Financing vocational education

The state pays education allowances to pupils of vocational education to support and facilitate their pursuit for education. Additionally, travel expenses are compensated to pupils of vocational education under certain conditions and the cost of school lunch is covered fully or partially.

Education allowances

The basic allowance may be applied for by a pupil who:

  • is an Estonian citizen or is staying in Estonia on the basis of a long-term or temporary residence permit or permanent or temporary right of residence,
  • studies according to a curriculum of vocational education which foresees student training places formed on the basis of state commissioned education,
  • studies according to a curriculum of vocational education in full-time study and has not exceeded the nominal period of studies according to the curriculum.

The basic allowance can be applied for five study months twice during an academic year – in September and in February. First year/course students cannot apply for allowances during their first term, as they have no study results on the basis of which merit lists are prepared and allowances are allocated. Basic allowances shall be granted according to the order of students in merit lists. The basic allowance cannot be applied for during academic leave.

An educational institution has the right not to grant education allowance for a pupil who is absent from studies without a reason or who fails to observe the obligations established by the statutes, internal procedure rules and rules for organisation of studies of the school.

An educational institution has the right to terminate or suspend the payment of education allowance to a pupil if he or she violates the obligations of a pupil.

Special allowance may be applied for by a pupil whose studies are hindered because of his/her economic situation. The conditions for the application for special allowance are established by the board of the educational institution and information about the allowance is available directly from the educational institution.

Study loan

A pupil studying in vocational education has the right to obtain a study loan if:

  • he/she is an Estonian citizen or a person staying in the Republic of Estonia on the basis of a long-term residence permit or permanent right of residence,
  • he/she has acquired secondary education,
  • the duration of his/her studies according to the curriculum is six calendar months or more.

A pupil studying in a foreign state may apply for a study loan if he/she fulfils the abovementioned conditions.

A study loan may be applied for as many times as is the nominal period of studies according to the curriculum in academic years. Therefore, study loan can be applied for once for a one-year curriculum. For curriculums with a nominal period of studies of a year and a half, the period of studies is rounded to full years and a study loan may be applied for twice.

If a pupil has received a study loan during his/her previous studies on the same educational level, then he/she does not have the right to receive a study loan again when beginning studies for the second time on the same level, except when he/she did not previously take out a loan for each academic year. In vocational education, studies in initial training and continuing training are considered as different educational levels.

If the period of studies according to curriculum is less than nine calendar months, then a study loan is granted once per academic year up to the amount of half of the maximum rate.

Last amended: 09-03-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Education and Research