Did you know you could get help with education-related costs if you are aged 16-19?

16-19 Bursary

(Used to be called EMA)
You could get help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and studying at school or college (not university), on a training course, including unpaid work experience.

What is it for?

A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like clothing, books and other equipment for your course, transport and lunch on days you go.

Who can get one?

  • Under 19 at the start of the academic year you want a bursary for
  • Studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course

Southwark Educational Maintenance Supplement (SEMS):

The SEMS is a small grant paid to assist young people who would otherwise struggle with the costs of post 16 education. The grant was initially introduced to help ease the burden many families faced with the removal of EMA. Since 2011 and the beginning of the grant over 5,106 payments have been made to young Southwark Residents.

To be eligible for the grant young people must be:

  • 16-18 years old
  • Resident in Southwark
  • Eligible for free school meals
  • Not receiving the £1,200 entitlement under the national 16 to 18 bursary scheme

If you’re interested in receiving the grant then please contact your school’s finance office.

Vulnerable student bursary

You could get up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:

  • You’re in or recently left local authority care
  • You get Income Support (or Universal Credit in place of Income Support) in your name
  • You’re disabled and get both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (or Universal Credit in place of ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name

You may get the full amount if you have expenses and study full-time on a course of at least 30 weeks. You’ll usually get less, or no bursary, if your course is shorter, you study part time or have few expenses. You’ll be told what evidence you need, eg benefit letters.

Discretionary bursary

Education and training providers set their own criteria for discretionary bursaries, e.g. they might look at family income.
Ask student services at your college about their criteria and any evidence you’ll need.

How to apply

Apply to your school, college or training provider. Ask student services or your tutor to explain what you need to do.

When to apply

Apply once you know where you’ll study or train, so you’ll get your bursary as soon as possible. You might need to reapply for a bursary for each year of your course. Check with your provider.
For further information you can have a look at this site: