Funding for your support
How will I fund my additional support needs?
Disabled Students' Allowances and other financial help
DSAs are intended to cover any extra costs or expenses you have while you are studying that arise because of your disability. You may be entitled to extra financial help towards the costs of the following:
- specialist equipment
- non-medical helpers
- extra travel costs
- other extra course-related costs due to your disability.
Disabilities covered include:
- long-term illnesses
- mental-health conditions
- specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
If you qualify for Disabled Students' Allowances, they can be paid on top of other grants or loans. They are not affected by your household income, and you don't have to pay them back.
How do I apply for the Disabled Students' Allowances? (for students normally resident in England)
Please complete a DSA form, which can be downloaded from the DirectGov website. Your funding body, Student Finance England, will require evidence of your disability. For further information, please read the Guide to Disabled Students' Allowances.
What evidence will I need?
Students who are physically disabled, or have a mental-health condition, will need to provide medical evidence of their condition, such as a letter from their doctor or an appropriate specialist. Medical evidence should state the nature of the student’s disability and ideally should also briefly explain how the student is affected by the disability. Students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia will need to provide evidence of this in the form of a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher (see paragraphs 104-111). However, any cost a student incurs obtaining the necessary expert evidence or opinion cannot be met from the DSAs. This is because such costs are not incurred by the student to attend or undertake their course; they are incurred to substantiate their claim for DSAs. However, students might be able to receive assistance with such costs from their universities Access to Learning Fund.
I have been asked by my student funding authority to have a study needs assessment.
Please see the assessing your needs section for full information.
Funding from charitable trusts
You may be able apply to charitable trusts for funding to support you while you study. Skill (the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) is a national website that provides information to disabled students.
If you cannot access funds to support your learning from official or statutory sources, trusts may be able to help you raise the funds. Each trust has its own eligibility criteria, so it is essential you make sure you meet the trust's criteria before you apply. The Directory of Grant Making Trusts, which is available in the Boots Library, gives advice about a number of trusts that may help with funding.