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’ Allowance (DSA) 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.
You can apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250.
Your university or college sets your tuition fee. The loan goes directly to them.
You can apply for a maintenance loan to help with your living costs. The maintenance loan is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. You will need to make repayments on the loan when you start to earn over the repayment threshold.
You can only apply for a maintenance loan as a distance learning student if your condition means that you cannot attend your course in person. The DWP classes distance learning courses as part-time study, even if you study full-time.
Special Support maintenance loan
If you are disabled or are eligible to claim benefits as a full-time undergraduate student, you may be eligible for a higher amount of maintenance loan than other students.
You may be eligible if you:
get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
qualify for a disability premium or severe disability premium in means-tested benefits
receive income-related ESA
are deaf and qualify for DSA
are registered blind
Part of the maintenance loan is the special support element. This is worth up to £4,106 and does not count as income in your means-tested benefits.
Warning If you did not finish a degree because of disability or health reasons
You may be able to apply for money from your university or college on top of other student finance. You do not have to pay this back. Your university will have its own rules on who qualifies, the amount you can get and how to apply.
It’s worth checking your university website to find out what funding they offer. Your student support service can also tell you more about what is available.
Check if you’re entitled to extra funding from charities and other organisations for your studies or disability-related costs.
Turn2us has a large database of charitable grants.