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Make sure you receive adult education allowance

With the help of adult education allowance, you can make your plans come true when it is time to acquire new skills. The allowance is suitable for a wide range of studies, and you can apply for it, regardless of whether you are in paid employment or an entrepreneur. With careful planning, you can avoid problems during the application stage. Read what to take into account!

Do you need new skills in your work or business? Adult education allowance provides financial security when you want to study during working years. Education does not have to lead to a degree, but adult education allowance can fund a wide range of vocational education and training.

 

Find your possibilities

The biggest benefits of studies can be achieved when you think early enough about what you are aiming for and what you are interested in. And how does your everyday life adapt to studying? Does further training and education improve the competitiveness of your own business?

With adult education allowance, the starting point for studying is the individual situation and goals of the applicant. However, if the applicant is employed, the employer is also affected by the granting of the allowance, as the employee must be on study leave in order to receive the allowance.

You can also discuss your plans more widely with your employer while agreeing on study leave. The best solution may be found together, whether the goal is to deepen skills needed in the current job assignment or to move to a new career.

You can apply for adult education allowance if the following conditions are met: 

  • You have at least eight years of employment history. 
  • You are in your current full-time employment relationship that has lasted at least a year, or you have been a full-time entrepreneur for at least a year. 
  • Your studies are eligible for adult education allowance. The allowance is granted for studies at an educational institution operating in Finland and subject to public supervision. 
  • You will take study leave full-time or part-time, or if you are an entrepreneur, your income from business activities decreases by one third or more compared to the previous tax year. 
  • You are covered by Finnish social security. 
  • You will not receive another allowance or daily allowance that prevents you from receiving adult education allowance. 

You can find more detailed conditions of adult education allowance on this page. If you are employed in the private or public sector, please refer to Adult education allowance for a person employed in the private or public sector: For whom and when? Whereas if you are an entrepreneur, please refer to Entrepreneur’s adult education allowance: For whom and when? 

 

Could adult education allowance suit me?

Adult education allowance can be a good option if you are now employed or an entrepreneur and are planning to study and are not receiving any other allowance for your studies. Many who take advantage of adult education allowance leave their jobs completely and focus entirely on their studies. However, the allowance also enables work or business during studies.

You can take advantage of adult education allowance during your career for one or more studies for a total of 15 allowance months, in one or more instalments. You can apply for it, if you have been in your current employment relationship for at least a year, or have worked as an entrepreneur and been in employment for a total of at least eight years.

There are some differences in the conditions for adult education allowance, depending on whether you are applying for it as an employee or as an entrepreneur. For example, an employed person must take full-time or part-time study leave.

Interested? Learn more about whether adult education allowance could be your solution!

 

What kind of studies are eligible for adult education allowance?

The allowance is granted for studies at an educational institution operating in Finland and subject to public supervision. You can receive adult education allowance while completing studies for a full or partial degree or qualification from a university, university of applied sciences or a vocational college, as well as for supplementary or refresher vocational education, for example. 

Adult education allowance can be granted for up to 15 allowance months. Further information about the amount and duration of the adult education allowance is available on the Amount of adult education allowance and allowance period page.

  • Initial vocational qualification, vocational qualification and special vocational qualification or parts thereof
  • Other vocational training in vocational education and training institutions
  • Polytechnic degree or master's degree
  • Bachelor's or master's degree and licentiate or doctoral degree
  • Parts of university and polytechnic degrees, e.g. core, intermediate and advanced studies
  • Studies towards degree student status at an open university or polytechnic
  • Specialisation studies or other similar additional vocational and continuing vocational education or training at a university or polytechnic
  • Supplementary or refresher vocational education completed at an open university or university of applied sciences
  • Studies in folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports studying centres that strengthens the student's professional competence and qualifications
  • Military, police and rescue training or other similar vocational education and training provided by an officially licensed person
  • Education referred to in the Basic Education Act and the Act on General Upper Secondary Education if lack of education hinders professional development

For employed persons, the number of credits required each month is 2 or 4. The amount is proportional to how much income you get during your studies. If you earn more than half of your normal pay in a month, you must complete 2 study credits. On the other hand, if you earn less or not at all, your studies should progress by 4 credits. You can also choose not to apply for allowance for payment during the months you work a lot.

An entrepreneur with a fixed allowance amount should have an average of at least three credits or 1,8 weeks of study per month. If the studying is not measured in credits or weeks, the amount is 15 hours per week.

One credit corresponds to approximately 27 study hours. It is advisable to plan your studies from a time management point of view in advance, so that they proceed as planned and the allowance does not have to be recovered afterwards, after the annual follow-up.

Studies do not necessarily have to progress at a steady pace, as progress is monitored as averages. Read more about the progress of studies on the This is how to track adult education allowance  page.

A prerequisite for an adult education allowance to be granted is that the studies are vocational in nature. Such studies include supplementary or refresher vocational education at universities and universities of applied sciences, individual study units completed at open universities, and vocational studies not leading to a degree or qualification or a part of one. Non-formal adult education arranged at folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports education centres is also required to be vocational in nature. 

For these types of education, the vocational nature of studies is evaluated in relation to your current job and your previous educational background. When applying for the allowance for vocational supplementary or refresher education, describe in your application how the studies you plan to complete enhance your vocational competence. You can also append a statement from your employer regarding the vocational nature of the studies. Allowances cannot be paid for general education or education as a hobby or with no fixed targets. 

Studies at educational institutions in foreign countries are not covered by the adult education allowance. However, you may receive an allowance if you are registered at a Finnish educational institution and the studies abroad are accredited as part of the studies at the educational institution.

An allowance can be granted for postgraduate scientific studies at a foreign educational institution if you are registered as a postgraduate student at a Finnish university and the studies abroad are related to your postgraduate studies.

If necessary, our customer service can provide some general advice on what type of education is usually covered by adult education allowance

Once you've submitted your application, we will review your plan as a whole. You will therefore receive final information in the decision.

Yes, you can. Allowance can be applied for retrospectively for up to six months.

Yes, you can if you have months of the 15 allowance months left. Adult education allowance can be obtained for several studies. The remaining allowance period is the crucial factor. Please refer to the Allowance amount and period page.

Adult education allowance for a person employed in the private or public sector: For whom and when?

During your employment in the private or public sector, you can apply for adult education allowance if you are on study leave and your employment relationship is in force.

See more detailed conditions below.

Adult education allowance is used to finance studies during study leave, i.e. it cannot be obtained, for example, during layoffs. Adult education allowance is also not available on parental leave. So remember to apply for study leave, even if you are planning to take care of your child after study leave with the support of home care allowance while studying.

You can also work at the same time during your studies, i.e. be on part-time study leave. How much income you get from your job affects how much you get in adult education allowance. Read more on the Amount of adult education allowance and allowance period page.

Once you have found out what studies are available and what you would like to study, discuss your plans and agree on study leave with your employer at the same time. From the perspective of adult education allowance, it is easiest for you to apply for study leave for the entire period of time during which you plan to take advantage of the allowance.

Agree on study leave in advance: periods longer than five days must be applied for in writing no later than 45 days before the studies start. For more information, see the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

When you apply for adult education allowance, you must be employed in the private or public sector in a job covered by pension insurance in Finland. The employment relationship must be full-time and have lasted at least a year. However, the period does not have to be uniform, but may consist of several fixed terms, for example.

As a rule, full-time means that:

  • working hours have been at least 18 hours per week
  • you have received most of your income from the employment relationship.

However, there may be sectoral exceptions to the definition.

There may be several employment relationships, and you can also work as a part-time entrepreneur. The most important thing is that one employment relationship is full-time and has lasted a year or more.

The employment relationship must continue throughout the supported studies. If it is fixed-term or if your permanent job ends during your studies, you can receive allowance until the end of your contract.

Adult education allowance is not available during conscription or civilian service.

Eight years of employment history includes paid employment under pension insurance in Finland, EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. In addition, YEL or MYEL insured business activities are included.  You can find information about the work you have done in Finland in your earnings-related pension statement in the Finnish Centre for Pensions' online service.

Until 2006, employment history is calculated according to the length of employment or business activities. Instead, starting in 2007, your employment history is calculated based on your annual earnings using a formula. You can use the adult education allowance employment history calculator to calculate your accumulated employment from 2007 onwards.

The following periods equivalent to work can be included in your work history for up to two years

  • Time during which you have received maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance or special care allowance
  • Child care leave during an employment or public service relationship
  • Military service or civilian service
  • Periods for which you were paid a disability pension, rehabilitation allowance or an occupational injury pension
  • The period during which you have been employed or self-employed in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. Such work or entrepreneurship must also be pension-insured.

Benefits that prevent the granting of adult education allowance are, for example: 

  • A study grant or housing supplement in accordance with the Student Aid Act 
  • Daily allowance under the Health Insurance Act 
  • Maternity, paternity or parental allowance or partial parental allowance 
  • Special care allowance or special maternity allowance 
  • Unemployment benefit or labor market support 
  • Alternation allowance 
  • Full invalidity pension or rehabilitation allowance 
  • Unemployment pension 
  • Old age pension 
  • Waiver aid 
  • Rehabilitation allowance for the same training in accordance with the Act on Rehabilitation Benefits and Rehabilitation Allowances of the Social Insurance Institution or the Employment Pensions Act 
  • Full rehabilitation allowance under the Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases Act or the Agricultural Entrepreneur's Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases Act 
  • Full compensation for loss of earnings under the provisions of the Act on Rehabilitation Compensable under the Motor Insurance Act or the Military Injury Rehabilitation Act 
  • Years-of-service pension
  • Guarantee pension 

You also cannot receive allowance for periods of military service or civil service or imprisonment and study in a penitentiary institution. 

You can receive adult education allowance if you live permanently in Finland and are entitled to Finnish social security. If you are planning to live abroad for part of your study period, keep in mind when planning your studies that even short periods can affect social security. For more information please visit Kela's website.

Residents of Åland can apply for local adult education allowance from Ålands arbetskrafts och studieservicemyndighet.

Entrepreneur’s adult education allowance: For whom and when?

Full-time entrepreneurs who have had YEL or MYEL insurance for at least one year can apply for adult education allowance.

See more detailed conditions below.

You can receive financial security from adult education allowance when your income from entrepreneurship decreases by one third or more compared to the previous tax year due to your studies. The absolute amount of income does not affect eligibility, but whether it is reduced by at least a third does. Income must also be reduced precisely because of study, not because of the seasonal nature of business, for example. Capital income does not need to be taken into account.

You can also suspend your business for the duration of your studies so that you do not receive any income from it. On the other hand, you will not be able to receive the allowance if you stop your business activities altogether, for example by terminating your business ID.

Also, on the Amount of adult education allowance and allowance period page, see how much adult education allowance and other income can you get as an entrepreneur.

You are entitled to entrepreneur's adult education allowance if you have been an entrepreneur for at least one year before the start of the allowance period. A person is considered to be an entrepreneur if he or she is obliged to take out YEL or MYEL insurance for his or her main job.

If your YEL or MYEL insurance has been interrupted in the last 12 months due to maternity, paternity or parental benefit or sick leave, the insurance period is calculated for the period before and after the period. If it has been interrupted for other reasons, the time before the interruption cannot be taken into account.

A MYEL-insured grant recipient is not eligible for adult education allowance.

Eight years of employment history includes paid employment under pension insurance in Finland, EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. In addition, YEL or MYEL insured business activities are included.  You can find information about the work you have done in Finland in your earnings-related pension statement in the Finnish Centre for Pensions' online service.

Until 2006, employment history is calculated according to the length of employment or business activities. Instead, starting in 2007, your employment history is calculated based on your annual earnings using a formula. You can use the adult education allowance employment history calculator to calculate your accumulated employment from 2007 onwards.

The following periods equivalent to work can be included in your work history for up to two years

  • Time during which you have received maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance or special care allowance
  • Child care leave during an employment or public service relationship
  • Military service or civilian service
  • Periods for which you were paid a disability pension, rehabilitation allowance or an occupational injury pension
  • The period during which you have been employed or self-employed in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. Such work or entrepreneurship must also be pension-insured.

Benefits that prevent the granting of adult education allowance are, for example: 

  • A study grant or housing supplement in accordance with the Student Aid Act 
  • Daily allowance under the Health Insurance Act 
  • Maternity, paternity or parental allowance or partial parental allowance 
  • Special care allowance or special maternity allowance 
  • Unemployment benefit or labor market support 
  • Alternation allowance 
  • Full invalidity pension or rehabilitation allowance 
  • Unemployment pension 
  • Old age pension 
  • Waiver aid 
  • Rehabilitation allowance for the same training in accordance with the Act on Rehabilitation Benefits and Rehabilitation Allowances of the Social Insurance Institution or the Employment Pensions Act 
  • Full rehabilitation allowance under the Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases Act or the Agricultural Entrepreneur's Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases Act 
  • Full compensation for loss of earnings under the provisions of the Act on Rehabilitation Compensable under the Motor Insurance Act or the Military Injury Rehabilitation Act 
  • Years-of-service pension
  • Guarantee pension 

You also cannot receive allowance for periods of military service or civil service or imprisonment and study in a penitentiary institution. 

You can receive adult education allowance if you live permanently in Finland and are entitled to Finnish social security. If you are planning to live abroad for part of your study period, keep in mind when planning your studies that even short periods can affect social security. For more information please visit Kela's website.

Residents of Åland can apply for local adult education allowance from Ålands arbetskrafts och studieservicemyndighet.

An entrepreneur and employee at the same time: Which support to choose?

You are eligible for either allowance, depending on which you are full-time: YEL insured entrepreneur or employee with an employment relationship. Full-time employment is determined by which one you earned most of your income in the 12 months prior to applying.

Please note that you can receive allowance for a maximum of 15 months during your career, even if you have been both an entrepreneur and a paid employee during your career.

How much is the adult education allowance?

The amount of adult education allowance depends on whether you are employed or an entrepreneur. The amount can also be affected by how much work you do and whether you receive other benefits. Please refer to the Amount of adult education allowance and allowance period page for more information on how the allowance amount is calculated.

Read more
How much is the adult education allowance?
Page updated: 20/5/2022