Financial survival as a university of applied sciences open path student


Kädet, jotka pitelevät tyhjää lompakkoa.

Tässä tarinassa on huomioita hankkeen osallistujalta, joka opiskeli viime syksynä ammattikorkeakoulun polkuopinnoissa. Hän suoritti opintojaan TE-toimiston tuella omaehtoisena opiskeluna. Tarina on kirjoitettu englanniksi. Tarina kertoo opintoihin liittyvistä taloudellisista saavutettavuuden haasteista.

This is a collection of observations from a participant who studied as an open path student last autumn. His studies were supported by the TE Office. The story focuses on financial accessibility.


What does the bill for the orientation day look like? Below is an image of the expenses our participant encountered on his orientation day.

Hintoja eri hankinnoista, joita yleensä joutuu korkeakouluopintojen orientaatiopäivillä tekemään. Opiskelijahaalarit 56 euroa. Liittyminen opiskelijakuntaan 20 euroa. Lounas- ja kahvikulut 15 euroa. Opiskelijabileet 50 euroa. Jatkot: hinta ei tiedossa, sillä tarinan kirjoittaja ei osallistunut jatkoille.

In other words, every euro counted and he calculated carefully which events he could take part in.

So how did the participant manage financially?

One of the ways he supported himself was by managing his schedule to go to the food line.

Ruokajonossa olevia ihmisiä. Edessä kyltti, jossa lukee: Hurstin valinta.
Image taken by the participant from the food line.

Another way to cut down on expenses was to skip the student cafe and buy lunch elsewhere. Being an open path student, he was not eligible for the student discount for meals. He would go to the nearby supermarket to buy chicken for one euro.

He also kept looking for a job to support his daily life. However, finding a job is not easy. He would try to find any means to make ends meet.


What does our participant aim for? He would naturally like to study in a degree program full time. He would also want to become financially more independent; to find a job in his field.

In his own words, how the participant pictures an ideal future: “After 10,000 days, I will still be alive.”


For teaching staff and other professionals working to support people to reach their educational goals: it is good to keep in mind that those studying in higher education come from varying backgrounds. Some struggle in vulnerable life situations, being consumed by the daily battle of receiving enough food. Financial struggles are also a question of technological accessibility, which can affect student life in many ways.

Last modified: 20.1.2023