Student benefit

Student benefits are transfer payments that are given to students for purposes of full-time study, and require progress in studies, or obtaining academic credits. Student benefits are found in countries where education is free of charge, e.g. Finland and Sweden. Student benefit is paid by the state to all qualifying students, excluding only those with full-time employment and income, and is thus distinct from an individually evaluated scholarship.

Different forms of student benefit are:
* Direct funding for daily living expenses.
* Support for renting an apartment.
* Partially state-funded meals at student cafeterias.
* Securing student loans.

Finland

Secondary and tertiary education is free of charge. Monetary support is paid by the government agency KELA. Most student benefits are paid to students in tertiary education, but in special circumstances, smaller benefits are available also on the secondary level. In tertiary education, students in Bachelor's and Master's level programmes qualify for student benefits. Only those months spent actively studying are supported; i.e. in summer, benefits cease unless a special summer studying plan is submitted and followed.

For students in tertiary education, the figures are as follows. Direct monetary support is 298.00 euros per month. Rent support is 80% of rent or maximum 201.60 euros. (The state or the universities generally do not provide student accommodation.) The state secures student loans (from private banks) for up to 300 euro per month. Student meals are supported by 1.67 €/meal and available only on (privately operated) student cafeterias on campus, thus the effective price is about 2-3 €.

Persistent failure to progress in studies ultimately leads to the termination of student benefits. Likewise, when evaluated on a yearly basis, income of over 505 €/month on supported months and over 1515 €/month on unsupported months reduces the student benefit. Typically, nine months are supported and three summer months are not, which gives 9090 €/year.

Beginning in 2008, the benefits are raised. The direct support is increased 15% and the income limits are raised 30%.

Student benefits are available to Finnish citizens. They are not available for students entering the country for the sole purpose of studying.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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