Education Maintenance Allowance

EMA is a weekly payment of £30 to help 16 to 19 year olds with the costs of further education. There are 2 performance based bonuses of £100 normally paid out in January and June.

Payments are made every 2 weeks and are dependent upon students having 100% attendance (including authorised absences) at all of their timetabled classes each week.


Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria must be met:


Students must have their 16th ,17th, 18th, or 19th birthday on or between 2nd July 2022 and 1st July 2023 and starting or continuing in further education from September 2023.


Students must be undertaking a full time further education course (15 or more hours per week).


If you're a UK citizen who normally lives in the UK you should be able to get EMA. If you're not a UK citizen you may still be able to receive EMA, go to for more information.

Household Income

The table below shows how much you can receive based on your household situation.

Annual Household Income Weekly EMA Limit
£20,500 or less £30
Between £20,501 and £22,500 and there's at least 1 other dependant eligible for child benefit in your household, other than you £30
Between £20,501 and £22,500 and there are no other dependants eligible for child benefit in your household, other than you £0
£22,501 or more £0

When to Apply

Application forms can be collected from the College or downloaded from NI Direct website. To be eligible for payments backdated to the start of the academic year you must have applied to EMA by 30th September 2023.

Contact Information

NI Direct

Telephone: 0300 200 7089