Financial Aid for International Students
VAMK students from non EU countries and paying tuition fees are eligble for applying a scholarship.
International students are eligible for Student Financial Aid from the government of Finland if they have lived in Finland at least two years for some other purpose than studies, and their residence in Finland is regarded to be permanent. International students from the EU countries are not eligible for the Finnish government study support if studying is their only reason for coming to Finland.
If you are not a Finnish citizen and have come to Finland for study purposes, the general rule is that you cannot get financial aid from the government.
However, you may qualify for financial aid if
- you have been granted a continuous (A) or permanent (P) residence permit or an EU residence permit for third-country nationals (P-EU or P-EY).
- If you are a citizen of another EU or EEA country or of Switzerland, the family member of such a person, or a citizen of a Nordic country, you only have to register your right of residence or present your residence card.
- if you are living in Finland permanently and
- you have arrived in Finland for some other reason than to study. Such a reason can for example be employment, family ties or return migration.
You are eligible if
- you study on a full-time basis for at least 2 months
- you make sufficient academic progress and
- you are in need of financial assistance
The amount of study grant (before taxes) for students in higher education is 250,28€/month. More about the amount and special situations which might affect to the amount can be found from here. The study grant does not count as the student's own income for purposes of the financial aid income check.
The student loan is a government-guaranteed loan that you must pay back. If Kela gives you a loan guarantee you can apply for a loan at a bank of your choice. You can get a government guarantee for a student loan if you are being paid a study grant by Kela or an adult education allowance by the Employment Fund. Study grant is considered to mean other kinds of study grant than the supplementary allowance for the purchase of study materials. The monthly amount for students in higher education is 650€ per month. The student loan is disbursed in two instalments in each academic year. Ask your bank what you need to do to have the loan funds deposited into your account. The disbursement dates for the autumn term is earliest 1st of August and for the spring term the earliest is 1st of January.
Student loan compensation
Students living in rental accommodation in Finland can get general housing allowance. A household comprises the persons sharing living quarters. The housing allowance is granted to the household collectively. Students can get general housing allowance under the same conditions as all other customers. This means that months of study or the maximum time limits for financial aid will not be considered when awarding housing benefits. The general housing allowance is 80% of the difference between the acceptable housing costs and the basic deductible. You can use an online calculator to estimate the amount of housing allowance you can get.
Impact of your income
Your income will affect the number of months per year for which you will be able to receive financial aid. You must make sure that your annual income does not exceed a specified limit. Kela takes into account your taxable gross earnings, grants, scholarships and foreign income. Tax-exempt grants and scholarships are not taken into account as income, if the grant or scholarship is paid in 2019 or later.
Your annual income limit is determined on the basis of the number of months for which you have drawn financial aid during a calendar year. For example if you draw financial aid for 9 months of the calendar year, your annual income limit is 12 298€. You can check your own annual income limit from here.
Maximum period of eligibility
- 210 credits à 35 of eligibility in months
- 240 credits à 39 of eligibility in months
In order to get financial aid, you must make satisfactory progress with your studies. Your progress is regarded as satisfactory if your period of full-time study does not substaintially exceed the standard study time for oyur course of study.
You must complete at least 5 credits on average for each month of financial aid and at least 20 credits in each academic year (the minimum requirement)