If you were accepted to school in the autumn 2018 joint application process: Apply for student financial aid and housing allowance

New students should apply for student financial aid and general housing allowance in time. Student financial aid and housing allowance are applied for on separate applications.

New students can apply for student financial aid when the place of study has been confirmed. If you have to separately accept the place of study, you should apply for student financial aid as soon as you have accepted the place of study. Financial aid can be granted from the beginning of the month in which the application arrived. You should apply for financial aid for your entire course of study at the same time.

You can apply for financial aid even if you have not yet arranged housing in the town or city where you will be studying. Once your housing arrangements have been finalised, you can file a notification of move online at  www.muuttoilmoitus.fi. Kela checks students’ housing situation when the first payment of the study grant has been made.

Most students today are covered by the general housing allowance scheme. A student housing supplement may be available to those who are studying abroad or in the Åland Islands. A supplement is also paid to students who are enrolled in a tuition-based programme at a Finnish folk high school or sports institute and live in the school dormitory. The student housing supplement is applied for with the same application as the student financial aid.

Do you know where you will be living? Apply for the general housing allowance

Students should apply for housing allowance as soon as they have entered into a rental agreement and have information about their income, housing costs and other living circumstances. Students under 18 years of age who move into a rental apartment can apply for housing allowance after they have received a decision on the student financial aid.

Housing allowance can be granted starting from 1 January if the rental agreement is valid from 1 January and the student moves in during January. The application should be submitted to Kela by the end of February.

The general housing allowance is granted to the entire household as a whole. The application is made by one household member on behalf of all residents. A household includes spouses/partners or close relatives (grandparents, parents and children) who live in the same home, or persons renting a home under a joint rental agreement. The award of housing benefits is affected by the regular income of the persons making up a household. Earnings, capital income and most benefits, such as student financial aid, are counted as the household’s income. The student loan does not count as income.

The rental agreement must always be enclosed with the application. A rental agreement is also needed when the applicant lives in a student apartment. If information about the rental agreement is provided to Kela electronically by the landlord, there is no need to enclose the rental agreement. Landlords who provide rental agreement information to Kela electronically (in Finnish).

It is quick and easy to apply online

With the help of Kela’s calculators (www.kela.fi/laskurit (in Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/berakningar (in Swedish)) students can estimate what type of benefit they can receive and the amount of the benefit.

Both student financial aid and housing allowance can be applied for via Kela's online customer service at www.kela.fi/asiointi (in Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/etjanst (in Swedish). Also supporting documentation can be sent online.

Students who receive both housing allowance and student financial aid must keep track of the annual income limit for financial aid and the monthly earnings that affect the housing allowance. Changes in income that affect the housing allowance must be reported without delay.

What to do if you need interpreter assistance at school because of a disability or impairment

Apply for the right to interpreter assistance for students as soon as you get a decision that you have been admitted to school. Be sure also to book an interpreter well in advance.

Additional information:

www.kela.fi/students
Telephone assistance with student financial aid: 020 634 2550, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00
Information on the effect of income on student financial aid and housing allowance
Ask online: www.kela.fi/kysy-kelasta (in Finnish)
Video describing how to apply for student financial aid and housing allowance (in Finnish)
Frequently asked questions about housing benefits for students (in Finnish)
Information on how to apply for housing allowance for shared housing  (in Finnish)