Additional financial support for home students

Learn about the range of support available to students with and without disabilities

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

The following is the most up-to-date information available obtained from Student Finance England.  We will endeavour to keep this page updated as necessary.

What are DSAs?

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) provide financial support to help with additional costs that you may face while studying as a result of your disability, long-term health condition, specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, or mental health condition.  They help students with disabilities to study in higher education on an equal basis with other students and to fulfill their potential.

DSAs are paid on top of the standard student support package and do not have to be paid back.  The amount you receive depends on the support needs which arise from your disability and is not assessed according to your household income.

If you are eligible for DSAs you will be required to apply for this in order to access ongoing support such as specialist study skills or mentoring. DSAs don’t cover disability-related costs you’d have if you weren’t attending a course, or costs that any student might have.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for DSA, students must meet the following criteria:

  • UK undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • Paying ‘home’ status fees and qualify for student finance
  • Studying on a full-time or part-time course that lasts at least a year

If you are not eligible for DSAs, see information about alternative additional funding sources.

See specific information about international students.

What do DSAs provide?

Needs are assessed on an individual basis however, the wide range of support available includes:

  • Specialist non-medical helper’s allowance, including specialist mentoring, BLS interpreter, assistive technology trainer, mobility trainer, electronic notetaker (for deaf students), etc.
  • Specialist equipment allowance*
  • Miscellaneous expenditure e.g. extra printing costs
  • Travel allowance if additional costs are incurred as a result of your disability

*Students who require a computer because of their disability will have to contribute £200 towards it, as DSAs funding is not available for the first £200 cost towards a computer.

It is important to note that eligibility for DSAs can only be determined by Student Finance England and entitlement to funding through DSAs will be based on the recommendations of a DSAs study needs assessor. Therefore, students should not purchase equipment or services on the assumption that funding through DSAs will be made available.

When to apply

Students are advised to apply as soon as possible, to enable support to be put in place by the start of the academic year.

However, there are a number of reasons why students may make a late application - for example, they are newly diagnosed with a disability or the need for support has only arisen later in the academic year or towards the end of their course. Therefore students are permitted to apply for DSAs irrespective of the time left on the course. It is important to note, however, that the funding available through DSAs will depend on the time left on the course. Students who are approaching the end of their courses and are considering applying for DSAs are encouraged to discuss this with the Mental Health, Neurodiversity or Disability team(s) at the university, as appropriate.

Further information and how to apply

For more information about DSAs and to download the application form please see the DSA website.  Further information on applying for DSA during COVID-19 is available here. Please note this is subject to review.  If you require support with completing your application please contact us.

DSA Information in alternative format

Please use the link below for comprehensive video guides to DSAs.  If you require further guidance or information please contact us.

What are DSAs?

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are additional financial supports for students who have a disability, a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia. Watch this video to find out more and discover what DSAs can help pay for.

Applying for DSAs

Watch this video to find out how and when to apply for Disabled Students' Allowances.

What is a Study Needs Assessment?

If you’re applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances for the first time you will need to attend a Study Needs Assessment. Watch this video to find out more about the Student Needs Assessment.

Support for Students Not Eligible for DSAs

If you are not eligible for DSA and have a disability, long-term health condition, specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, or mental health condition you may be eligible for support funded by City, University of London.  This will not include financial allowances or equipment.  Please contact the relevant support team for more information.

Even if you are not eligible for DSAs, there may be other funding opportunities available to you. City provides advice regarding a range of alternative, additional sources of financial support available to all students both with and without disabilities.  See below for more information.

Further Sources of Financial Support

In addition to disability related financial assistance, loans, grants, bursaries and scholarships are also available.  For more information about funding sources and money management advice please see our Fees and Finance page.