Stage 1: Before you apply
Education Maintenance Allowance, funding for Further Education


Before making your application, there are some things you should check to make sure you’ll be able to get EMA.


You must be between 16 and 18 years old on 31 August 2022.

Nationality and residency

If you’re a UK citizen living in Wales, you should be eligible to get EMA.

If you’re not a UK citizen but you live in Wales, you may still be able to get EMA. You should complete the application form and return it to us – we’ll let you know if you’re eligible.


Although you don't have to study in Wales to get EMA, you must be studying at a school or college involved in the EMA scheme.

Your course should be an academic or vocational course, up to and including Level 3. Examples of such courses are:

  • GCSEs
  • AS-Levels or A-Levels
  • Basic skills courses
  • Independent Living Skills courses or, if studying in England, Preparation for Adulthood

If studying at school

Your course must be full-time.

If studying at college

  • You must be studying a minimum of 12 guided hours per week; and
  • Your course must last at least 10 weeks.

Household income

Your household income must be below a certain level for you to get EMA. There are two different levels depending on your family circumstances:

  • Household income must be £20,817 or less if you’re the only young person in the household.
  • Household income must be £23,077 or less if there is more than one young person in the household (this includes you).

Our FE calculator can help you work out whether you might be able to get EMA based on your household income.

More detailed information about household income, including what to do if you’re a care leaver, can be found in the household income section.