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EMA, money to learn or money to burn?

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EMA - it's a completely unfair system.  For those who have never heard of it, this is a plan dreamt up by the government to encourage more youngsters to go into further education after they finish secondary school.  It's called EMA and it stands for Education Maintenance Allowance.  Basically, if you go and do A levels full-time, you'll get £30 a week for it.  That sounds moderately fair right?  I mean, you're not really able to earn much from a job if you're doing this full-time, so it will at least be able to support the costs of your learning (transport, food, books).

This all sounds wonderful doesn't it?  But wait...

EMA can't be given to EVERYONE you see...  In fact it's only available to those who come from a low-income household.  If your parents earn under a certain amount, THEN you will be eligible for EMA.  Well hang on a second, where is the incentive for anyone who comes from a decent earning household to even bother continuing education after secondary school?

Does the government expect that our parents are just going to pay for everything?  I am one of those non-eligible for EMA, and I can assure you my parents do not give me £30 a week.  Unlike many of the people at my college receiving an "educational maintenance allowance", I have to sacrifice a day of my week to earn the some money to support my learning.

A student at college Meanwhile, my best friend goes out and spends her EMA money week on sweets, clothes from Primark and a new piercing.  She does not have to spend her money on lunches as they're provided free at college for those receiving EMA.  Finally, when she's broke her Mother (unemployed) buys everything else that she needs with the money that she's 'earned' from multiple benefits from the government.

Like the vast MINORITY at my college, I'm there to get an education, while at the same time I'm learning how to spend money wisely.  Remarks like "I'd skive today but I wouldn't get my EMA" are heard all the time.  Why do these people, who are obviously not in the least bit interested in their education, get a place in colleges around the country?  All they're doing is adding to the overcrowding problem (this is in fact another gripe).

Either scrap EMA, or make it more fair across the board.  And in the meantime, look forward to a future rant about inequality in university bursaries...

By: Pop


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scroungers

scroungers

wow you are all so ungreatfull! I think its safe to say all these people moaning about ema not being enough are up there with the ''wah mate dey havnt paid me dole this week ffs' crowd!!
11/09/12 scroungers
-3
Ally

Ally

My parents broke up a few years ago, and I currently receive £25 a month total from them. Combined with the EMA I will be receiving from September, I will be on £145 per month. You probably think this is a pretty cushy deal, right? Out of this, I have to pay for credit for my phone- so that total is down to £135 straight away. I also have to pay for bus fare, as I live 2.5 miles away from college and don't qualify for free bus travel. This 2.5 mile journey would cost me £2.10- so that's £4.20 every day. Times that by 5- that's £21 per week. Times that by 4- that's £84 a month on bus travel alone, taking the total down to £51 a month to spend on food, clothes and college supplies such as pens, notebooks and textbooks. And you're looking at £20 for a textbook here, and needing any number of textbooks per subject. I'm taking photography, so i have to spend money developing and printing photos, as well as on A3 hardback sketchbooks to stick them in. Where am I supposed to find money for food, after buying all the things I need to actually get an education? Without EMA I would be on £25 a month, and I'm betting you now that my Dad will stop giving me money soon- so £15.
EMA actually helps students, it's up to them how they spend it and quite frankly if you think it should be scrapped just because people who don't need it can't have it, well then you're pretty selfish, you know that?
26/08/12 Ally
-5
Just Think

Just Think

You sound like a selfish pig. People from low income need the money more than you do. What they choose to buy is up to them. If you don't qualify your parents obviously earn enough for them to support you. If they choose not to and let you starve they are selfish pigs. People from low income are encouraged into education because their famaily has usually had no or basic qualifications which means the kid has no role models who have had higher education. If you don't want people to turn into lazy stupid scum they need education and they need to be shown it's the better choice. Be thankful your parentshave money to buy you stuff and don't act like such a brat.
25/08/11 Just Think
32
student

student

people who recieve ema need it for a reason and even if they are spending it on what they want the majority do use it for college stuff and if they do say id skive today bt I wud loose my ema at lease there in college learning, I go to college 10 miles away from my house and I have to take 2 busses there and back plus food £30 doesnt even cover the cost for me. even people with parents in the best jobs recieves some sort of beifit for there kids. sometimes things go wrong for people they could be on £5000 a month then get made redundant and a few years down the line have to go on benifits and receive help thats life. I went to high school with people like you your all the same to god dam spoilt! you sound like a bitter jealous girl whos mummy did not buy her the new gucci bag the day it came out you need to come back when you have lived half of your life and no a bit more about life before you think you know evrything.
10/06/11 student
-11
Cam

Cam

I'm afraid I don't agree. I'm just about to enter my second year in college, I get the full 30 a week in EMA. My bus costs cost me (personally) 42 a week. My income for living, rent, food etc, comes from ME working nights, I get little sleep with full time college and a night job, but without EMA I know that I wouldn't have made it through last year. I'm pleased that I have managed to continue as I have so far, but I don't know how well I'll manage next year.
03/06/11 Cam
0
Emma

Emma

They've scrapped it you know.

The next bit is when you get to uni and all your friends are getting grants and bursaries AND money from their parents and you get just enough money to cover your rent...if you're lucky. You'll be the first to break into your overdraft if you want a food shop or a drink once the rent has come out!

Its not fair, but then life isn't fair and hopefully at the end of it all you'll get a better job with better pay to make up for it. Thats my plan anyway!
06/05/11 Emma
-16
Ju

Ju

For the most part, the EMA is totally useless except for those maybe studying their A-Levels at a tech. Most secondary schools offer A-Level studies and have all the facilities there to support the students (books and such.) Why is it that suddenly at 16 kids need a further £30 for staying on at the same school? This made me tear my hair out at my school, when my classmates had the additional windfall and didn't have to go out and work every weekend like I did. I never got money from my parents.
At 16 there is no need for the extra support. There is a school buscard scheme that allows kids to travel for free if they're more than 3 miles from their destination. The regular bus fare for any kid in uniform is 80p for goodness sake. At secondary school you are paid to stay on, yet at university you have to pay for the privilege? This makes absolutely no sense.
There's simply no reason for an EMA of any kind. I couldn't understand why my mates were talking about having 'being broke' until their EMA came in when I myself was able to get by easily without it.
05/05/11 Ju
-10
a

a

shes obviously not your friend if you are blatently jealous of her
07/04/11 a
-6
scrapEMA

scrapEMA

I know EMA is not a good use of Government money. I am a teacher and had a sixth year form class a couple of years ago. At registration, all they talked about was getting their EMA and blowing it at the weekend. They always had hangovers on a Monday morning.
A few of them only attended school in order to collect EMA. Some were lazy in class and disrupted lessons of genuine hard-working students.
EMA is based on the parents' income. Students that worked still got their EMA.
One lad made a tidy some from running an Internet business, but still got EMA.
What genius thought up this scheme?
Remember every penny of EMA comes out of workers' paypackets.
30/03/11 scrapEMA
-6
sickofpayingout!

sickofpayingout!

I'm sick of paying out for other people's kids. Child benefit, family tax credit, free prescriptions, and the EMA. It should be scrapped! Child benefit should be scrapped. If people cannot afford to raise and educate their children, then they should do the decent thing and use contraception!
20/03/11 sickofpayingout!
-5
skintttt

skintttt

£30 is not enough I get £60 every 2 weeks and travil money I use my £24 travil money for one week of travil then I have to also use my ema all I spend my money on is travaling.....
19/03/11 skintttt
-22
Connor

Connor

Another thing I'd like to add to what I just said is, there have been about 5-6 people who have left my course, just because they can't afford to come in. They didn't get EMA, and are now trying to find jobs (without success)
21/02/11 Connor
-10
Connor

Connor

I agree with this completely.

My parents don't earn much at all, they can barely afford to get themselves to work, let alone to get me to college as well, but because I apparently live in walking distance I'm not eligible. Now granted, I could walk it, if I left 2-3 hours before my college started, and didn't mind walking uphill the majority of the way.

I think there should be more fair ways of doing it, £10 a week for me would be enough, that's all it'd cost for a bus ticket, I'd be happy with that. After all, EMA is supposed to help these people to travel. I don't think it costs £30 to travel for 2-5 days.

It's ridiculous.
21/02/11 Connor
-7
Student

Student

If EMA encourages people to stay on in full time education, I don't really see a problem with it, the Government axing it just means more 16+ will end up staying at home & on the dole
16/02/11 Student
-9
Susie

Susie

A large number of students who attend college do so only to collect the EMA, and because of this they are extremely disruptive in class and ruin it for the people who are trying to learn. Of course the Labour Government had to give something to the school leavers or they would have been claiming Job Seekers and then their unemployment figures would have looked horrendous.
Parent of two. One son claiming EMA just for the £30 and another son who is trying to learn but can't, because of the disruption in his class caused by students who only want the £30.
19/01/11 Susie
-8

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