In Finland, education is free in itself, but the cost naturally comes not only from study materials but also from living purely, especially when moving to secondary or tertiary education and moving away from childhood home to their own household.
The apprentice also has to pay rent and electricity bills and eat. Equal access to education for all, regardless of background and wealth, is supported by a government-funded student aid scheme consisting of student grants and student loans. In addition, students may receive general housing and meal support.
How Much Student Loans Can I Get?
The amount of the student loan depends on the applicant’s age, place of study and duration of studies. Most often, a student loan is available for USD 650 per month but for a student studying abroad is USD 800 per month and for a student under 18 years of age in a non-university student, USD 300 per month.
The number of months of support depends on whether you are studying at a secondary school or college. You can get a student loan for those months as well as get a student loan.
It is also good to note that the amount of student grant months and thus the student loan amount is also influenced by the applicant’s own annual income. Your own annual income limit is determined by how many months of the year the study allowance is raised. Overpaid study aid will be recovered at a rate of 7.5%, so it is worth keeping an eye on crossing borders. The student is responsible for monitoring the exceeding of the income limits. You can increase your annual income limit by applying for student grants only for part of the school year, canceling student grant months, or voluntarily refunding student grants already paid. If the income threshold is exceeded and the student aid is recovered, these months will no longer be available again.
Student loans can usually be withdrawn twice a year: once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. Of course, different banks may have different practices for withdrawing student loans. It’s a good idea to ensure this when negotiating a loan with your bank.
Who can get a student loan?
Student loans can be obtained for full-time post-primary studies, for which you also receive study grants or adult education grants.
Secondary and tertiary education studies are always full-time, and under certain conditions, completion of part of the degree may be considered full-time. It’s a good idea to check the eligibility of your own studies, for example on Kela’s website.
Although obtaining a student loan is a basic requirement for a student loan, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, 18 to 19-year-olds living with their parents who do not receive study grants due to their high income parents may still qualify for a student loan.
A student loan cannot be obtained if the applicant’s previous student loan has not been paid and transferred to debt collection.
The student loan is also for adults
Those already in the labor market can also get a student loan. Adults can qualify for a student loan if they participate in a training course that receives at least 8 weeks of adult education from the Education Fund.
There are some conditions attached to receiving adult education support. Applicants must have at least 8 years’ employment history and must have completed at least one year’s most recent employment relationship. In addition, applicants must be on study leave and must not receive any other support for their studies.
Adult students first apply for adult education support and then apply for a student loan guarantee decision from Kela. Once the guarantee decision has been received, you can apply for a student loan at your bank. Adults can get a student loan of up to € 650 a month, or € 800 a month if they study abroad.