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Reply to information request
If you receive a request to provide information about your study progress, you should reply to it on the form available in Kela’s e-service (in Finnish or in Swedish: www.kela.fi/asiointi > Hakemukset ja ilmoitukset > Opintotuki). Alternatively you can use the form Reply to the request for information about academic progress OT 28Le (pdf) which is enclosed with the request for information and also available at kela.fi. Mail the form and any supporting documents to Kela or hand them in at one of Kela’s customer service points.
Provide information about the completed study credits that are missing from the data available to Kela in your reply. If you have completed insufficient study credits, you should describe how your circumstances have affected your study progress. Describe for instance how illness or a difficult life situation has affected your study progress. Also tell us whether this situation still affects your study progress.
When possible, enclose an official statement on the reason that has affected your study progress with your reply, for instance a medical certificate or an extract from the My Kanta pages (e.g. a photograph or a screenshot). If you have already sent a medical certificate to Kela, you need not send a new certificate.
If you have switched to a new course of study, explain why you ended your previous course of study and how the switch has affected your study progress. No certificate is needed if you switch to a new course of study.
Study credits taken into account in connection with the monitoring of study progress
When monitoring study progress, study credits earned for higher education studies leading to a degree are taken into account from the start of the studies, but at the earliest from 1 August 2011, however. If you have completed a degree of higher education before the academic year preceding the monitoring of study progress, the study credits and months of financial aid are taken into account for the time following the month when you completed the degree of higher education.
All study credits entered into your study record at Finnish institutions of higher education are taken into account when monitoring study progress. Study credits earned at foreign institutions of higher education that have not been entered into your study record at a Finnish institution of higher education can be taken into account if you send a certificate on these study credits to Kela. Study credits earned at an open university are also taken into account, if you have earned them after starting your degree studies at an institution of higher education. Study credits earned before the start of the degree studies at an institution of higher education are not taken into account when monitoring study progress.
Check that all of the credits you have earned at Finnish institutions of higher education have been entered into your study record.
- If any credits you have earned are missing, take steps to have them entered into the record for the academic year in which you earned them. Reply to the request for information and provide information on the study credits that are missing from your study record. Provide details about the extent of the credits and completion dates if a certain credit has been applied to a different academic year than the one in which you completed it. Kela checks the information you provide against the VIRTA database.
- If you are working on a large study module (such as a thesis) that does not show up in the study record, enclose an estimate from your teacher or a certificate on partial completion indicating how many credits you have earned by 31 July towards completion of the module. When needed, complete and print out the form Notification of partially completed study module OT 17e (pdf).
- If you have credits from a foreign institution of higher education that you want to count towards your study progress, enclose evidence of them.
- This goes also for any credits you may have from the National Defence University or Högskolan på Åland.
- If you have credits from a Finnish institution of higher education that you have earned before 1 August 2011 and that you want to count towards your study progress, provide details about them. No certificate on the completed studies is needed. Kela checks the details in the VIRTA database.
If you claim studies which you have completed abroad, in the National Defence University or Högskolan på Åland, or which you earned before 1 August 2011, any financial aid you may have taken out for those studies is taken into account as well.
Please note that, when monitoring study progress, the study credits that you have earned up to the end of the academic year under review, i.e. 31 July, are checked. If study credits that you have earned in June or July are entered in the study record for the autumn term, they can be taken into account if you provide information about the date of completion. Study credits earned in the autumn term, i.e. from 1 August, are not taken into account.
Repayment of financial aid
When monitoring study progress in higher education studies, Kela takes into account all payments returned by the time the monitoring starts. If you return financial aid after you have received a letter requesting information on your study progress, you must reply to the letter that you have returned financial aid.
When you have received a request for further information, you can no longer pay back student financial aid for the autumn term the previous year because student financial aid can only be paid back on a voluntary basis until the end of April following the year of financial aid.
If you do not complete at least 20 credits during the academic year (which is the minimum requirement for progress), you must cancel or return all payments for that year. However, the minimum requirement for study progress does not apply to the first academic year of a course of study that begins in the spring (1 January – 31 July) nor to the academic year during which you complete a degree of higher education.