What is the DSA?
The Disabled Students’ Allowance (or DSA) is a financial package from the UK Government available to home students which helps pay for extra costs you may have as a direct result of studying in higher education with a disability.
The DSA is not means tested, which means that any other income you receive i.e. your student loan does not affect your entitlement. Your parent’s income will also not be taken into account.
The DSA is only available to UK students - see information for International/EU Students below.
For full and detailed information see www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas.
Am I eligible?
You can apply for the DSA if you have a disability (generally this does include dyslexia, other learning differences, long term mental health conditions or a long term medical condition), you are a home-domiciled student and you are:
- A full or part-time undergraduate
- On a part-time course which is equivalent to at least 50 per cent of the full time course
- A postgraduate attending a recognised taught or research-based course
- A distance learning student
What can the DSA pay for?
The DSA helps to pay for specialist equipment or technology you may need to help you access your course. Contributions may be made towards computers with specialist software, notetaking support, specialist study skills tuition, ergonomic workstations, mentoring for mental health and travel costs depending on your specific needs.
Costs unconnected with a disability cannot be claimed from the allowance, nor can costs you would have incurred if you were not a student, for example you cannot claim for medicines or specialist treatments. Also, the cost of identifying a disability cannot be paid for through the DSA, such as a diagnostic assessment for a learning difference.
The Royal Veterinary College has a number of special funds that may be available to support you. Contact the Disability Adviser with any particular needs you might have (firstname.lastname@example.org). As an international student or if you are from the European Union, you are not eligible for the DSA.
Disability and Learning Differences are accepted and understood in UK universities much more than in many other countries, and there is robust legislation in place to ensure we cannot discriminate against anyone with a long-term health condition, disability or learning difference. We are required by law to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments for you.
You are encouraged to disclose and discuss any conditions you may have at the earliest opportunity with the Disability Adviser, the Advice Centre Manger or a Student Adviser - your enquiry will be treated in confidence and will not jeopardise your place at the RVC in any way.