An EMA is a payment of £30 per week, paid directly into your bank account if you stay on in school, college or in home education after your official school leaving date.
Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) are part of the Scottish Government's agenda of encouraging access to, and participation in, further and higher education by young people from low-income families. These allowances 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).
Aberdeen City Council pay EMAs, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to eligible school students.
To be eligible for an EMA in 2023/24 the student must:
- Have been born between 1 March 2004 and 29 February 2008
- 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 (i.e. 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 Income-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.
- The start date of EMA payments is dependent on the date of your sixteenth birthday. If you are 16 on or before 30 September 2023 and we receive your application before 30 September 2023 we will pay your EMA from August 2023.
- If you are 16 between 1 October 2023 and 29 February 2024 and we receive your application before 29 February 2024 we will pay your EMA from January 2024.
- Applications received after the dates shown above will not be backdated. EMA will be paid from the start of the week in which we receive your application.
- Please note that the final date for all completed education maintenance allowance application forms is 31 March 2024. No application will be accepted or processed after this date.
Note: The Scottish Ministers reserve the right to review the EMA programme at any time.
How to apply
You can apply for an education maintenance allowance online.
If you have any queries regarding Education Maintenance Allowance, please email EMA@aberdeencity.gov.uk