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Living Costs and Student Financial Aid

Cost of Living

The costs of living include e.g. accommodation, food, public transport, study materials, clothing, and leisure activities. Average monthly living costs for students are estimated to be between 750 and 1200 euros, depending on the student's individual needs and habits.

  • housing (student accommodation) 270-500 euros
  • food 300 euros
  • bus tickets about 60 euros
  • leisure and miscellaneous expenses 100-300 euros

Note! There will be some initial expenses, such as the housing deposit, deposit for the ’survival kit’ (if you are an exchange student), and the Student Union membership fee.

The majority of Finnish students are financially supported by the Finnish state. International students are entitled to the financial aid for students only on certain conditions. Please see further information on student financial aid below.

The Student Union charges a yearly membership fee to finance its activities. Students who have paid the membership fee and present a student card are entitled to discounts in student restaurants, public transport, leisure activities, services, and in some shops. Further information on the membership and benefits of Student Union JAMKO.

Further Information for Foreign Students

Living costs in Finland are close to Western European average. No term fees are charged for students who are citizens of EU/EEA area. Please, read more here. Students must be prepared to pay for accommodation, food, travel, study materials, insurances, health care and other costs of living. Students must make sure that their incomes cover basic living costs for the entire time spent studying in Finland. Sufficient income is a prerequisite for residence permit, which has to be verified on applying for the permit. The Finnish Immigration Service has determined that a student must have at least 560 euros/month (6 720 euros/year) at his/her disposal. Further information on the income requirement of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Student Financial Aid

Students meeting the general criteria for student financial aid are entitled to government financial aid for studies at a higher education institution. The criteria are as follows: admission to an educational institution, full-time studies (5 ECTS credits/month), and the need for financial aid. Government student financial aid consists of a study grant, a housing supplement, and a government loan guarantee. The regular amount of student financial aid at the universities of applied sciences is (first attendance 1.8.2014 or later)

  • Study grant: maximum gross amount 250.28 euros/month
  • General housing allowance starting 1 August 2017: usually 80% of acceptable living costs, further information on the website of Kela
  • Government loan guarantee: 650 euros/month

Government loan guarantee is 800 euros/month for studies abroad and for practical training abroad. The study grant is taxable income, and it is paid from the beginning of the month of application – not retrospectively.

Applying for Student Financial Aid

Students in youth education can apply for student financial aid by submitting the electronic application via KELA website, www.kela.fi.

Meal Subsidy

The students of the University of Applied Sciences are entitled to a reduction of 1.94 euros on meal prices at the student restaurant by showing a student card or a Kela meal bonus card. The meal subsidy is given to students completing degree-awarding education in Bachelor or Master programmes at a Finnish university of applied sciences. The meal subsidy is also granted at the student restaurants of Finnish universities and other universities of applied sciences. Kela meal bonus cards are provided to students by the Student Services.

Financial Support for Foreign Residents

Non-citizens of Finland can get financial aid for their studies in Finland, if they live in Finland on a permanent basis and for a purpose other than studying. This requires that they are registered as permanent residents in the Finnish population information system. The purpose of residence in Finland is determined by reference to such matters as residence permit. The applications for student financial aid must be attached the form OT10e for foreign residents (Kela’s online forms > Students > Form OT10e).

Foreigners coming to Finland solely for the purpose of attending a school cannot get Finnish student financial aid. Further information is available on the website of Kela.

Financial Aid for Summer Study

You can apply for financial aid for summer studies on OT15e form using Kela’s electronic services (www.kela.fi). You are only eligible for the aid if the average extent of your studies is at least 5 credits/month and you study at least 18 days/month during the months for which you apply for the aid.

You are no longer required to submit details of your summer studies. However, Kela will check your study progress in the autumn as part of its yearly study progress follow-up. Kela will check in which months you have received student financial aid during the preceding academic year (including the summer months) and the credits that you have received during that period. Progress is considered sufficient if you have received at least 5 credits for each month for which financial aid was granted.

Student Financial Aid Abroad

Student financial aid may also be granted for studies abroad, if they are part of a degree completed in Finland. The amount of the study grant is the same as for studies in Finland, the maximum housing supplement 210 euros/month (except for countries with a lower rent level), and government loan guarantee 700 euros/month. Applications for financial aid for study abroad must be submitted to Kela, and attached:

  • OT 15e form: change of status, updating personal information
  • a certificate on an international study period included in the degree, approved by the International Coordinator or person in charge of practical training
  • the studies abroad must constitute at least 5 ECTS credits/month and last at least 18 days/month

Read more on the website of Kela.

Student financial aid as the recommended study period is exceeded

Students who fail to graduate in the recommended study period may apply for extension for student financial aid by filling in the OT15e form at Forms and submitting it directly to the KELA Centre for Student Financial Aid if

  • the student has made sufficient progress with the studies recently (minimum of 5 credits per supported month) and
  • the student has received student financial aid in the previous year.

When you have reached the maximum number of supported months

Students may, for compelling reasons, obtain a maximum of nine months' extension for the student financial aid after the maximum number of supported months laid down in section 7 of the Student Financial Aid Act have been used up. Students must have no more than 75 credits left to complete, and they must be able to provide a specific reason related to health or life situation for why the studies have slowed down. These extensions of the maximum period of student aid are processed by Kela. For further instructions and information on the required documentation, contact the Student Financial Aid Advisor.

Student Financial Aid for Adult Students

Master’s Degree students and other adult students can apply for student financial aid, if they meet the general criteria for student financial aid and they study full-time (5 ECTS credits/ withdrawn aid-month). When applying for student financial aid, students must prove the full-time status of their studies by presenting a personal study plan approved by the head of programme.

Read more on the website of Kela

Financial Aid by Education Fund

Adult students who have been employed may receive financial aid for their studies under certain conditions from the Education Fund. In such a case they are not entitled to government financial aid, except for the loan guarantee. Please see prerequisites for the financial aid by Education Fund here. Further information the Education Fund, tel. +358 (0)75 757 0505 (local/mobile charge) working days from 9 to 12 am.

Further information

Student financial aid and the processing of applications: website of Kela or +358 20 634 2550