Funding & Travel

Educational Maintenance Allowance 

Sixth Form students may qualify for the Education Maintenance Allowance.  More details are available during the interview process for a place in Sixth Form.

 

Bonus payments are available twice yearly and will be achieved if students fulfil the following criteria:

 

• Good behaviour in the classroom and within the college environment.

• Coursework and homework handed in on time

• Effort applied to learning and contributions to class, discussion and group work

• Punctuality to the college (8.50 am, with early morning starts)

• Attendance at revision classes and additional coursework improvement sessions

If you decide to stay on at school or go to a further education college in Northern Ireland, you may be able to get the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). It is available for both academic and vocational courses.

EMA is a weekly award of £30 which is paid fortnightly to students who fall within the household income thresholds listed below and were aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on or between 2 July 2016 and 1 July 2017.

It is intended to help cover the day-to-day costs that you have to meet when you stay on at school or college like travel costs, books and equipment for your course.

 

Bonus payments

In addition to the EMA payments, two bonus payments of £100 may be paid to you if you achieve the goals and objectives that are set down for you by your school/college as part of the Learning Agreement Part 2. The first bonus payment is made to returning students in January and the second bonus payment is made in June.

 

Courses eligible for EMA

You have to be enrolled on courses of further education up to and including Level 3, but not including higher education. The main types are:

  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • NVQ/SVQ level 1, 2 or 3
  • Pre U
  • BTEC National Diploma, National Certificate and First Diploma
  • Baccalaureate
  • SCE higher grade or similar

Any course that attracts a training allowance will not be covered by the Money to Learn EMA. This includes FE Awards or DAERA Bursaries.

 

Who is entitled to EMA

You can get an EMA if you are aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on or between 2 July 2016 and 1 July 2017 and:

  • your household income is £20,500 or less for households with one dependent child
  • your household income is £22,500 or less for households with more than one dependent child
  • you are full time at school or doing a minimum of 15 guided hours per week at college, studying an eligible course and attending all classes
  • you meet the nationality and residency rules set out in the EMA scheme
  • you have not already received the maximum allowance for EMA, which is 117 positive or negative weekly attendance confirmations over the total length of your course

You may be entitled to receive EMA for a maximum of three years, as long as the household income does not rise above the income threshold which applies to your household. The EMA is available over a four year period for those young people who may need additional time in further education to achieve their full potential.

Receipt of EMA will not affect any other benefits being received in the household.

How to apply for Money to Learn Education Maintenance Allowance

The Education Maintenance Allowance, known as EMA, is a payment of £30 a week which is paid fortnightly straight into your bank account.

 

 Applying for Education Maintenance Allowance

You can apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) by using the form at the link below, or from your local Jobs and Benefits Office.

 

 Before applying for EMA

Before applying for EMA:

  • think about what course you want to do and where you might want to study
  • set up a bank account in your own name which will be able to accept direct credits before sending in your application
  • if you already have a bank account in your name, make sure it can accept direct credits or you will need to open another account

 

Evidence needed with your application

You will need to send evidence to confirm your details. All documents should be originals and will be returned to you as soon as possible.

For evidence of your date of birth, please send one of the following:

  • your valid passport
  • your birth/adoption certificate
  • your national identity card
  • your Biometric Residence Permit

For evidence of your address*, please send one of the following:

  • a utility bill, dated within the last three months
  • your rates bill for the current year
  • your Tax Credit Award Notification

*The proof can be in your parents name.

If your household income is between £20,501 and £22,500 you need to send evidence that there’s another dependant living in your household.  You need to send either:

  • your household’s most recent Child Benefit statement
  • the child’s original birth certificate
  • your household’s most recent Tax Credit Award Notification
  • the child’s birth certificate and a confirmation of enrolment or award from a Further Education Institution as proof that the child has been accepted onto a course (if the child is 16-20 and in full-time further education or training)

 

Third party evidence

If you’re acting on behalf of a student who isn’t capable of filling in or signing the application form and / or holding a bank or building society account in their own name, you need to prove that you’re legally able to act as a third party for the EMA applicant.

You will need to send:

  • documents from a public body (such as the Department of Health), or a Power of Attorney confirming that you’re authorised to act and /  or accept payments on the student’s behalf
  • a statement of the student’s special educational needs or a letter showing you receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on behalf of the student

 

Enrolment and EMA Learning Agreement

After you have enrolled at a school or college you have to sign an EMA Learning Agreement in two parts. The first part covers what sessions you must be present at and in most cases will also make reference to the course you are studying. It might also refer to the Code of Behaviour expected within the school or FE college. To get your payment, you have to go to all their sessions.

 

How payments are made

Payments will be made directly to your bank account.

If you are acting on behalf of a student with Special Educational Needs and /or one who can’t hold their own bank or building society account, you will need to prove you are legally able to act as a third party for the EMA applicant.

You will need to send documents from a public body (for example the Department of Health) or a Power of Attorney confirming that you are authorised to act and/or accept payments on the student’s behalf.  Examples include a statement of the student’s special educational needs or a letter showing you receive Disability Living Allowance on behalf of the student.

All evidence should be original and will be returned as soon as possible.

For further information or advice please contact the EMA Customer Services Team.

 

Data Protection statement

The information provided on EMA application forms will be used for the processing of the EMA application and administration.  For the application to be processed and administered, your information will be shared with the Department of Education and the Department for the Economy, with the school or college that you study at and with Student Loans Company (SLC) who administers the EMA scheme.

These organisations are under a duty to protect public funds, and may also use this information to detect and prevent fraud and/or monitor the performance of the student finance system.

SLC may also share the information with other public bodies for this purpose. SLC may also use this information to contact you about other student finance products that may be of interest to you. SLC may also keep your information to help process you make for higher education funding.

EMA Application Form

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2018-05-15