Changes in a nutshell:
The maximum amount of aid increases:
- Before August 1st 2017 – 852-938€
- After August 1st 2017 – 1212€
- The study grants will be the same for everyone regardless of education level (Maximum 250,28 €/mo).
- Study loan amounts will be increased for all students.
- The maximum period for financial aid decreases for students starting after August 1st 2017.
- Students living in Finland will switch to the general housing allowance scheme.
Students switch to the general housing allowance scheme
There will be changes to financial aid for students starting August 1st 2017. Students will switch from the housing allowance in the student grant to the general housing allowance scheme. Kela will automatically end your current housing allowance and the general housing allowance can be applied for already from the end of May. Remember to leave your application well in time before the change. You can get the allowance retroactively for August if your application is at Kela by the end of September.
Take note that you have to apply for the general housing allowance yourself.
Persons sharing a household apply for a joint housing allowance. If a person belonging to the same household already receives general housing allowance, he must apply for a review for the allowance
|Persons sharing a household:
||Persons not sharing a household:
Amount of the general housing allowance
The gross income – that is, the income before any decreases or taxes – of people living in the same household affects the amount of the general housing allowance. The income of each person is taken into account either as an average income or as a continuous income.
Continuous income is used in the calculation, if the person’s income stays the same for 3 months. Average income is used, if the person’s income fluctuates and don’t stay the same for 3 months. The income for the next 12 months is taken into account when considering the average income.
An earnings deduction of 300€/mo is made from every person’s salary, income from self-employment or income from agriculture. That means that 300€ less will be taken into account when considering the allowance.
You can check the minimum amount of income after which your income no longer affects the housing allowance and the maximum amount of income after which you can no longer receive housing allowance from these tables.
The maximum limit for housing costs is affected by the size of the household and the location of the household. Check the table for maximum limits for housing costs about your own household and location.
Changes to financial aid for higher education students
The amount of study grant for higher education students will be adjusted to the same level as secondary education, so you can get a maximum of 250,28€/mo of study grant.
The maximum aid period is shortened by 2 months for new students. Likewise students who have already earned their first degree have their maximum aid period shortened to 54 months. The overall maximum aid period stays the same, so starting from August 1st 2014 it’s 64 months and before that it’s 70 months.
Changes to the student loans
Student loan amounts will increase from a monthly loan of 400€ to a monthly loan of 650€. If you’ve been given a student loan guarantee for your whole study time you will receve an automatic decision in July 2017 for your study loan for the academic year 2017-2018.
Changes to income reviews
The percentage increase applied to recovered aid is 7,5% starting from the financial aid year of 2016. The aid year of 2016 will be reviewed in February 2018. The percentage increase was earlier 15%.
If your annual income exceeds the maximum limit, cancel or return aid months from the end of 2017 when you don’t get the housing supplement and a smaller study grant. So don’t cancel aid months for the beginning of 2017.
Annual income limits will be increased in 2018, but the new limits won’t be known until the end of 2017.
The changes in financial aid overall
For most students their financial aid will increase overall, but it will be increasingly based on student loans.
The amount of aid can increase at most by 450€ or decrease at most by 40€. The student grant and housing allowance together make up 1175-1305€. Without the allowance the financial aid is 900€.
The student grant is 250,28€/mo. In addition you will be granted 650€/mo of student loan. Together these make up the financial aid of 900€/mo. Before switching to the general housing allowance scheme the overall aid was 850-940€/mo.
What do I need to remember to do?
Kela reviews current financial aids automatically. Most recipients of study grant will get a reviewed decision around the end of May or the beginning of June.
Apply for student grant if you aren’t receiving it yet.
Apply for the housing allowance starting 1st of August 2017 already by the end of May, if you know your income, housing expenses and other housing circumstances.
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