Disabled Students Allowance

The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is a non means-tested and non-repayable source of funding intended to help meet the extra disability-related costs incurred while studying at University. The Enabling Team can help you with your application and you can apply for DSA anytime during your course.

You need to demonstrate to your funding body that you:

  • Have an conditional offer from, or are attending Aston University
  • Have appropriate evidence of your disability, for example, a medical letter or post sixteen psychologists report.
  • Meet the residence requirements, which means that must have been living in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before the start of your course.

It is important to note that International and EU students are not normally eligible for the same funding as UK resident students and we strongly advise that you ensure appropriate funding is in place before you arrive at the University.

Applying for DSA

As soon as you have an offer from Aston (or any other institution) you can apply for DSA through your funding body (for example, Student Finance England); the Enabling Team can help you to complete the application form if necessary. It is helpful if you tick the ‘consent to share’ box as this gives permission for the funding body to liaise with the University and will enable us to track your application and start to look at implementing your support.

What are Disabled Students’ Allowances


Applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances

If your application is successful you will be required to have a Study Needs Assessment at a registered assessment centre. The Needs Assessor will use the evidence that you have provided in addition to their discussions with you to produce a report with support recommendations - these will then need to be approved by your funding body.

What is a Study Needs Assessment

It is important to note that the support you receive from the University is in many ways independent of the support you receive through DSA and if you choose not to apply for DSA you can still receive support from the University. However, certain types of support (particularly non-medical helper support such as specialist study skills tuition) are likely to be unavailable without the appropriate funding in place.

Do I need to reapply every year?

You do not need to reapply for DSA each year after the initial application. When completing your online student finance application for maintenance and tuition fee loans you should indicate that you want your DSA support to continue.

This excludes part-time and postgraduate students or students who are only applying for DSA and do not want/are not eligible for maintenance and tuition fee loans, who will need to reapply each year using the full version of the DSA application form.

Feel free to contact us if you have any queries or find more information directly from your funding body: 

 Erasmus Grant

If you are hoping to undertake a placement abroad, either working or studying in an EU country, you are eligible to apply for a grant through Erasmus+. An additional grant is also available through Erasmus+ if you have a severe disability or exceptional special needs. This grant can help cover associated costs on your placement, for example, travel or adapted materials.

If you would like further information, please contact the Erasmus Team (, for further information. The Erasmus Team will work with the Enabling team to ensure all the necessary paperwork is completed and arrangements are made at the host institution/organisation to meet your needs.

Higher education students who need to apply for a special needs allowance should do so via their home institution, before the placement is scheduled to take place. Further information can be found here.

Updated By LM - 30/08/2018