Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an allowance of £30 per week for students in full-time education who are under 19 on the first day of their course and have reached school-leaving age. It is means-assessed which means whether you are eligible depends on your household income and the number of dependent children in your family home.

To get your EMA payments while studying, you must also sign an EMA Learning Agreement. This is an activity agreement where you agree to meet set standards of conduct, attendance and engagement. If, during your course, you fail to meet the standards in the agreement your payments may be withheld.

Your school leaving age, and EMA eligibility depends on when you turn 16.


16th Birthday                                                                     EMA Eligibility

March 1st – September 30th                                          Eligible from the start of August Term

October 1st – Last day of February                                Eligible from the start of January Term


Learn more about EMA from the government website.