Unemployment benefits and studying

Studies and unemployment benefits  

As a full-time student your primary form of support is student financial aid. Kela is responsible for financial aid for students.  

You cannot receive student financial aid and unemployment benefits at the same time.  

Studying with unemployment benefits 

If you are unemployed and you wish to start studying, you should acquaint yourself with labour market training, the possibilities for short-term or part-time studies, and independent studies with an unemployment benefit (not available for those under the age of 25).  These are ways that you can study while receiving unemployment benefits.  


Full-time studies  

As a full-time student you are generally not entitled to unemployment benefits - not even during the holiday period.    

Full-time studies are studies with the aim of completing  

  • a vocational school degree  
  • a higher vocational school degree  
  • a lower or higher university degree 
  • upper secondary school studies comprising at least 75 courses. In practice this means upper secondary school studies aimed at young people as well as upper secondary school studies in a boarding school.  

Full-time studies include studies corresponding to the Act on Vocational Education aimed at  

  • completion of vocational training or a part of it  
  • a vocational upper secondary qualification or part of a qualification, or  
  • training that prepares the student for work or independent life.  

Studies other than the aforementioned are also full-time when  

  • the study plan comprises a minimum of five credits or three course credits or 4.5 ECVET points in a month of study  
  • the studies in the syllabus comprise an average of at least 25 hours per week unless it has been defined in terms of study credits or study weeks or ECVET points.  

The TE office will ascertain if your studies are part time or full time.   

Concluding studies  

Your studies are considered to be full-time until you show that they have concluded. If you are completing the full syllabus of upper secondary school or basic education, you are considered a full-time student through the end of the term.  

If needed, you can show that your studies have ended by producing, for example,   

  • a diploma  
  • a notice of resignation  
  • a clarification showing that studies to prepare for a skills test have concluded.  

Another indication of the conclusion of your studies is that they have been interrupted for at least a year. Interruption of studies means that you have no credits and you have not taken part in studies or, for example, prepared a final thesis under guidance.