How to apply for Education Maintenance Allowance

The Money to Learn 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) for the academic year 2019 to 2020 by using the form at the link below, or you can get one from your school or Further Education college.

Before applying for EMA

Before applying for EMA:

  • think about what course you want to do and where you might want to study
  • 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

If you need help or advice on setting up a bank account talk to your parent or carer, or visit your local bank. It may take a few weeks to set up a bank account, so you should allow for this before you send in your application.

If you have any concerns about opening a bank account, contact the EMA Customer Services team.

Evidence needed with your application

If you hold a valid UK passport, enter these details on the application form. You don't need to send your UK passport as proof of date of birth or address.

If you don't have a UK passport, 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, you need to 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*, you need to 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 parent's 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 that lists each young person
  • the child’s original 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)

Independent status evidence

The table below shows the evidence you will need to give, depending on your specific circumstances on the first day of your course:

Your circumstances  Evidence to send
Living under the care of the Department of Health (DoH) or foster parent(s)  A signed and stamped letter on headed paper from DoH which confirms you are living under their care or with foster parents and your current address
Receiving Icome Support or income-related Employment and Support Allowance in your own name  Your benefits statement or Tax Credit Award Notification for 6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018
Responsible for a child  Your most recent Child Benefit statement or your child’s birth certificate

If you wish to discuss your situation further, call Education Maintenance Allowance Helpline.

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) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 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 contact the EMA Customer Services Team.

Privacy notice

To find out how personal information you send when applying for student finance will be handled, go to the Student Loans Company personal information charter.

Application or payment queries

If you have a problem with your application or payments for Money to Learn EMA then you should contact the EMA Customer Services Team.

If you have already applied and your circumstances have changed then check out how you can get your application reviewed.

Further information

Further information on how to apply is available from your school, college or Jobs and Benefits office, or the EMA Customer Services Team.

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