Financing your studies

Most students finance their studies with Kela's study grant, which consists of a study grant and a student loan. On this page, you will find information about Kela's study grants and other possible ways to finance your studies. 

Kela subsidies

As a Humak student, you are entitled to various benefits. Read more below.

Degree students are entitled to apply for a Kela study grant, which consists of a study grant and a student loan. 

The condition for granting financial aid for students is admission to an educational institution, full-time study and sufficient progress of studies, as well as the need for financial support. Study grants can be granted with one application for the entire regular completion period of the degree. The maximum grant period depends on the extent of your degree and when you started your first university studies as a present student.

Kela monitors the progress of the studies of students receiving study grants every academic year. The academic year’s study support period at Humak is 9 months from September 1 to May 31. The study grant can only be paid to a student who has registered as attending and can be granted at the earliest from the beginning of the month in which the application is received. 

According to the legislation, a study grant may be terminated retroactively and recovered if the student has completed a particularly low number of ECTS credits and the student’s circumstances show that they did not intend to pursue full-time studies. The student must have completed university studies of at least 5 credits per support month for the entire study period and at least 20 credits for the entire academic year. The number of support months used does not affect the minimum performance requirement. If you know that you are not earning enough credits, you can cancel or pay back your study grant. 

If your studies have not progressed enough, Kela will send you a request for clarification. In your answer, explain the reasons why your studies have not progressed. You can continue to receive student aid if your studies have slowed down for an acceptable reason. If you do not respond to the request for clarification or the reasons you provide are not accepted, your study grant may be discontinued or changed to be payed out for a specific amount of time. In the case of an incomplete thesis or other extensive unfinished course, the student fills in a form, asks for the confirmation of the thesis supervisor or the lecturer responsible for the course, and submits it to Kela. 

Credits also include the credited and approved studies included in the degree, which the student has completed during their Bachelor’s studies elsewhere (e.g. abroad). The number of credits completed does not include credits approved or recognized (RPL) from prior studies. Kela monitors the progress of studies annually in October. The follow-up applies to the entire previous academic year (August 1 to July 31). Studies completed in August are taken into account as credits for the following academic year. 

Your income will affect how many months a year you can receive the study grant. You have to make sure that your annual income does not exceed the annual income limit. The student is obliged to notify Kela immediately of any changes in the circumstances affecting their study grant.

You can get a government guarantee for a student loan if you receive financial aid from Kela. A student loan is a loan guaranteed by the government. If Kela grants you a loan guarantee, you can apply for a loan from the bank of your choice. Because Kela guarantees your student loan, you do not need any other security for the loan. The guarantee is valid for a maximum of 30 years from the date of the first loan draw. You agree on the interest rate and repayment schedule of the student loan with your bank. 

If you take out a student loan during your college studies and complete the degree on time, you can get a student loan credit or student loan rebate. 

  • The student loan credit only applies to higher education students who have started their first degree studies on or after August 1 2014. If you take out a student loan during your studies and complete the degree on time, you can get a student loan reduction. This means that Kela will pay part of your student loan.
  • The student loan tax reduction only applies to university students who have started their first university degree studies before 1 August 2014. When you repay your student loan to the bank, you pay less tax by the amount of the student loan deduction. 

Read more about the student loan on the Kela website

Find out more about financial aid and apply for a study grant on the Kela website. Alternatively, you can fill out a paper form and submit it to Kela via the Study Affairs Office at Humak campuses or RDI centers. 

Study grants that require a separate application:

  • summer study grant 
  • study grants for studies abroad

  • a study grant for a period exceeding the regular study period, and 

  • abolition of student aid or study grant to be applied for after the deadline.

You can also receive financial aid in the summer (June 1 – August 31). Summer study aid must be applied for separately. Summer study aid includes a study grant and a government guarantee for a student loan. 

Financial aid can be received, for example, for lecture courses, book exams, internships or thesis work. The summer study grant is granted from the beginning of the month of receipt of the application at the earliest. The study grant is therefore granted for the period for which the student has applied for it. However, the student must note that the summer study grant consumes the total study grant months. The support months used in the summer are also months to be taken into account in income control and monitoring the progress of studies.

Summer study requirements are an average estimate. You do not have to complete a certain number of credits in each subsidised month, but you may accumulate more credits in one month than in others. Kela monitors the progress of your studies every year in October. The monitoring covers the whole of the previous academic year (August 1 to July 31). Studies completed in August are only taken into account as credits for the following academic year.

If you are applying for a study grant for August, you must register as a present student for the autumn semester or for the entire academic year. The academic year or universities of applied sciences begins on August 1 and end on July 31. 

Read more about student financial aid during the summer and apply for a grant on the Kela website.

You can receive financial aid for your studies abroad if your studies, work placement, or internship abroad are recognized as part of your degree at Humak.

If you are receiving the general housing allowance, see how your period of study abroad affects your housing allowance. Kela only pays a housing supplement for students living abroad in rented accommodation. A foreign housing supplement may be paid to a student who is studying permanently at a foreign institution or who is completing a course of study abroad. The student must live and study abroad.

Read more about study grants for studies abroad on Kela’s website and apply for study grants for studies abroad using Kela’s application service or the paper form OT15. When you submit a change notification to Kela for a period of study abroad, you do not need to attach a certificate from an educational institution or other body confirming the period of study abroad.

Students receive general housing allowance under the same conditions as other recipients, so no account is taken of months of study or maximum periods of study allowance. The housing allowance does not affect the receipt of student grants and is not taken into account as income for student grants.

Kela pays the housing allowance jointly to the household. The same household includes, for example, close relatives living in the same dwelling and people who have rented the dwelling under a joint tenancy agreement. The same household also includes people who rent part of the dwelling under a separate tenancy agreement, if they are responsible for the rent of the whole dwelling under the tenancy agreement or its annex.

On the other hand, persons who have rented part of the dwelling under a separate tenancy agreement, if they are not close relatives or if they are not responsible for the rent of the whole dwelling according to the tenancy agreement, belong to a different household.

Find out about housing support for students and apply for general housing allowance on the Kela website.

If you fall ill during your studies and are unable to study because of your illness, you can take sick leave and receive financial aid from Kela.

If you know that you will be ill for up to 2 months, you can withdraw your study allowance as normal. A short-term illness does not prevent you from receiving a study grant, even if you do not have enough credits during the period. However, you may have to give Kela a report on your illness and the progress of your studies. To do this, you will need a medical certificate confirming your illness.

If you do not know in advance the duration of your illness or if you know that it will last more than 2 months, you should apply for sickness allowance. You should not use up your study allowance months when your studies are not progressing. You can also apply for sickness allowance for periods of sick leave of less than 2 months. This is particularly useful during the summer break from studies.

If you receive sickness benefit, you can already start some studies during the period of receiving sickness allowance. The amount of study allowed is around 40 % of normal full-time study. When you are able to study more, inform Kela. Sick leave can extend the time you have to complete a degree to qualify for a student loan credit or a student tax reduction, but only if you are in receipt of sickness allowance or a pension or allowance based on total disability.

Read more about sickness allowance for students.

If all your income, resources, and other social benefits are not enough to cover your everyday expenses, you can apply for basic income support from Kela.

Before you apply for basic social assistance, you should first check your eligibility for student financial aid (study grant and student loan) and the general housing allowance. If you cannot get study grants or other support (e.g. rehabilitation allowance), you will have to rely primarily on other means of support than basic social assistance (e.g. employment). During the summer, you should work, actively look for work or study and apply for summer study support.

Read more about basic income support for students on the Kela website.

Other ways to finance your studies

As a Humak student, you can also finance your studies in other ways, which you can find in the menu below:

As a student, you can get vocational rehabilitation from Kela. If you are in employment and have been working for a longer period (approx. 5 years), the employment pension institution is responsible for your vocational rehabilitation.

For more information on vocational rehabilitation, see the Kela website.

If you have been in employment for at least 8 years and have worked for your current employer for at least one year, you can apply for adult education support from the Employment Fund. For more information about studying with adult education support, see the Employment Fund website.

If you receive adult education benefits for at least 8 weeks, Kela may grant you a government guarantee for a student loan. For more information about the student loan for adult students, see the Kela website.

Unemployed jobseekers aged 25 or over can study full-time on unemployment benefit in a degree programme leading to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or part of a degree without losing their unemployment benefit.

You can get unemployment benefit for the duration of your studies if:

  • you have registered with the TE Office as a jobseeker and your job application is valid
  • you are at least 25 years old
  • the TE Office has assessed that you are in need of training and that studying will improve your skills and your chances on the labor market
  • you have agreed in your employment plan to support your studies with unemployment benefit before starting your studies

The TE Office assesses whether the studies are such that they can be regarded as independent studies for the jobseeker. Support for independent study can be granted for the duration of the studies, up to a maximum of 24 months per course. The TE Office monitors the progress of the studies and the expiry of the maximum period.

The studies can also be further and continuing training under the Act on Vocational Training or Vocational Adult Education or open university or polytechnic studies.

For more information on studying with unemployment benefit, see the TE services’ website.

You can use your job alternation leave time off in any way you want, for example to study. On job alternation leave, the employee is on leave but the employment relationship with the employer continues.

You can get a job alternation allowance if

  • it is at least 5 years since the end of your last period of job alternation leave
  • you have worked for at least 20 years before the start of your job alternation leave, and
  • you have worked for the same employer for at least 13 consecutive months. This period may include a period of unpaid absence of up to 30 days.

For more information on studying on job alternation leave, see the website of the TE services.

As a Humak student, you can apply for scholarships and grants from foundations and organizations.

For example, you can receive a grant:

  • studies abroad
  • thesis process
  • to attend a language course and
  • internships abroad

Some grants are only targeted at certain student groups, such as those living in a particular locality.

You usually apply for a grant with a separate application from the foundation or organization which provides the grant. Application times and policies vary and should be checked directly with the grantor. The application period for some grants is continuous, meaning that they can be applied for throughout the year.

Links for Grants and Scholarships Databases

  • SYL Scholarship Database. Database of grants and scholarships awarded to students maintained by the Association of Finnish Student Unions.
  • Pohjola-Norden grants. Pohjola-Norden awards scholarships to students (in Finnish).
  • Grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The Finnish Cultural Foundation is a private foundation that awards grants to individuals and communities operating in various fields of science, art, and cultural life.
  • The Association of Finnish Foundations’ Grant Database. The Association of Finnish Foundations is an association for Finnish grant providers, the only benefit and support organisation for foundations in Finland.
  • AURORA Database. Funding Database for Science and Arts.
  • The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. Information on grants from the Finnish-Swedish Cultural Foundation, as well as on application and application deadlines.
  • Tukilinja. Tukilinja is a Finnish magazine focused on disability-issues. The aim of both the magazine and the grants is to help handicapped people participate on equal footing in education, active life, and employment.

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Last modified: October 7, 2021