The Finnish Social Security Institution (Kela) has announced several "slight improvements" to the student financial aid from the beginning of 2020. These improvements will consist of increases in supplements paid to some people who study in Finland and abroad.
The provider supplement to the study grant (which now is paid to approximately 15,000 students who are also guardians of a child under 18) will increase. All students who study abroad will receive a housing supplement of the same amount and the income limits for the recipient’s own income will be raised. In addition, the time limit for voluntary repayment of student financial aid will be shortened to the end of April.
As of January 2020, the provider supplement to the study grant will be 100 euros per month (earlier this supplement was 75 euros). Thus, the provider supplement will be increased by 25 euros.
As a rule, students who study abroad can receive a housing supplement of 210 euros per month to the student financial aid.
However, the housing supplement has been smaller in certain countries in Eastern Europe. For instance, the basic amount of the housing supplement for persons who study in Bulgaria, Romania or Slovenia has been 58.87 euros per month.
This is going to change next year. Starting from January 2020, all students who study abroad and live in rental accommodation can receive a housing supplement of 210 euros per month. The housing supplement will increase for about 350 students who study abroad.
Kela will adjust the provider supplements and housing supplements automatically. Students whose student financial aid increases will receive a new decision on the student financial aid in December without any separate application.
Increase to annual income limits
The annual income limits for the recipient’s own income are raised every second year in line with the change in wages.
Accordingly, the income limits for the years of financial aid 2020 and 2021 will be increased by 4.5%. If a student receives financial aid for 9 months, the student can, in addition to the financial aid, have other income to an amount of 12,498 euros per year. The income limit is raised by 525 euros. For students with 10 months of financial aid the limit is 11,116 euros.
Students can check the new income and recovery limits concerning student financial aid on Kela's website HERE
Recipients must themselves make sure that they do not exceed the set limit for annual income. Students can estimate the effect of their income on the student financial aid with the help of Kela's, which is available HERE
If the income exceeds the income limit, the student can cancel or repay student financial aid. The time limit for voluntary repayment of student financial aid will be shortened by one month. Repayments of student financial aid concerning the year of financial aid 2019 must be made by 30 April 2020. Kela says This change has been implemented for tax reasons.
Student loan compensation
If a student in higher education completes his or her degree in the given time, Kela will pay part of the student loan in the form of student loan compensation. Now this time limit can be extended for higher education studies pursued abroad, if a delay in the granting of a diploma or different definitions of the start and end dates of the terms have prolonged the time of completing a degree.
In such a case, the time for completing a degree that entitles to student loan compensation can be extended by a maximum of 3 months.