Getting In

Funding full time further education

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Further education or non-advanced courses are courses that are up to and including SCQF Level 6, for example National Certificate (NC).

If you meet the residency criteria set by the Scottish Government then you are likely to be eligible for free tuition. This usually means being ordinarily resident in Scotland, but for full details contact the college or the SAAS for further information.

You will need to pay for your day-to-day living costs. The funding you can claim for these depends on your age.

If you’re aged 16 to 19 – Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

You may be able to claim an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of £30 a week during term time if you are staying on at school (or college), either full time or part time, and you’re a 16-19 year old from a family with a low income and:

To be eligible for an EMA, your household income must be less than £24,421 a year for households with one dependent child, or £26,884 for households with two or more dependent children.

You must also have ordinary residence in Scotland to apply, which means that you live in one place. However, different rules can apply so you should contact your local authority or bursary office to check your eligibility.

The weekly allowance is paid fortnightly and goes directly into your own bank account.
You must normally sign up to a learning agreement which states that you will go to school (or college) regularly. If your attendance falls below a certain level, you lose the allowance.

Ask your school (or college) for an EMA application form. Also visit for more information.

If you’re aged 18 and over – a further education bursary

If you take a full time course (21 hours or more a week), which leads to a qualification up to but not including Higher National Certificate, you may be eligible for a bursary. You must have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years, and be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the day the course starts.

Bursaries have two main elements:

These are means-tested, so how much you get will depend on the income of your parents or spouse, unless you are classed as a self-supporting student.

If you are aged 18-24 (inclusive) and living with your parents on the start date of the course you may get a maintenance allowance of up to £85.90 a week (up to £108.55 if you are living away from the parental home, depending on the circumstances).

There are also other bursary elements available if you have financial, legal or care responsibilities for a dependant adult or if you have additional support needs for learning (this allowance is not means-tested).

Visit college websites or speak with student support services for more information on exactly what you will be eligible to receive.

You may also be able to apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA).

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