Student loans can help with course fees and living costs while you study.
You can apply for funding to cover extra costs if you are disabled. This includes Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) and bursaries from universities or charitable trusts. Unlike student loans, you do not have to pay these back.
You may still qualify for some disability benefits while you study.
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
If you’re studying a higher education course, you can apply for DSAs to cover some of your extra study-related costs.
You can get the allowances on top of your other student loans. You will not have to pay them back.
You may get help paying for:
non-medical helpers, such as sign language interpreters or specialist mentors
specialist equipment, such as assistive software so you can access a computer
other disability-related costs of studying, like extra hard copies of materials or a small fridge to store medication
disability-related travel costs
How much you get depends on what support you need to study, not your household income.
You could be entitled to extra funding from charities, organisations or your university. The money can support your studies or help with disability-related costs. The eligibility will vary, so check the criteria. You can see what funding is available by using:
You could get extra money from your university or college if you’re experiencing financial hardship.
For example, if you’re:
a mature student with existing financial commitments
a student that was previously in care (a ‘care leaver’)
Many providers have set up new funds designed to provide grants for financial difficulties arising from issues relating to coronavirus. The funds help with the purchase of laptops so students can access remote teaching and learning. Contact the student services department at your university or college. They’ll decide if you qualify.
Your student income does not affect disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).