Applying for the Disabled Students Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowance


In Higher Education, additional support for learning such as one-to-one dyslexia support, note-taking or mentor support, computer equipment or assistive software for your own use, is funded through Student Finance England and the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).


In order to apply for the DSA you will need to have evidence of your disability. In the case of specific learning difficulties eg dyslexia, you will need to have evidence of a diagnostic assessment carried out by an Educational Psychologist (or another appropriately qualified professional), on or after your 16th birthday. If you have a report which was produced before this age, you will need to obtain an up-to date assessment.

  A full dyslexia assessment can be arranged for you here at College. You can either pay for the assessment yourself or you can apply to the College Access to Learning Fund for help with payment of the fee.

 Once you have an up to date assessment, you can then apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. We recommend that the application process is started as early as possible as it can take several months.

 How to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance


  • Tick the ‘Disabled Students’ Allowance’ box on the student finance application form (PN1). Student Finance England will then send you an application form (DSA1) and a guidance booklet


  • Download copies of the form and the guidance booklet from the DfES website and send to Student Finance England


  If your application is successful, you will receive a letter from Student Finance England confirming your entitlement to the allowance  and advising you that you will need to have a  Study Needs Assessment

 Study Needs Assessment

  • You can arrange to have this assessment carried out at a university Access Centre close to your home or we can arrange for this to be carried out at Leeds university. You must have a current report of your disability and the letter of confirmation from Student Finance England before you can book the assessment.

At your assessment, you will meet with an assessor who will talk to you about your disability/learning difficulty and how it may affect your studies. The assessor may demonstrate any appropriate equipment or software.

  • The Study Needs Assessment report will be sent to you. Once you have signed to say that you agree with its findings and have returned the report, a copy will be sent to Student Finance England. A copy of the report will also be sent to Frances Bosley


  • Student Finance England will send you a letter informing you of the equipment and support that they agree to fund. They will also specify the suppliers and give you their contact details.

Katrina Welsh head of Student Support will help you with contacting the suppliers and will arrange any additional support that may have been approved.


Follow the link below for more information on the Disabled Students’ Allowance