provide details about such expenditures. If you have received a sports or arts grant or scholarship, provide details about any specific expenses associated with it.
  • If you have received a grant or scholarship to finance a student exchange or job training abroad, provide details and documentation about a period of study abroad or a decision issued by the entity awarding you the grant or scholarship which shows the purpose for which it is awarded.
  • If the grant or scholarship is to be divided among several persons, provide details and documentation about that.
  • If you received a grant or scholarship before the month in which you began your course of study or after the month in which you graduated or reached the maximum eligibility limit for financial aid, provided details about when the grant or scholarship was paid.

Provide the information as soon as possible.

  1. Provide it  online. Log in to Kela's online customer service using your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate. Select Opintotuen muutosilmoitus > Ilmoitan muusta muutoksesta tai haen lisätukea > Omat tulot. Use the Lisätiedot (Additional information) section if needed.
  2. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet.
  3. You can also send the information along with supporting documents using the message function on the online customer service website.

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

If you have already received a preliminary decision concerning the recovery of overpaid financial aid request a review.