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Type Benefit



The EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) is a weekly cash benefit available to 16-19 year olds if they stay on at school or college after GCSEs.

The level of benefit depends on household income -

  • up to 20,817 per year, 30 per week
  • 20,818 - 25,521 per year, 20 per week
  • 25,522 - 30,810 per year, 10 per week
  • more than 30,810 per year, no entitlement.
  • Strangely it is the previous tax year that counts as the qualifying period, which can be unfortunate if your parents' income suddenly dips when you start 6th form.

    Application is easy, and can be made online (at the URL mentioned). The time to apply is towards the end of your final GCSE year. There's a simple form to fill in and return. You'll then receive your EMA certificate, a copy of which has to be signed by your tutor/head of year.

    Why in 100 Best?

    The range of employment options faced by 16 year old school leavers is becoming more and more limited, so any financial aid helping you gain extra qualifications is not to be sniffed at.
    EMA: Directgov - Education and Learning

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    Listing contributed by Linda

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