Share this page
Education maintenance allowance - 16-19 bursary fund
The education maintenance allowance (EMA) was replaced by a national 16-19 bursary fund in September 2011. The 16-19 bursary fund helps 16 to 19 year olds continue in education, where you might otherwise struggle for financial reasons. It is made up of two parts: bursaries of £1200 a year to the most vulnerable young people and a discretionary fund for schools, colleges, academies, training providers and local authorities (providers) to distribute to other students who face genuine barriers to participation.
You can get help to pay for essential education-related costs if you're 16 to 19 and in further education or training. You can't apply if you're studying at university.
The bursary fund can help pay for costs like:
You could get a bursary of £1,200 a year if you're in one of the following groups:
If you aren't in one of these groups, you could still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. Ask your school, college or training provider's student support services to see if you're eligible.
The bursary is paid directly by your school, college or training provider. They will decide how much and when it's paid.
Students should expect help given through the bursary scheme to be conditional on meeting agreed standards of behaviour and attendance. Bursaries may be given as periodic payments, for example termly or monthly, and can be applied for at any stage in the year.
Each school or college will have a policy statement on how the fund is administered and distributed. This should be made available to young people. This should include information on complaints/appeals procedures
If you need further help or guidance, contact your careers teacher or student services staff in your school, sixth form or further education college or download the " guide for young people [247kb] [pdf]" for more information.