Studies and unemployment benefits

Note that the you cannot receive student financial aid and unemployment benefits at the same time. As a full-time student your primary form of support is student financial aid. Kela is responsible for financial aid for students.

Studying with unemployment benefits

If you are unemployed and you would like to start studying, see if you could attend labour market training, study for a short-term or part-time, or study independently with unemployment benefits.

These are ways that you can study while receiving unemployment benefits.

Choosing your career and education

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 150 course credits are also considered full-time studies. In practice this refers to upper secondary school studies for young people as well studies in a boarding school at the same level.

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 confirm if your studies are part-time or full-time on a case-by-case basis. If you are a customer of a local government trial on employment, your municipality of residence can also send you requests for clarification related to your studies.

Jobseekers’ services during the local government trials

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. A higher education degree is deemed to have been completed on the date of the diploma.

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.

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TE Office telephone service for customers

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