Student financial aid is intended to secure the livelihood of students during their studies. While you are studying, you may be eligible for aid in three forms: study grant, housing supplements and government guarantee for student loan.
Foreign citizens can get financial help with studies if they have lived in Finland at least two years for some other purpose than studies, and their residence in Finland is considered to be permanent. Even if you have been in Finland for less than two years, you may qualify for student financial aid if you e.g. are a refugee or have remigrated to Finland. Nationals of EU and EEA Member States can get help with studies that are closely related to their work or if they have become involuntarily unemployed. The family members of employees covered by the EEA Agreement can also get financial assistance with their studies in the same way as Finnish citizens.
Who can apply for financial aid
To finance the studies, the student who has Finnish nationality or meets the above terms, has a possibility to apply for financial aid from KELA (National Pensions Institute). The purpose of the financial aid is to provide an income during the studies.
It is possible to file for aid for the whole study time at one time. The months of the financial aid are nine per year.
Financial aid is also available for studies abroad, provided that the studies correspond to the studies entitled to aid in Finland and are part of a degree taken in Finland.
The student is to inform the Centre for Student Financial Aid of the change of address or changes in rent. The student is responsible to monitor his/her earned income within the annual exempt amount. If the student, according to the taxation data, has exceeded the exempt amount, the student is required to pay back the equivalent amount of aid plus 15% interest.
If the exempt amount is exceeded, it is possible to return the paid aid by the end of March. Months in which part of the aid is returned voluntarily by the dead-line are added back to your entitlement for aid.
Application forms and further information is available from the Student Office and Student Counsellors.
More exact information is found in KELA’s guide of financial aid which is available from KELA offices or Student Offices. Web site on financial aid can be found at: http://www.kela.fi/in/internet/english.nsf/NET/081001132858IL?OpenDocument.
There is also a telephone service that deals with matters of financial aid at polytechnics between 9 am and 12 pm at number 0204346650 or general information between 8.15 am and 4 pm at number 0204346770.
Financial Aid Committee
The Vaasa UAS has a statutory financial aid committee. Its operation has been described in the statute more closely.
The function of the Financial Aid Committee is to:
oversee and give a report on the advance of studies of a certain student, either on their own initiative or on request of KELA or the student.
specify the sufficient quantity of studies during summer season or studies abroad and in particular case give a report to KELA.
To do so, the Financial Aid Committee regularly monitors the student’s advancement in studies, gives admonitions and, if necessary, discontinue the financial aid. The financial aid is discontinued if the student has not obtained on an average 5 credit units for each month eligible for aid. If the Aid has been discontinued, it can be continued when the student has received enough credit units.
More information of the financial aid may be asked The Secretary of the Financial Aid Committee at Vaasa UAS:
Ms. Susan Sundqvist
Tel. 0207 663 425
Email: email@example.com or Mr. Jouko Pakka.
The Secretary also receives the applications filed with the Committee.
The Financial Aid Committee assembles when necessary.
The decisions made by the Committee are binding upon KELA.
Exceeding the Maximum Aid Period
Students who are delayed in their studies can be granted an extended aid period for a valid reason, such as illness or difficult life situation. Valid reasons do not include e.g. study arrangements, change of field of study or activities in the Student Union.
The application for the extension for the aid period is filed with the Financial Aid Committee (form OTm, report on change in circumstances) together with an account of reasons for delay and a certificate from the polytechnic of the studies left and a study plan. The forms are available from the Student Offices and on the Polytechnic website.
Applications are admitted to the Student Office or to the Secretary of the Financial Aid Committee, not to KELA.