Laura Anderson is in no doubt that her maintenance allowance has freed her to improve her performance at Notre Dame College in Leeds.
"The EMA stops many from having to get part-time jobs, which very much affects young people's education." said the 17-year-old who is studying AS-Levels in media studies, English literature, history, and psychology.
"It is a huge incentive for young people to stay in education,"
"While I still would have gone to college without EMA, it would have been a struggle and my studies would have suffered. I think for some people, EMA is the incentive that makes them stay in education."
Scott Walters, 16, is taking an NVQ Level 2 Sports Leisure course at South Nottingham College. "Without EMA I would have definitely needed a part-time job, which would have affected my work," he said.
"The initial EMA payment allowed me to cover my course costs, such as kit and books. Without this payment I don't know where I would have found the money."
"My EMA pays for costs of college materials and transport, but also leaves me some to pay for a gym membership and driving lessons, which I see as a reward for working hard."