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Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

You may be eligible to receive the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). This can be used to cover any extra costs that might arise over the course of your studies, on account of a disability, health or learning condition.

Who can apply for DSA?

You can apply for a DSA if you have a diagnosed physical, sensory or unseen medical condition; a long-term health, mental health or autistic spectrum condition; or a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD.

DSAs are grants, not loans – therefore, you won’t have to repay them once you’ve graduated. They are not classed as income, so they are not means-tested and do not affect state benefits.

Disabled Students' Allowance FAQs

Complete a DSA form, which can be downloaded from your funding authority web pages. You should apply to the authority that has provided your general student funding.

Funding authorities:

A Disabled Students’ Allowance pays for study-related support, including specialist equipment and software, extra travel costs, and some other course-related expenses. You may also be entitled to support from non-medical helpers who can help you manage the affect your disability has on your studies.

However, a DSA does not pay for:

  • the costs a student would have incurred whether or not they were at university
  • the costs of personal support for daily living; for example, someone to assist with moving around the campus
  • the non-disability related costs incurred by all students on a particular course.

You will need to provide medical evidence of your condition, such as a letter from your doctor or an appropriate specialist. The medical evidence should state the nature of your disability and should explain how the condition affects you on a daily basis. To try to make the process easier for students, Student Finance England (SFE) has developed a form to take to your GP or other medical professional.

Students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia will need to provide evidence of the condition in the form of a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher. Additional guidance on the assessment required for a DSA application is available from the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC).

When your funding body has processed your application, they'll send a confirmation letter asking you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment. You can find your preferred assessment centre online.

We have assessment centres on our Clifton and City campuses. To book an appointment at an NTU Assessment Centre, email us or call +44 (0)115 8483 495.

We aim to book assessments within three weeks of your first point of contact. If we're not able to accommodate you at our centre, we'll help you to arrange an assessment at another location or reserve you a spot for our next available appointment.

We charge a single assessment fee of £550. However, this is charged to your DSA, so isn't something you'll need to pay yourself. It will cover any necessary assessment updates for the duration of your course.

Your funding body will contact you by post, telling you how to order the equipment and if you require non-medical helpers with Nottingham Trent University as your provider. Typically, you should contact the supplier recommended in the letter for your specialist equipment. They will also need a copy of it for their records.

If you need support in ordering your equipment, email us or call +44 (0)115 8483 495.

Student Financial Support team

It is important to ensure that you are money ready for NTU. If you are an undergraduate in receipt of Personal Independence Payment or Disabled Students' Allowance, you may be entitled to a higher Maintenance Loan.

You may also be eligible to claim state benefits to help with your living and housing costs. If you already receive state benefits, we can advise you on how your student finance could impact what you receive.

Our Student Financial Support team can help you with your finances. We can make sure that your Student Finance application is correct and provide guidance on the extra financial support you may be eligible for. We offer one-to-one appointments with our friendly Money Advisers and budgeting workshops to help you prepare for uni.

If you would like to find out more, please email or call +44(0)115 848 2494.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about disability support at NTU, or you'd like to talk through your options, our Disability Support team are here to help. Email or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 to speak to one of our friendly advisers.