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.

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.

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 posti.fi/changeaddress. Kela checks the student's accommodation when the first study grant for the autumn has been paid.

Do you already know where you will be living in the autumn? Apply for general housing allowance now

Students should apply for housing allowance as soon as they have entered a rental agreement and have information about their income, housing costs and other living circumstances during the autumn. 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 August if the rental agreement is valid from 1 August and you move into the home in August. Furthermore, the application should be submitted to Kela by the end of September.

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  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. 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, 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.

Online application is quick and easy

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. If you are unsure about which benefits students can get, start by reading the page What kind of student financial aid and housing benefits can you get?  

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). 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 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.

What to do if you need interpreter assistance for your studies in the autumn 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 granted a place of study. Be sure also to book an interpreter well in advance.

Media inquiries:

Financial aid for students:

Ilpo Lahtinen, Lead Coordinator, tel. 040 576 4479


General housing allowance:
Mirja Peltonen, Coordinator, tel. 0400 899 030

Additional information for customers