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Students urged to check eligibility for Education Maintenance Allowance payment

Eligible students in school sixth forms or college settings are reminded that increased support is now available from the Student Finance Wales Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme.

Starting from this month, the payment will increase from £30 per week to £40.

The weekly grant, which is paid every two weeks, is designed to support 16 to 18-year-olds from low-income households with further education costs, such as transport.

Students may be eligible to receive the EMA award if they:

  • are above the compulsory school age;
  • will be aged 16, 17 or 18 years old on or before 31 August;
  • normally live in Wales; or
  • are studying an eligible full-time academic or vocational course.

The grant is also means tested and the full eligibility criteria is available on the Student Finance Wales website.

The increase will be a commitment for the next two academic years, while a comprehensive review into the scheme is conducted.

I would like to encourage all students who are in school sixth forms or further education in Bridgend County Borough to find out if they are eligible for this much needed crucial support.

It is important that learners aren’t distracted from their studies by worrying about financial issues such as whether they can afford lunch or travel costs for instance.

I welcome the increased payment and hope that it will play a part in reducing potential barriers caused by the cost-of-living crisis.

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education

Welsh Government’s Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “In Wales we have continued to protect the Education Maintenance Allowance, with the increased payment helping with the reality of the cost of learning for students.

“We appreciate that the rate of EMA has not increased for some time, and during the current cost of living crisis, we understand young people are also feeling the financial strain. While we work to undertake an independent review of EMA, this raise will provide additional help to remove barriers to learning.”