The Welsh Labour Government is set to be the only UK nation to increase the EMA payment for eligible students with a first-time increase.
From April 2023 the Education Maintenance Allowance will increase from £30 per week to £40 for eligible further education students in sixth form or college.
The increase will be a commitment for the next two academic years, while a comprehensive review into EMA is conducted.
Further Education students are eligible for EMA if their household income is £20,817 or less, if they are the only young person in the household, or £23,077 if there is more than one young person in the household. An online calculator is available to check students’ eligibility via the Student Finance Wales website:
Around 16,000 further education students in Wales currently receive the payment, which is paid every two weeks.
In 2021/2022, over 700 of these students lived in the Bridgend County Borough and over 1,460 in Rhondda Cynon Taf area.
Alongside this increase to the EMA, Education Minister Jeremy Miles has also announced extra funding to allow free appeals for economically disadvantaged learners taking general and vocational qualifications in Summer 2023.
Ogmore MS Huw Irranca-Davies welcomed the news saying: “This will be good news for many students living in Ogmore and right across Wales. For many years, the EMA grant has supported a high proportion of students in Ogmore who live in low-income households, helping with further education costs, such as transport, meals, equipment and much more. I would urge people to check if they are eligible to receive EMA.”
To learn more, check out the Student Finance Wales online calculator: Who is eligible for EMA, Further Education | Student Finance Wales