Free tuition depends on the progress made by the student in the curriculum. All full-time students studying in Estonian-language curricula (plus Urban Studies, Interior Architecture in MA) can start study free of charge.
The condition for continuing free tuition is that the student completes the maximum volume of the curriculum (30 ECTS in a semester). Pursuant to the conditions established by the Academy, a maximum of 6 ECTS can be incomplete as a total for all semesters. If more than 6 ECTS of credit is outstanding as the total for all semesters, tuition will have to be paid starting from the 7th ECTS on the basis of the credit point price. The price of one credit point is 40 euros. Subjects that have not been passed must ultimately be completed. For example, if 30 ECTS must be completed by the end of the first semester but a student’s total is only 24 ECTS, they do not yet owe anything. However, if the student’s total is 23 ECTS, they will be billed for 1 ECTS – 40 euros. Credit points are tallied at the end of EVERY semester.
The semester’s study volume is specified – i.e., the credit points are tallied up – by the date specified in the academic calendar. Results of study that are posted after this date will be counted as the credit volume for the following semester.
Going on academic leave is not an option for evading the consequences of an unfavourable credit point count, as the study is invoiced for the previous semesters, during which the student was attending school.
Note for students in the final year who don’t defend their graduation theses/portfolios at the end of the standard period of study, and go on academic leave or extend their term of study:
In this case as well, the student should keep an eye on their credit point status.
If the volume of the graduation thesis or portfolio is, e.g., 6 ECTS, the student must have amassed at least 168 ECTS by the end of last semester in order to avoid being invoiced for outstanding credit points.
180 – 6 (portfolio) – 6 (the maximum ECTS level for which the student is not yet invoiced) = 168
STUDENTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO COMPENSATE STUDY EXPENSES IF:
– they have a moderate, severe or profound disability or are the parent or guardian of a child under 7 years of age or a child with a disability. All these are entitled to the exemption from tuition even if they become a part-time student during their studies. Proof that they are entitled to the exemption is to be presented to the Department of Academic Affairs.
– they have studied for at least three months at an institution of education located outside Estonia and returned with having completed 15 ECTS of coursework. Compensation is not required for the given semester or the subsequent semester if the student was abroad.
The minimum volumes for free of charge (if the volume of one semester is precisely 30 ECTS):
First semester: 24 ECTS
Second semester: 54 ECTS
Third semester: 84 ECTS
Fourth semester: 114 ECTS
Fifth semester: 144 ECTS and so on.
STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPENSATE STUDY EXPENSES IF:
– they are a part-time student – meaning that they complete 50–75% of the curriculum (15–22.5 credit points per semester). Students under the part-time study threshold will be ex-matriculated.
– they enter the same educational level at university for a second time if the amount of time that has passed since the last enrolment as a free-tuition student is not greater than or equal to three times the standard period of study (counted from the previous entrance to university).
– they were ex-matriculated from the same speciality/curriculum within the last two years.
– they have more than 6 ECTS outstanding.
– they are studying in a foreign-language curriculum
Starting from the 2015/16 academic year, the volume of curriculum completed under the Recognition of Prior Learning and Work Experience (RPL) system is counted toward the completed curriculum volume with regard to compensation of costs of study.