EMA Scrapping: What it means for you

From FundingEducation: The scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) has been one of the most controversial moves made by the Tory-led government. It has attracted criticism from opposition politicians, student groups and teachers, many of whom have suggested that it will put students from poorer backgrounds off continuing their education.

The scheme is now closed. Many students are concerned about how this will affect their plans for college and other further education. So what does the scrapping of EMA mean for you?

EMA is a grant that was provided to students between the ages of 16 and 19, whose parents were deemed to be on low incomes. In order to be eligible for EMA the student needed to be undertaking a further education course of at least 12 hours a week, in an FE college, sixth form college, or school sixth form.

Students who had already successfully applied for EMA will still get their grant. The amount they receive depends on their parents’ taxable income; the grant starts at £10 a week for those with a household income between £25,522 and £30,810, and rises gradually to the top rate of £30 for those with a household income under £20.817.

The EMA scheme is now closed. No new applications are being accepted by the government. This follows a vote in the House of Commons in January 2011, in which the scheme was abolished.

Following the scrapping of EMA, many students have panicked about their financial situation. There is no doubt that the grant provided a vital financial lifeline to students who would otherwise have struggled to complete their further education courses.

In many cases, EMA was important for those who lived some distance from their place of education, and had to drive or take public transport in order to get there. Bus fares can run to many hundreds of pounds over the course of a year, and this is an expense that many students simply cannot afford.

[Read full article on FundingEducation…]