Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) - This is funding that can be applied for to give disabled students the extra financial support they require whilst studying. You may be entitled to apply for DSA if you have:

  • A disability,
  • A specific learning difficulty – like dyslexia,
  • An on-going health condition,
  • A mental-health condition.

If you are unsure if entitled to a DSA, please contact your university's disability services, who will be able to advise.

DSAs are awarded in the form of a grant, not repayable, and can be applied for on their own or as additional funding on top of the standard student finance you are entitled to.

Depending on your individual needs, DSA can help pay for items such as:

  • Equipment, i.e. computer hardware and software,
  • Travel costs towards the extras you have to pay as a result of your disability,
  • Books and stationery, i.e. books in Braille or large print,
  • Non-medical help, i.e. a note-taker to assist you during lectures

The exact support you receive will be determined through a ‘needs assessment’. The assessor makes recommendations to your funding body and they then approve the support.

You may be recommended a new computer if your current computer does not meet the required specification or you do not have one. If you are applying for DSAs for the first time you will be required to pay a personal contribution of £200 towards the cost of any computer.

Funding body information and guides

DSAs are administered by several different funding bodies. To find out more about DSAs and how to apply please click here.


To ensure your DSA is in place for you as quickly as possible, follow these top tips:

  • Apply as early as possible – in most cases, you don’t need to have a place confirmed at university or college to apply
  • Once you receive notification that you are eligible, book your needs assessment as soon as you can
  • When you attend your needs assessment interview, in addition to the medical evidence returned to the centre, you should give the assessor as much information as possible. You may want to take along any other relevant paperwork you have to help the assessor with determining what will help you
  • As soon as you receive your entitlement notification from your funding body, you should contact the authorised supplier the agreed support and equipment