Students' financial support in Finland
Studies at institutes of higher education can be financed with student financial aid from the state of Finland, provided that one is generally eligible. The prerequisites for granting financial aid are admission at a tertiary education institution, full-time study, and need for financial aid. The aid consists of a study grant and a government guarantee for student loan.
Students living in rented accommodation in Finland are covered by the general housing allowance. Also changes in the amount of government guarantees for student loans, the amount of study grant and the amount of maximum eligibility period will undergo changes as well.
Study grant is available for full-time studies lasting at least eight weeks at institution of higher education. Non-citizens of Finland can get financial aid for studies in Finland if they live in Finland on a permanent basis for a purpose other than studying, like employment, family ties or return migration. This requires that they are registered as a permanent resident in the Finnish population register system. The purpose of residence in Finland is determined by reference to such matters as the residence permit, registration or acceptance to an educational institution. In order to receive study grant, students must make satisfactory progress in their studies. The amount of your study grant is affected by when you began your first course of higher education study. Your possible additional income affects the number of months per year for which you can get financial aid. You must make sure that you do not exceed a set limit for annual income. More specific information of student financial aid.
The student loan is a government-guaranteed loan that you must pay back. You can get a government guarantee for a student loan if you are being paid a study grant by Kela or an adult education allowance by the Education Fund. If Kela gives you a loan guarantee you can apply for a loan at a bank of your choice. The interest payable on the loan and the repayment schedule are agreed between you and the bank.
Foreigners may be eligible for housing allowance if they are covered by the Finnish social security system. The amount is affected by the gross income of the persons making up a household. Student status is not required to qualify for the housing allowance. While months of study and maximum time limits for receiving financial aid for students are not relevant for the housing allowance, study grant payments do count as income. The student loan does not count as income.
More information on financial assistance on Kela’s page