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Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs)

EMAs are part of the Scottish Executive's agenda of encouraging access to, and participation in, further and higher education by young people from low-income families. 
EMAs are financial support for 16 19 year olds who stay on in full time non advanced education after their statutory school leaving date (i.e. those continuing in post-compulsory education).

To be eligible for an EMA in 2017/2018 the student must:

  • Have been born between 1 March 1998 and 28 February 2002.
  • Have a household income of 26,884 or below (for families with more than one dependent child in the household)* or
  • Have a household income of 24,421 or below (for families with a single dependent child in the household).

       Be in full-time non-advanced education (up to SVQ level 3).

* Dependent children are all those up to the age of 16 and those over the age of 16 and up to the age of 25 if they are still in full-time education.

If you are an independent young person (ie receiving education while living in a foster home or children's home and are in the care of the local authority, or are living independently in receipt of Income Support or Contributions-Based Employment Support and Allowance), you are eligible for an EMA award without having to provide evidence of household income.

Following assessment of the application, weekly payments will be paid at 30.

Students become eligible for an EMA in August if they turn 16 between 1 March and 30 September and in January if they turn 16 between 1 October and end of February. Eligibility is reassessed each academic year.

  • To be eligible for weekly payments the student must complete a learning agreement with the school.
  • Payments are made fortnightly in arrears to the student's bank account depending on attendance and compliance with the requirements of their learning agreement.

Application forms are available from schools, Marischal College Reception and Customer Access Points in Woodside, Kincorth and Mastrick.   A form can also be downloaded.  Completed forms should be sent to the address shown on the front of the application form..

Note: The Scottish Ministers reserve the right to review the EMA programme at any time.


  • Moyra Forbes
    Education Maintenance Allowances
    Business Hub 13
    2nd Floor North
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 52 38 98
    Fax: 01224 52 20 22

Frequently Asked Questions