Financial aid for students in Finland

Opintotuki Suomessa
Here you will find information about how persons coming from another Nordic country to study in Finland can finance their studies. The article also tells about financial aid for students in Finland. There is also information on the meal subsidy, which guarantees affordable meals for persons studying in Finland.

Student financial aid for foreigners

As a rule, persons coming from another Nordic country to study in Finland get financial aid from their home country.

Persons other than Finnish citizens can only get Finnish student financial aid if they reside permanently in Finland and their reason for residing in Finland is something other than studying (for example employment, family ties or return migration). If a person has been accepted by a Finnish educational institution before being registered in the Finnish population register and he or she has no other reason for residing in Finland, he or she cannot get student financial aid from Finland.

Meal subsidy

All persons studying in Finland are entitled to the meal subsidy. The meal subsidy means that prices in student canteens remain affordable. To get the discounted price, show your student card or Kela meal subsidy card at the cash desk in student canteens.

Students who get financial aid from abroad are also entitled to the meal subsidy.

Finnish financial aid for students

Finnish financial aid for students is granted for full-time post-comprehensive school education. Financial aid for students consists of

  • study grant and
  • a government-guaranteed student loan.

In Finland, student financial aid is applied for from Kela.

As of 1 August 2017 the type of housing allowance for students living in Finland is general housing allowance. In some circumstances student financial aid also includes housing supplement. More information from Kela.

Criteria for granting financial aid for students

The general criteria for granting financial aid for students are:

  • being accepted as a student by the school
  • studying full-time
  • making academic progress and
  • need of financial assistance.

The normal aid months in an academic year are from August to May. Financial aid for summer studies must be applied for separately.

Student income limits

Persons receiving student financial aid are subject to certain income limits, i.e. how much you can earn in addition to financial aid. You should take this into account if you work while studying. If the income limits are exceeded, part of the financial aid will be recovered.

Finnish financial aid abroad

Under certain conditions you can also get Finnish student financial aid if you complete a degree wholly or partly at a foreign educational institution. The studies or work practice abroad must relate to a degree completed in Finland, or the degree must correspond to studies supported in Finland. Unlike persons studying in Finland, persons studying abroad can get student housing supplement to cover their housing costs.

As a rule, only Finnish citizens can get student financial aid for a degree completed entirely in another country. In certain cases, however, this is also possible for citizens of other countries.

More information

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