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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

People with a disability or specific learning difficulty who are studying in higher education, may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs). These allowances can be used to pay for extra costs or expenses incurred by disabled people in addition to normal living expenses while studying.

Higher education students living in England can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if they have:

  • a disability
  • a long-term health condition
  • a mental health condition
  • a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are paid on top of other student finance and don’t have to be repaid.

How much money people get depends on individual need - not household income. For Part-time students the amount of contact hours (‘course intensity’) can affect how much is paid, in addition to the extent of the disability.

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a:

  • disability or long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects your ability to study
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

Where to apply: 

In England apply to Student Finance England. You can apply at the same time as making your online UCAS application. For NHS-funded courses, you need to apply to NHS Student Bursaries for your DSAs.

Link to the GOV.UK website.

Who to contact


Last updated: 24 Feb 2020