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National Homeless Advice Service

Financial issues for students

Financial support may be available to young people to enable them to stay on at school or access further education and training.



Bursary scheme and education maintenance allowance (EMA)

From September 2012, the Education Maintenance Allowance in England was replaced by a new bursary scheme aimed at the most vulnerable 16-19 year-old students. This is distributed in two ways:

  • bursaries of £1,200 a year will be given to the most vulnerable 16-19 year-olds (such as children in care, care leavers and those on income support, for example teenage parents, young people with severe disabilities, teenagers living away from their parents and young people whose parents have died).
  • further bursaries can be awarded at the discretion of schools and colleges to any student who faces genuine financial barriers to continuing their education, such as the costs of school equipment, food or transport.

Students aged 16, 17 or 18 who are studying in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales may still be eligible for EMA.

Gov.uk - EMA in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Gov.uk - 16-19 bursary

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Financial help while learning

Young people who are in further education, training or in a job that does not provide further training may be able to receive financial support to learn. This can include help with travel costs and childcare costs.

Gov.uk - Financial help for young people in education or training

Gov.uk - Care to Learn: help with childcare while you learn

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Help with going into higher education

Additional financial help may also be available to young people wishing to study full or part-time at college or university. This is usually in the form of a loan, but some grants and bursaries may also be available.

Gov.uk - Student finance

NUS - Money advice

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Problems with money

Students who are having financial difficulties should contact their local student welfare office in the first instance. It may be able to signpost to possible additional sources of funding and provide advice and assistance.

If students are facing academic sanctions from their college or university in order to recover non-academic debt such as rent arrears, they should contact the NUS for further advice.

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