Disabled Students' Allowances

What are Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)? 
As a student with a specific learning difficulty eg dyslexia or dyspraxia, you may be eligible for assistance through Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs). DSAs help pay towards extra costs you may have when studying on your course as a direct result of your specific learning difficulty.

Your student funding authority for example Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance NI, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, will require a copy of a full diagnostic assessment carried out since your 16th birthday. If your assessment report was carried out before you were 16 you may be asked to have it updated by a psychologist or an appropriately qualified specialist teacher. If you require additional guidance regarding the assessment required by Student Finance for an application for DSAs, please look at the SASC website.

What can it pay for?

  • Specialist Equipment Allowance – for example Assistive Technology, (in some cases a computer may be recommended if you do not already have one. Students will be expected to pay a £200 contribution in all instances)
  • Non-medical helpers' allowance – for example one to one support
  • General/other expenditure allowance – exceptionally some students may be entitled to additional photocopying and printer consumables

Disabled Students' Allowances are not repayable. You can find out more about the Disabled Students’ Allowances and how to apply, by visiting the Directgov website.

How do I apply for Disabled Students' Allowances?
Please complete a DSAs application form. For students normally resident in England, download the application forms. Alternatively please contact the Dyslexia Support Team for a copy of the form.

How to complete the DSAs application form:

  • If you are a full-time undergraduate student, who has applied for maintenance loans/grants, please complete the short version of the form (DSA Slim).
  • If you are a full-time undergraduate student who has not applied for maintenance loans/grants, or a part time or postgraduate student, please complete the full version of the form (DSA Full). You will need to ask your Academic School Office to confirm your place/attendance in section 5 of the application form.
  • Please send the completed application form, with a copy of your full diagnostic assessment, to your student funding authority, for example Student Finance England.
  • The address for Student Finance England is Student Finance England, PO Box 210, Darlington, DL1 9HJ.
  • If you would like help completing the form, or have any questions about the application process, please contact the Dyslexia Support Team for advice on +44 (0)115 848 4120.

If you are normally resident in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, please see the following websites for information about Disabled Students' Allowances:

Alternatively, please contact the Dyslexia Support Team via email for a copy of the application form and for advice about the application process.

I would like help in applying for Disabled Students' Allowances. Is this possible?
If you would like help applying for DSAs, or have any questions about the DSAs process, please telephone us on +44 (0)115 848 4120 or email us.

How long will it take my student funding authority to process my application?
It may take your student funding authority three - six weeks to process your application. They will write to you once they have done this.

I have applied for DSAs and have been asked by my student funding authority to have a Study Needs Assessment. How do I arrange this?
Please see the assessing your needs section for full information.

If you have any questions about your DSAs application, please contact the Dyslexia Support Team on +44 (0)115 848 4120 or email.