Skip to main content

Funding your support: Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

Funding your support: Disabled Students' Allowance

The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is a branch of student finance that helps to cover study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

Most students with a physical disability or mental health difficulty, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty will be able to apply for DSA. This can include International students and Postgraduate Researchers though the process may vary slightly.

Book an appointment with an advisor to find out more and start your application - we also recommend you use this appointment to discuss declaring your disability/health condition to the University. Your advisor can take you through what to expect in your DSA assessment, and advise onsetting up an Individual Learning Plan.

DSA can help towards the cost of:

Further guidance is available in this downloadable guide to applying for Disabled Students' Allowance.

Please note: Personal Care cannot be funded through DSA, although Adult Services in your area may be able to help.

Applying for DSA: Step by step

  • Download the DSA forms from, you can also get these from Student Finance, the funding body or Wellbeing Services;
  • Wellbeing Services are happy to help you fill these out;
  • Send form to Student Finance or the funding body;
  • Include evidence such as a copy of your Educational Psychologist’s report or a medical letter.
  • This is an opportunity to discuss your study needs with a specialist assessor;
  • They will advise on the support needed for your course i.e. assistive software and specialist support;
  • The assessor will write a report to you within 10 days;
  • You should respond within 5 days.
  • Student Finance or your funding body should issue a response 2 to 3 weeks after your SNA report has been sent;
  • Your DSA2 letter tells you what support Student Finance or the funding body has agreed to, based on your SNA report;
  • It will explain how to obtain your DSA provision.
  • If you have received a DSA2 letter that lists the University of Exeter as one of your providers, please fill out our DSA Funded Specialist Support request form to request your support;
  • Make an appointment with Wellbeing Services to ensure recommendations are put in place;
  • If you are entitled to equipment, you should contact the supplier directly, details will be given on your DSA2 letter;
  • DSA will normally stay in place for the duration of your studies, providing that you apply each academic year.