Student unemployment security

As a full-time student, you usually receive your income from financial aid for students. In some cases, you may be entitled to unemployment security during your studies.

Financial aid for students and unemployment security 

As a full-time student, you receive your primary income from financial aid for students. Kela is responsible for the financial aid for students.  
You cannot receive financial aid for students and unemployment security at the same time.

Studying with unemployment security

If you are unemployed and you wish to start studying, you should acquaint yourself with labour market training, the possibilities for short-term or part-time studies, and independent studies with an unemployment benefit (not available for those under the age of 25). When you study in these ways, you may be able to receive an unemployment benefit during your studies.


Full-time studies  

As a full-time student, you are not usually entitled to unemployment security. This also applies to study holidays.    

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, or 
  • upper secondary school studies comprising at least 150 credits. In practice this means upper secondary school studies aimed at young people as well as upper secondary school studies in a boarding school.

Full-time studies include studies corresponding to the Act on Vocational Education aimed at completing

  • a vocational upper secondary qualification or module,
  • preparatory training for vocational education and training, or  
  • preparatory training for work and independent living.  

Other studies are also full-time studies when

  • the study plan comprises a minimum of five credits or three course credits or 4.5 ECVET points in a month of study or
  • 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 or the local government pilot will ascertain if your studies are part-time or full-time.

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 basic education or upper secondary school, you are considered a full-time student through the end of the term.  

If needed, you can show that your studies have ended by producing, for example,  

  • a diploma,
  • a certificate of the termination of studies, or
  • a clarification showing that the 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 not completed any credits and you have not taken part in studies or, for example, prepared a final thesis under guidance.

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