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Kela clawing back grant money from 47,000 students who earned too much

The average amount that a student will need to pay back to the social benefits agency is 976 euros.

Ihmisiä jonottamassa opiskelijatapahtuma Pikkulaskiaisen lipunmyyntipisteelle Turun suurtorilla loskaisessa säässä.
File photo. Image: Arttu Kuivanen / Yle
Yle News

Finland's social benefits agency Kela has requested study grant repayments from about 47,000 students because their income exceeded the annual limit during 2021.

The figure for that year represents an increase of around 6,000 students compared to 2020.

"The average amount of financial aid that students are required to pay back is 976 euros. The total amount of financial aid proposed to be recovered under the preliminary decisions is 45.8 million euros," Kela said in a statement.

Students who receive a preliminary repayment demand can submit an appeal, which must be lodged by mid-March at the latest.

The income check only applies to student financial aid, such as study grants and housing supplements, but does not include the general housing allowance.

According to Kela, it is the students' responsibility to ensure that their annual income does not exceed the income limit. In 2021, a student who received financial aid for nine months could earn up to 12,498 euros.

The income limit was raised by some 25 percent — to 15,630 euros — at the beginning of 2022 and then again at the beginning of this year, to 18,720 euros.

More than 320,000 students received a total of about 1.5 billion euros in student financial aid during 2021.

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