Piggy bank and coins

Financial support and benefits

Information on student income

On this page you will find information on the different types of grants and benefits available to students.

It’s essential to recognize that services can vary significantly related the nationality, the status of residence permit or the status of studies. For more information, please consult the links on this page for the authorities' own websites and telephone numbers.

Financial supports and benefits

Meal support

University students in Finland studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree are entitled to a discount on the price of a student meal in restaurants that are covered by Kela’s meal allowance. The meal allowance is €2.55 per meal. Non-Finnish citizens are also eligible. You can get a meal at a reduced price by showing, for example, a valid student card or a digital Tuudo student card. Read more on the Kela website. You can find restaurants eligible for meal subsidies by municipality on Kela’s restaurant search service.

Livelihood of a university student

As a student, your income can come from student support or from your salary if you work while studying. You might also qualify for housing and income support. In case of illness preventing you from studying, you have the option to take sick leave. During such a period, you may be eligible for sickness allowance from Kela. For further information, please read Sick leave and periods of absence.

Income in the summer

Students finance their summer by working or with student grants. If these are not possible, the student can apply for income support.

Questions about study grants?

The Kela Student Support Helpline provides advice on student support. You can also find information on the Kela website for students.

Sick leave and periods of absence

If you are unable to study due to illness, you can take sick leave. During this period, you can receive sick pay and if you are unable to progress with your studies during your illness, consider whether you should use up your study allowance months. Even if you are on sick leave, you can still study to some extent.

Continuing students can register as absent without a specific reason for up to two semesters and this absence will not count towards the completion of a degree. This option should also be considered in case of a prolonged illness.

Students with families

During parental leave, you can study or work part-time without affecting your parental allowance. Students with a family receive family benefits from Kela. Full-time students receive a carer’s allowance. A family with children can get more housing allowance. With home care allowance, your child can also be looked after by grandparents or other close relatives. 

If your role as a family member is causing delays in your studies or necessitates a temporary break from university, it may be advisable to suspend the increase in your student support.