Managing financially during studies

There are at least as many ways to cope financially during studies as there are students. There are different alternatives for you to explore, whether you are currently unemployed, laid off, working part-time, an entrepreneur or working full-time.

When you are studying, your possible sources of income are the student financial aid paid by Kela, the salary you are paid for your work, and unemployment security. In addition, persons with a longer career history may be entitled to adult education allowance or job alternation compensation. Other alternatives include, for example, integration training, apprenticeship contract and different grants.

In addition to your salary, you may only receive one benefit at a time. Keep in mind that your salary may affect the amount of the paid benefits. There is an income limit for student financial aid, an additional income limit for adult education allowance, and even unemployment benefits are adjusted in accordance with your earned income. Furthermore, job alternation compensation is also reduced by other income you earn during your alternation leave.

In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must be registered as a jobseeker with the TE Office. As a jobseeker, you must notify the TE Office of all your studies, so that their potential impact on receiving unemployment benefits can be assessed. Please note, however, that if you cut back your working hours or quit your job because of studies, you will also lose your right to unemployment security.

Instructions for customers in local government trials on employment 

If you are a customer of a local government trial on employment, contact your municipality of residence when you need support. Your home municipality can also guide you in matters related to education and coaching.

Studying while unemployed

If you are unemployed, you can finance your studies either with an unemployment benefit or Kela’s student financial aid when your studies last for at least two months. Studying does not prevent you from receiving unemployment benefits if you have agreed on the studies with the TE Office. Vocational labour market training is free of cost, and you can also receive an expense allowance during the training.

Studying while working part-time

If you have a part-time job, you can finance your studies with your earned income or adjusted unemployment benefit. For studies that last for more than two months, you can also receive student financial aid from Kela or adult education allowance from the Employment Fund.

Studying during a lay-off period

If you are laid off, you have the same options for financing your studies as unemployed persons. You must register as a jobseeker with the TE Office and notify the office of your studies.

Studying as an entrepreneur

As a full-time entrepreneur, you can finance your studies with the income earned from your entrepreneurial activities, or if your studies last for over two months, you can receive student financial aid from Kela or entrepreneur’s adult education allowance. As a part-time entrepreneur, you have the same financing options as unemployed persons.

Studying while working full-time

If you have a full-time job, you can finance your studies with your earned income, adult education allowance, Kela’s student financial aid, or job alternation compensation. In addition to your salary, you may only receive one benefit at a time. Please note that your salary may affect the amount of paid benefits. Student financial aid and adult education allowance are meant for studies that last over two months.

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Social assistance

As a student, you may be entitled to basic social assistance, or income support, when the payment of your study grant has been stopped, or you have used up all of your eligibility for financial aid. You may also be entitled to social assistance during the summer, if studying is not possible, and you have not managed to secure employment. Please note that your life situation, as well as income and assets affect the amount of basic social assistance. Basic social assistance is the last-resort form of financial assistance.  

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