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  5. Higher Education Grants for the Disabled

Higher Education Grants
for the Disabled

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is available to those, in Higher Education (undergraduate or postgraduate), who have a disability, on-going health condition, sensory impairment, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty.

The payments, which are given on the basis of need rather than income, are designed to cover the extra costs of having such impairments.

The DSA is given in addition to other student finance and does not have to be repaid.  

To qualify, you must also...

  • Have qualified for student finance in the UK
  • Be on a course that lasts longer than a year
  • Not be receiving equivalent support from another funding source – e.g. from your university or a social work bursary.
  • Not be eligible for the NHS Students Allowance (given to those on a course funded by the NHS) 

The areas are covered by the DSA are:

  • Specialist Equipment 
  • Non-medical assistance 
  • Specialist Tuition 
  • General Expenditure (E.g. extra photocopying)
  • Travel Costs 

Students will require proof of eligibility depending on the type of condition which may be a report from a suitably qualified Health Care Professional.


Student Finance

Disability Rights have produced information on funding personal care and study related support at university.

Other useful websites include.....

For England - Guide to student finances and loans

Extra money to pay for University (low income)

For Scotland - Financial Support for

Save the Student- provides a calculator to check that your finances add up and sources of funding for education.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding provides information on charities supporting postgraduate courses such as Masters degrees and PGCE.

Student Loans

Save the Student have an excellent in depth article on Understanding Your Student Loan.  It explains the ins and outs of taking out a loan from how the interest works to paying your loan back.

Martin Lewis from has created a summary guide for potential students and parents.

It manages to detail in just 20 points the facts and figures around the changes and how much you will have to repay in the future.

British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) Scholarships

The BFWG Scholarships are academic awards for women in their third year of their doctoral studies or part time equivalent.

The awards range from £1,000 with an average award of £3,000.  Six to eight awards are given each year.

All applications are by email.

Funds for Women Graduates (FfWG)

FfWG offers three types of Awards:

  • Foundation Grants - to help women graduates with living expenses
  • Emergency Grants - to help women who face unforeseen circumstances while studying at a higher education institution. These are offered twice a year in April and December.
  • Theodora Bosanquet Bursary - to assist women graduates researching History or English Literature who require a short stay in London.

To apply: use the online form.

The Hockerill Foundation

The Hockerill Foundation provides grants to support:

  • The education and training of teachers and others such as teaching assistants working in education (teaching qualifications and CPD)
  • Research and development in religious education
  • The church's educational work in the dioceses of Chelmsford and St Albans

Full eligibility criteria for each of the grants and application forms can be obtained from the website.

Inner Temple Disability Award

The Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in London provide financial support for disabled students or pupils of the Inner Temple.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need and have the propects of being called to the Bar.

To apply: Complete the on-line application form and e-mail to the Students and Scholarships Assistant.

Other scholarships and funding are also available from the Inner Temple.

Reid Trust

The Reid Trust awards grants to women educated in the UK towards further training or research at an appropriate educational establishment.

Funding between 250 to 1,000 may be applied for course fees or in some cases for additional support such as childcare.

To apply download and complete an application form from the website. Financial information and references will be required.

The deadline for applications is the 31st May with successful applicants receiving notification of an award in late July.

Snowdon Trust

The Snowdon Trust gives grants to students who are physically disabled and/or have a sensory impairment.  

Applicants must be in higher or further education and/or be in training for employment.

Their aim is that ‘everyone must have the opportunity to achieve their full potential'.

To do this they offer grants for all for those extra costs of having disability can bring, that can put barriers in way for someone in education. You can get help with funding for:

  • Human Help - sign language, interpreters and note takers
  • Computer Equipment 
  • Adapted or additional accommodation
  • Travel Costs 
  • Mobility Equipment 
  • Other costs which relate solely to disability 

The Trust will only fund items and support that are not provided by statutory funding.

Grants that have between given are between £250 to £5,000. The panel that make the decision are made up of both disabled and non-disabled people who have a wide knowledge of different types of disabilities   

Applications are open all year round.  A panel meets three times a year.

Scholarship are also available for Masters Degrees.

Student Disability Assistance Fund

The Student Disability Assistance Fund is run by the British Association of Health Services for Students in Higher Education (BAHSHE).

It provides financial support for the purchase educational aids such as specialist computer equipment, extra travel coats or support.

Before applying to the fund a student must apply for the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). A student who is not entitled to DSA or has been refused is more likely to receive an award from the Fund.

Take a short quesionaire to establish eligibility. If you answer "Yes" to all the questions you may complete the on-line application form.

Applications are considered three times a year, on the first day of November, March and June.

The Student Health Association

The Student Health Association runs an assistance fund to help student with disabilities keep up with their studies.

Students must be involved in higher education on a full-time or nearly full-time basis.

The maximum grants is £500.

It expects students to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) before applying to the Student Health Association.  Students who are disabled and refused the DSA are more likely to receive an award.

Deadlines for applications are March 1st, July 1st and November 1st of each year. 

To apply: complete the online application form.  Supporting evidence will be required.

See also:

Bristol Charities (for 25 years and younger.  Must live within 10 miles radius of Bristol city centre)

The Elmgrant Trust (South West only)

The Police Dependents' Trust

Now check out the other pages.....

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