AccessAbility Centre

Disabled Students Allowance

What is the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)?

DSAs help pay for the extra costs associated with studying that are incurred as a direct result of a disability (for example, mobility impairment, sensory impairment, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, AD(H)D, mental health difficulty, effects of disabling illness or conditions) or specific learning difficulty. The Allowance can help to pay for a non-medical personal helper, items of specialist equipment, assistive software, travel and other course-related costs. The allowance is neither means-tested nor repayable. DSAs are provided by Student Finance England (SFE) or their equivalent. For postgraduate students, DSAs are provided by funding bodies such as the NHS Bursaries Unit, General Social Care Council, ESRC, BBSRC or AHRC.     

How do I apply?

For most undergraduate students and self-funding postgraduate students, Student Finance England (SFE) will provide the Disabled Students' Allowance, simply apply through the SFE application form.  

Students funded by an NHS bursary will need to complete an online DSA form, available via the BOSS system.  

You can also collect a paper copy from the AccessAbility Centre. 

When do I apply?

Apply as soon as possible because the process can take a few months. You can also apply at any time after your course has begun.

What will happen when my DSA is agreed?

SFE will send you a letter, called a DSA Notification of Entitlement.

You may order any equipment or software that you have been allocated. SFE might expect you to make a £200 contribution towards the cost. If you are in hardship, you can apply to have this cost covered by the Hardship Fund. To arrange this contact Student Welfare by email: or by phone on 0116 223 1185.

You may arrange any Assistive Technology Training that you have been allocated.

The AAC will ask you about how you prefer to be contacted. We will communicate with you by using your University of Leicester email account, unless you tell us differently.

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