Students with disabilities
Disabled Students' Allowances or DSAs are grants to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, ongoing health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty.
- They help disabled people to study in higher education on an equal basis with other students.
- They are paid on top of the standard student finance package and don't have to be paid back.
- The amount you get depends on the type of extra help you need - not on your household income.
DSAs can help pay for:
- specialist equipment you need for studying - for example, computer software
- non-medical helpers, such as a note-taker or reader
- extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
- other costs - for example, tapes or Braille paper
You can apply for a DSA if you are doing an undergraduate or postgraduate course (including a distance-learning course) that is:
- full-time and lasts at least one year
- part-time, lasts at least one year and doesn't take more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course
If you are eligible for a bursary from the NHS, you are NOT eligible for a DSA but can apply for equivalent help through the NHS bursary scheme.
You also won't qualify for DSAs from Student Finance England or your local authority if you're a postgraduate student getting:
- research council funding
- a social work bursary from the NHS Business Services Authority that includes equivalent support
- funding from your university or college that includes equivalent support
Contact your funding provider for advice on any extra support you may be entitled to because of your disability or condition.
Further information is also available at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG_10034898
To download a guide on DSAs developed by the National Association of Student Money Advisers for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, click here or go to http://www.skill.org.uk/page.aspx?c=284&p=406 for alternative versions.