Learning Choices is no longer supported or maintained and you might find the content is out of date.

If you are looking for careers information and guidance,
please visit Planit.

Funding for staying on at school or college (EMA)

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

You may be able to claim an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of £30 a week during term time if you are staying on full time at school, college or a learning programme in a community or voluntary setting, and you’re a 16-19 year old from a family with a low income. You can only get an EMA if you’ve reached your school leaving age.


You must normally have been living in the UK for at least 3 years before you apply, and be living in Scotland when you apply.  


If you, or your parents, have been given refugee status or some other type of 'leave to remain', such as Discretionary Leave, you can apply for EMA if you are ordinarily resident in Scotland and have been living in the UK and Islands since getting refugee status or 'leave to remain'. You will need a letter from the Home Office stating that you, or your parents, have been recognised as a refugee or given leave to remain as a refugee. If you are a young asylum seeker you will not be eligible to apply for an EMA.


For first time applicants to be eligible for an EMA from the school year starting August 2013, your family income must be £20,351 a year or less. If your family has more than one child in full time education, you will be eligible if the family income is £22,403 or less. (Note that if you are already receiving an EMA, you will continue to qualify under the previous rules.) 

The money goes directly into your own bank account every two weeks.


You must normally sign up to a learning agreement which states that you will go to school (or college) regularly. If your attendance falls below a certain level, you lose the allowance.


Ask your school (or college) for an EMA application form. Also visit the EMA website at http://www.emascotland.com/ for more information.

<< back to the previous Page