Wednesday 10/20/21

How to apply for the student transport subsidy

Kela pays school transportation subsidy to students in vocational education, upper secondary schools and basic education for adults who live far from their study places. If you meet the requirements but there are no public or school transport options available, you can even be granted an allowance for the use of your own car.


If you are a student and you live far from your school location, this information interests you.

The Finnish Security Institution (Kela) provides with school transport subsidy by application. The purpose of this benefit is to provide compensation for the daily cost of travelling to and from school. 

So, if you are planning to study this next academic year you should submit your application as soon as possible, because the earliest that Kela can grant this benefit is the beginning of the month preceding that in which the application was sent.

Kela pays school transport subsidy to full time students in vocational education, upper secondary schools and basic education for adults.

School transport subsidy can be provided if the one-way trip by car from your home to your school is at least 10 kilometres. Another condition is that you must make, at least, 7 one-way trips per week. Your age, income or property do not affect eligibility.

Apply to your school

In addition to meeting the requirements for minimum distance and minimum number of trips, Kela remarks that in order to qualify for school transport subsidy, your monthly travel expenses to and from school must be at least 54 euros. Complete an application for school transport subsidy (KM1) and submit it to your school. Your school will check your application and provide you with a voucher.

You can fill in and download the KM1 application form HERE

The voucher allows you to buy a bus ticket from Matkahuolto at the subsidised price of 43 euros. You will later receive a written decision from Kela. You can also access Kela's e-service to view the decision.

If you use Waltti bus services

If you have access to Waltti bus services in your area, you can qualify for school transport subsidy even if your monthly ticket costs less than 54 euros.

Submit an application for school transport subsidy to your school, which will provide you with a voucher. You will be charged no more than 43 euros for a Waltti travel card.

Did you forget to get a voucher?

According to Kela, in case you bought a monthly ticket without a voucher, you can still apply for the subsidy afterwards. For tickets bought without a voucher, Kela provides school transport subsidy for the month of application and the preceding month.

Tickets bought without a voucher are subsidised on the basis of the lowest monthly fare. However, the fare must be at least 54 euros in order to be covered by the school transport subsidy.

If there is no public transport

If you do not have access to public transport or dedicated school transport, you can be granted school transport subsidy for the use of your own car or some other self-arranged transportation.

In that case, the amount of the subsidy will depend on the length of the subsidised trip. One-way trips between 10 and 100 kilometres can be subsidised. The trips to and from school are both taken into account when the school transport subsidy is calculated.

There are also certain other exceptional situations in which the school transport subsidy may be available for self-arranged transportation, Kela says.

What kind of students receive this benefit?

Kela specifies in its website that you can get school transport subsidy in the following situations:

  • You attend upper secondary school.
  • You study for a basic vocational qualification or a part of a qualification.
  • You attend a folk high school and you are completing upper secondary school studies or a basic vocational qualification or a part of a qualification.
  • You attend upper secondary school in an adult student or night programme and you are completing the upper secondary school curriculum in conjunction with a basic vocational qualification.
  • You attend a course of education preparing you for general upper secondary education and intended for students with immigrant and foreign language backgrounds.
  • You attend a course of education preparing you for basic vocational education (VALMA).
  • You attend a course of education preparing you for employment or for independent living (TELMA).
  • You attend the Emergency Services College (Pelastusopisto/Räddningsinstitutet) or the Training Institute for Prison and Probation Services (Rikosseuraamusalan koulutuskeskus/Brottspåföljdsområdets utbildningscentral), completing a course of basic vocational qualifications.
  • Since August 2018, school transport subsidy can also be granted for adult basic education, for example basic education for persons who have passed the compulsory education age under the Basic Education Act. Adult basic education is usually arranged at folk high schools and upper secondary schools for adult students.

If you need to ask further questions about this or other topics related to student financial aid, you can call Kela's number 020 634 2550 Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 15:00.