Stage 2: Making an application
Education Maintenance Allowance, funding for Further Education

Household income

Your eligibility for EMA depends on your household income and your family circumstance.

To work out your household income, we need to know who you live with.

Dependent students

If you live with your parent(s) or guardian(s), and are financially dependent on them, you’re considered a dependent student. We will use your parent(s) or guardian(s) income details to make up the household income. If you work part-time or live with siblings, any income you or they earn will not be used.

More information about household income can be found in our parents, guardians and partners section.

Independent students

You’re considered an independent student if you do not live with parent(s) or guardian(s). We will use your earnings to make up your household income. If you live with a partner, their earnings will also be considered as part of your household income.

You will also be considered independent if you:

  • are a care leaver
  • live under local authority care or with foster parents
  • receive Income Support, income-related Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit
  • are responsible for a child
  • are a young person in custody
  • are estranged from your parents

If you are any of the above, you will not need to give us any financial information when you complete your application. But you will need to send evidence of your status.

Visit our guide on independent students for more information.

Household income thresholds

There are two different household income thresholds. Your family circumstance will determine which one applies to you.

Household income Number of dependent children (including the student) Award
£0 - £20,817 1 £40
£20,818 + 1 £0
£0 - £23,077 2+ £40
£23,078 + 1+ £0