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Financial Support

Check out the Scottish Government’s guides for an overview of all the funding available to learners:

Further information about Individual Learning Accounts (ILA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is listed below:

ILA Scotland

An Individual Learning Account (ILA) is funded by the Scottish Government and can help you pay towards the costs of learning. To apply you must be 16 or over and living in Scotland; earning less than £22,000 or be on benefits. You are not eligible to apply if you are still at school.

You can get up to £200 towards the cost of your course fees. You must ensure that your account is in place before you start the course (allow 2- 4 weeks to process) and that the course you want to do is registered with ILA Scotland.

You can do a course search at:
ILA - Course Search

You can apply online at:
Check ILA eligibility and apply

or alternatively you can phone their free helpline for further information or to apply over the phone on 0800 917 8000.

This number is for all enquiries, so if you need extra advice please contact ILA advisers on this number

Email: enquiries@ilascotland.org.uk
or write to:
ILA Scotland
PO Box 26833
Glasgow
G2 9AN

Student Awards Agency for Scotland – SAAS

Funding for Higher Education

SAAS is an agency of the Scottish Government that provides financial support to eligible students who are undertaking a course of Higher Education in the UK. It is the organisation to contact when you need to apply for financial support while you study. To find out if you are eligible further information can be found at: SAAS or contact their general enquiries helpline on 0300 555 0505

Part-time Study

If you are going to study part-time you may not be eligible for a student loan and bursary, but you may be entitled to apply for up to £500 towards the cost of your course.
For further information visit: Student Support

Disabled Students Allowance – DSA

If you have a disability or learning difficulty, you may also claim for certain extra expenses which arise because you are on a course of study, such as items that will aid your learning or software that could help you to study. In some cases DSA could also help to cover personal support such as sign language interpreters and note takers. For further information about eligibility visit: DSA - eligibility or telephone 0300 300 3135 for further advice.

Education Maintenance Allowance - EMA

An Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an allowance of £30 per week payable to eligible young adults who stay on in full-time education at school, College or if they start an Activity Agreement after their 16th birthday. It can be paid for a maximum of 3 consecutive years, with usually 2 years at most in secondary school.

The young person has to satisfy attendance requirements and also complete an EMA application form.  A contract has to be signed between the young person and their School or Learning Centre before payments can be issued.

It is the responsibility of the young adult applying to approach their school/supervisor in regard to completing their Learning Agreement/Activity Agreement.
Note – no payments will be issued until a Learning Agreement/Activity Agreement has been completed.

A new application for young people attending Highland Council schools / Learning Centres must be submitted each year using the correct application form.  These forms are available from:

  • Highland Council Service Points
  • Highland Council Service Centre (telephone 01349 886659)

Further information and access to the application forms, guidance notes and learning agreement can also be found on the Highland Council website, telephone 01463 702206 or email ema@highland.gov.uk

For further information about EMA for young adults attending college or university please contact the college or university directly.

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Please Note: There will be some instances where funding will be required to access a service listed in this directory. Application for this requires to be made following appropriate Highland Council and/or NHS assessment for Adult Services and consequent resource allocation procedures. Further information on accessing services can be obtained from your local Adult Services Team.