Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

An Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment of £30 awarded to young people from lower income families who are between 16 and 19 years of age, and are:

  • staying on at school or home education, or
  • following a 16+ Activity Agreement

An EMA may also be available to part-time college students attending a non-advanced college course.

Do you qualify?

EMAs are awarded according to the level of household income:

  • for income up to £24,421 (with one dependent child in the household)
  • for income up to £26,884 (with two or more dependent children in the household)

To find out if you qualify visit

When you'll be paid

If you are eligible from the Autumn intake and apply by 30 September, you will be paid from the start of term. Alternatively, if you are eligible from the winter intake, and apply before the last day in February, you will be paid from the start of the January term.

How to apply

College students: apply through your college's bursary office

At school or in home education: use the following link. It will take 20 minutes and you will need bank account details

Apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance