The income limit for students will be raised in 2023!

From the beginning of the year, the income limit will be raised by 50% compared to
what it was in 2021. In 2022, the limit has been 25% higher than in 2021, and this year it
will be raised further to the planned level. This means that as a student, you can earn
up to €18,720 in gross income if you take out financial aid for 9 months. This
simultaneously means that you don’t have to calculate your income as much more! Here
we interview Oscar Byman who tells us about SHS lobbying and involvement in the
issue during his time on the SHS Board of 2020, as head of academic affairs and vice

“The increase is good for those who work while studying, you don’t have to sit and
calculate as carefully whether you lose the financial aid or not”
Before the increase in income limits, it was tricky to work out how much you could
actually work without losing the financial aid for students. Byman recounts how it could
be just a small amount that exceeded the limit and then resulted in a whole month’s
worth of support having to be paid back. As students of economics, it’s almost expected
that we work alongside our studies. Internships and work in the financial sector are
desirable among employers and can almost feel crucial to one’s career. Income limits in
the past did not exactly provide an incentive to work as you could easily lose your
financial aid, which for many is still a significant sum.

“It felt tough to lose financial aid while you were working, even though you were doing
your studies well and at the right pace”

This used to be an issue in several parties and among several student unions, but the
FSF (National Union of University Students in Finland) did not have a proper increase of
the income limit as its line. Many felt that an increased income limit was not needed
because students should not feel the need to work, but instead focus solely on their
studies. Many students still want to gain work experience during their studies.
The SHS Board decided to push for an increase in the income limit for the 2020 Annual
Congress as it was in the interest of their members. The lobbying started and the
opinion was brought from SHS both to the financial associations and among others to
ÅAS (The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University). A common proposal was created a 50% increase in the income limits would be passed at the Annual Congress.

Byman talks about how he was in contact with scientists to form factual arguments and
base his opinion on real facts. In his contacts with experts, he found that it actually
benefits the state if students work alongside their studies. The subject was first
discussed in general terms among the committees – for example, in the working group
of Höpona (the responsibles for academic affairs of the various boards of the FSF). A
proposal directly to the FSF Board was also put forward before the Annual Congress
but was not passed.

At the meeting itself, the matter was raised again and the proposal was passed with
clear numbers. This change is significant for those who can and want to work while
studying. To sum up, you don’t have to worry as much anymore about figuring out
income and support for 2023. In addition, we can say that even though SHS is a small
student union, we can lobby for our members’ interests and manage to push through big
changes anyway!

Emilia Öfverström

Responsible for Academic Affairs in the Board of 2023
Questions and concerns can be directed to