Kela annually monitors the study progress of the recipients of student aid. Further information is available here.
What period does the monitoring cover?
The academic year is from 1 August to 31 July. Credits received in August generally count towards the beginning academic year, which should already be taken into account when planning studies.
Students must complete an average of at least 5 credits for each used month of student aid and at least 20 credits during each academic year (the minimum requirement). If you receive student aid for even one month, you must thus complete at least 20 credits. If you receive aid for 9 months, you should complete at least 45 credits.
From autumn 2018 onwards, all higher education studies completed in Finland since 1 August 2011 are taken into account in the monitoring of study progress. This means that starting new studies after failing to complete the previous course of study no longer resets the counter for satisfactory study progress.
Did you complete a bachelor’s degree in the middle of the year?
If you complete your bachelor’s degree in the middle of the year, for example in February, for instance, Kela will look at your used months of aid and completed credits after this point separately. In this scenario, however, the minimum requirement of 20 credits does not concern you. If you graduate in the middle of the year, you might still get a letter requesting further information from Kela even if you had a sufficient number of credits for the entire academic year. In this case, you should reply to the letter, mentioning the fact that you completed your bachelor’s degree in the middle of the year in your reply.
I got a letter requesting further information. What should I do?
Reply to the letter and state the reasons for your unsatisfactory study progress. Generally acceptable reasons for slower study progress include an illness of your own or of a close family member, otherwise difficult circumstances and working on a particularly large study module (such as a master’s thesis). After your reply, Kela will decide whether the reasons you stated are acceptable.
If you have not completed enough credits during the previous academic year, the payment of your student aid may still be continued if you have completed an average of at least 5 credits for each used month of student aid during the entire course of your studies.
You can reduce the number of months of aid taken into account in the monitoring by returning student aid voluntarily. If you only return student aid after you have received the letter requesting further information, you should mention this in your reply.
What if the reasons I state in my reply are not accepted?
If the reasons you have presented are not deemed sufficient and you are not able to return student aid, your student aid may be changed to be paid out for a specified period of time or its payment may be discontinued with effect from 1 January. In such cases, you must complete new studies worth 20 credits to get your student aid reinstated. The payment of general housing allowance will not be discontinued but you cannot take out a student loan if your student aid has been discontinued.
Will the aid be recovered?
Student aid is rarely recovered because of unsatisfactory study progress. However, recovery may happen if you have a particularly low number of credits, less than 1 credit for each used month of student aid, for instance. Further information is available here.
How will I secure my subsistence after the aid has been discontinued?
If you receive general housing allowance, its payment will continue after the discontinuation of student aid. If you are not working or have no savings, you can apply for social assistance. Further information is available here.
Still wondering about something?
Specialist (subsistence, international affairs)
+358 50 543 9608
WhatsApp/Telegram: +358 50 543 9608