For an useful overview, please see KELA's quick guide.
Starting January 1st, 2018, KELA is in charge of consulting regarding financial aid for students. Please contact them about any questions about financial aid.
Electronical customer service
With Kela’s e-services (available only in Finnish or Swedish) you can manage your matters about student financial aid. The identification is made by an electronic ID-card or by the internet bank’s user codes.
If you have any questions about the student financial aid, it may be worthwhile to see if someone else has asked the same question at Kela’s discussion forum (only available in Finnish/Swedish).
Finnish citizens in Finland are granted aid if they pursue full-time studies for at least two consecutive months after completion of compulsory education. Foreign citizens can receive aid for studies in Finland if they are living permanently in Finland or staying in Finland for purpose other than studies (the law on student financial aid 65/21.1.1994 § 1).
The financial aid consists of a study grant and government guarantee for student loans. Visit kela.fi for more information about the financial aid. Adult students can also receive support during their studies. Adult education allowance can be applied from The Education Fund.
The maximum eligibility period for financial aid is determined by when you have begun your studies. To find out what your maximum eligibility period, visit kela.fi.
How to apply for student financial aid
When you have accepted your study place at Arcada and enrolled as present you can apply for student financial aid. You can apply at Kela e-service (available only in Finnish and Swedish) or by submitting the OT 2e form.
Higher education students can get financial aid for the length of time that completion of their degree normally takes. Please note! Kela’s way to calculate the normal length of time for completion of a degree differs from Arcada’s way to calculate the normal length of time for completion of a degree. The normal length of time according to Kela, starts from the first time you register as present, and any absences are not noted at Kela. At Arcada absences are noted, and are not included in the normal length of time for completion of a degree. The normal length of time for completion of a degree depends on what you are studying and when you commenced your studies. Read more here about how long a degree normally is considered to take.
Student financial aid after the normal length of time for a degree
If your studies go beyond the normal length of study you have the opportunity to apply for financial aid for the additional year and also for the time you have got extended right to complete your studies (i.e. if you still have financial aid months left to use).
You can apply for student financial aid for an additional year/the right to complete studies at Kela e-service.
The application for student financial aid should be sent to Kela. Student financial aid is granted at the earliest from the beginning of the month Kela receives your application (i.e. the post stamp does not apply).
Changes as of 1 August 2017
From the 1st of August 2017 the study grant will be 250,58€ /month. More information read here. When you are studying abroad and paying rent, a proof of payment is not required for the housing allowance to be granted. However, Kela can require a proof later on, so always safe the receipt when paying rent. The housing supplement will change to general housing allowance .
The study loan is a government guaranteed loan which you have to pay back to the bank. Once you have been granted a loan guarantee, you can contact a bank of your choice and agree the loan terms. You do not need any other guarantees for the loan. Read more about the study loan on Kela’s website.
If you experience repayment difficulties, do not hesitate to contact your lender bank.
How other income affects student financial aid
The income you earn over a calendar year affects the student financial aid. It is your responsibility to check that you do not receive more financial aid than you are entitled to. If your incomes are higher than the maximum annual income limit, you can voluntarily repay the whole student financial aid or a portion of it before the end of May of the following year. Then you also get your support months “back” so you can use them later if needed.
Visit Kela’s website for more information about how your income affects the student financial aid, the maximum annual income limit, and the income check.
Parent’s income affects the student financial aid for studies at secondary school and for persons under the age of 20.
Study progress and check-up of credits
Progress in your studies is a pre-requisite for the student financial aid to be granted and paid. Progress in studies means that you have completed an average of at least 5 ECTS/ support month. From 1st of August 2014 you also have to fulfill the minimum requirement of at leat 20 ECTS. That means: even if you receive student financial aid for only 1-3 months, the requirement is at least 20 ECTS. If you do not have enough credits registered in the student register you will receive a letter requesting clarification of your studies. It is very important that you reply to the letter and explain the reasons why your studies have been delayed.
The progress in studies in checked in October every year. Kela will compare the number of used support moths with the number of credits in the student register.
Credits registered and support months used after 31.7 are not included in the check-up. The check-up is made on the previous academic year 1.8–31.7 as well as on the whole study time. Accredited attainments from previous studies are not included.
Visit kela.fi for more information about the check-up, discontinuation and recovery of student financial aid.
Student financial aid can be granted if you travel abroad to study and the studies will be included in your degree at Arcada. The terms for student financial aid (progress in studies, check-up, income etc.) abroad are the same as in Finland. Read more about student financial aid abroad on kela.fi.
If you have received a scholarship for exchange studies you do not have to state this on your application for student financial aid.
You can apply for student financial aid abroad with Kela e-service. If you fill in a paper form, you will need a certificate for your studies abroad. You can get the certificate from International Affairs in C3.
Student financial aid can be granted for mandatory practical training which is included in your degree, if the practical training corresponds to full-time studies and meets the general requirements for progress in studies (5 ECTS/month).
You do not have the right to receive the house supplement for your housing at the place of study if you live with your parents in another area during the practical training.
If you e.g. rent housing on another site during the practical training you must attach a certificate from your teacher indicating where you will carry out the training and that it is mandatory and includes in your degree.
KELA´s service agents for students can be reached mon-fri 9am-3pm at 020 634 2550.
Arcada's contact for KELA's staff:
Study Coordinator Yvonne Engblom