Policies and development

Educational policy objectives are used to further develop student financial aid. The goal is to provide students with sufficient financial aid so that it promotes full-time studies based on the student’s plans and to help shorten the duration of studies.

Overall steering, management and development of student financial aid activities belong within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Changes in the student financial aid 2021

Students with student loans on 1 August 2021 who have completed a degree in tertiary education in 2021 or later are entitled to a student loan compensation and a student loan deduction even if the completion of the degree was delayed by one academic year. The holder of the student loan must show that the studies were delayed due to a reason related to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Students with student loans on 1 January 2021 who completed a degree in tertiary education during the autumn of 2020 term are entitled to a student loan compensation and a student loan deduction even if the completion of the degree was delayed by one academic term. The holder of the student loan must show that the studies were delayed due to a reason related to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Based on the change in the national pension index, study grants will increase by 0.4% as of 1 August 2021.

Meal subsidy

The meal subsidy for higher education students will increase by 36 cents. The subsidy amounts to EUR 2.30 per meal from the beginning of 2021. It is paid to the student canteens.

Subsidy for school journeys

Students eligible for a subsidy for school journeys are required to make at least eight return trips that qualify as school travel journeys in a calendar month as of 1 January 2021, on condition that the student’s number of daily school journeys has dropped due to changes in the teaching arrangements associated with the COVID-19 epidemic. The Act is in force until the end of the academic year 2020-2021, i.e. until 31 July 2021.

The right to a subsidy for school journeys will be expanded so that, with effect from 1 August 2021, the school journeys of students who are entitled to education free of charge can be reimbursed without deductibles, if the school journey is at least seven kilometres long.

See also

Contact information

Virpi Hiltunen, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Nuoriso- ja liikuntapolitiikan osasto (NUOLI), Strategia- ja ohjausryhmä (SORY) 0295330110