Reminder for students in higher education to check that they meet the minimum credit requirements for financial aid - Kela keeps track of students’ academic progress

Kela monitors the academic progress of students in higher education on a yearly basis. Students who have not made sufficient progress with their studies will receive a request for further information. Past financial aid payments can be returned voluntarily until 10 September 2022.

Students who receive financial aid must earn at least 20 credits per academic year. In addition, students must have earned on average at least 5 credits per month of financial aid either in the previous academic year or during the entire period of study.

If a student has received financial aid for 9 months in the academic year 2021-2022, the minimum number of credits required is 45. If the number of credits is smaller than this, the student must have earned on average at least 5 credits per month of financial aid during the entire period of study.

A month of financial aid is a month in which the student has been paid either a study grant, a housing supplement, or both. The monitoring of academic progress does not apply to general housing allowance payments.

Students who have not made enough progress with their studies will receive a request for further information

If the student has not earned enough credits during the academic year, the student will receive a request for further information at the beginning of October. The monitoring of academic progress concerns the preceding academic year (1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022) and, when needed, the entire period of study. The academic progress is monitored for the academic year as a whole, not for individual months.

When monitoring academic progress, Kela takes into account all credits earned at institutions of higher education and the number of months for which the student has received financial aid. If a student graduates or completes a higher education degree during the academic year that the monitoring of academic progress concerns, or in the autumn before the monitoring is carried out, the student has made sufficient progress in the studies.

If the slower academic progress is due to illness or some other valid reason, this can be taken into account when monitoring academic progress. The student must reply to the request for information and explain how the illness or some other reason has affected his or her academic progress.

If the student has not made sufficient academic progress and does not provide a valid reason for this, the student financial aid will be cancelled. Only if a student has earned on average less than 1 credit per month of financial aid during the preceding academic year, Kela will consider whether the student should be required to pay back some of the aid.

The number of months of financial aid taken into account in the monitoring of academic progress can be reduced by returning financial aid for the beginning of the year

Students who have not earned enough credits to meet the requirement for financial aid can return some of the financial aid payments received in the first half of the year. The repayment can be made in the OmaKela e-service, and the last day for repayment is 10 September 2022.

Students who have earned fewer than 20 credits in the previous academic year will receive a request for further information. Kela will send this request even if the student has returned the financial aid payments received in the spring 2022. This is because it is no longer possible to return financial aid received in the autumn 2021. The 20-credit requirement does not apply to students who began their studies in spring term 2022. They are, however, also required to complete at least 5 credits for each month of aid.

In the academic year 2020–2021, a total of 173,000 students in higher education received financial aid. In connection with the monitoring of academic progress carried out in autumn 2021, Kela sent 13,800 of those students a request for further information.

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