Were you granted a place of study? Remember to 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. Starting from the spring term 2021, higher education students will have to pay the healthcare fee to Kela.
New students can apply for student financial aid when their 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.
Students can apply for financial aid even if they have not yet arranged housing in the town or city where they will be studying. When housing has been arranged, the student must file a notification of move for instance online at www.posti.fi/changeaddress. Kela checks the student's accommodation when the first study grant has been paid out.
Starting from the spring term 2021, students in universities of applied sciences and universities who are entitled to use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) will have to pay a healthcare fee to Kela. The healthcare fee can be paid via Kela's e-service as of December 2020.
Do you already know where you will be living during your studies? Apply for general housing allowance now
Students should apply for general housing allowance as soon as they have entered into a rental agreement and have information about their income, housing costs and other living circumstances in the spring term. Students under 18 years of age who independently move into rental housing 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. Furthermore, the application should be submitted to Kela by the end of February.
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. Whether housing allowance can be granted or not, depends on the income of all the persons making up a household. Earnings, capital income and most benefits, such as student financial aid, are counted as the household’s income. Student loans do not, however, 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 flat. If information about the rental agreement is provided to Kela electronically by the landlord, you need not enclose the rental agreement. Landlords who provide rental agreement information to Kela electronically.
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.
Applying online is quick and easy
With the help of Kela’s calculators students can estimate what type of benefit they can receive and the amount of the benefit. If you are unsure about what benefits you can get as a student, start by reading the page What kind of student financial aid and housing allowance can you get?.
Both student financial aid and housing allowance can be applied for via Kela's e-service at www.kela.fi/asiointi (in Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/etjanst (in Swedish). Supporting documentation can also be sent online.
Students who receive both housing allowance and student financial aid must keep track of the annual income limit in connection with student financial aid and the monthly earnings that affect the housing allowance. General housing allowance must be reviewed if the combined income of your household increases by at least EUR 400 per month or decreases by at least EUR 200 per month compared to the previous housing allowance decision. Changes in income must be reported to Kela without delay. Before submitting a request for a review of your housing allowance, you can check if you need to submit a request for a review by calling Kela’s customer service number 020 634 2550.
Kela’s website has a feature that offers information on the current processing times of applications for specific benefits. It allows users to get an estimate of the time it will take to process their application. You can check the status of your application by logging in to Kela's e-services.
Do you need interpreter assistance for your studies because of a disability or impairment?
Apply for the right to interpreter assistance for students as soon as you get a decision stating that you have been granted a place of study. Also be sure to book an interpreter well in advance.
Additional information for customers
- General housing allowance
- Telephone assistance with student financial aid: 020 634 2550, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00
- The customer service number for inquiries related to general housing allowance is 020 634 2550. The service is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00.
- Ask online in Finnish
- Ask online in Swedish
- Video describing how to apply for student financial aid and housing allowance (in Finnish)
- Information on how to apply for housing allowance for shared housing (in Finnish)
- Information on the effect of income on student financial aid and housing allowance (in Finnish)
- How does a change in income affect the amount of the housing benefit? (in Finnish)
- How will earnings from a summer job affect my housing allowance? (in Finnish)
- Student financial aid on Facebook
- Kela on Instagram