Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)


If you are 16 to 18 years old in full-time or part time study then you may be paid Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) instead of a bursary.  If you turn 16 between 1 October 2019 and 28 February 2020 then you can apply for funding from January 2019.

To apply for EMA you must complete an online funding application which you can do through your Student Hub. See guidelines on how to use the Student Hub

EMA is means tested so you will have to provide supporting documentary evidence before your application can be processed - see a list of the funding documents required.

Your application can only be processed once you have submitted the correct supporting documentation.  Due to the volume of applications it can take up to 4 weeks to process the application so please make your application as soon as you can.  You do not need to wait for your course to start.

The household income thresholds to be eligible for EMA are:

  • £24,421 for households with one dependent child and
  • £26,884 for households with more than one dependent child

If your household income is above these levels you won’t receive any EMA, however you should still make the EMA application.  This is because if there are any associated course costs (text books, protective clothing, kit) this will still be paid on your behalf and is not means tested.  You will only need to provide your proof of ID.  Travel costs will also be paid if you live more than 3 miles from the college.  Any travel costs paid are for students who live more than 3 miles from their local learning centre and will cover only the cheapest method of transport.  Where this is by car the mileage rate of 18.37p will be given.  The maximum travel costs that can be paid to an individual is £11.77 per day.  If your travel costs exceed this you will need to cover the additional cost yourself.

EMA is paid in arrears into your bank account every 2 weeks providing you have 100% attendance during the preceding qualifying period.  You will not receive any payments for holiday periods. For more detail about attendance, how it may affect your funding payments.To check the progress of your EMA application and to make sure that you have submitted all the evidence required log into your Student Hub.  It is here that you will see if any further evidence is needed to support your application.  When your application is completed an award letter will be posted on your student hub account in the finance section.  There you will also find a list of your expected payment dates if you have been granted an award.

Your application will only be processed once you have supplied all the evidence that is required for your situation.  This must all be completed within 6 weeks of the start date of your course (if you started late the cut-off date is still taken as the official start date of the course) otherwise your payments will not be backdated.  Your application will be withdrawn completely if it is not completed by the 1st of December 2019, unless your award can only begin in January 2020 because you became 16 from 1st October 2019 onwards.