DSAs guide

Funding for a computer

Some students may have heard that you can get a free computer through the DSA and others may have heard that this has been scrapped. The truth is something between the two – if you are recommended certain pieces of software and do not have a suitable computer for running these programs, the Disabled Students Allowances can fund a contribution towards the cost of a computer.

What’s the catch?

None really…

The funding pays for the support rather than going directly to you and doesn’t have to be paid back. It isn’t means tested, there is no age limit on applying and you can apply as an undergraduate or postgraduate student. It doesn’t affect your general student finance application or your eligibility for any other funding sources. The process of applying has a couple of steps to go through but isn’t too bureaucratic and it isn’t difficult to get approved for the support you need.

How to apply

There are three steps to the process. If this sounds like it could be a bit of a hassle, it really isn’t and we can help as much as you need. Also, it’s worth mentioning that part of the reason why you need to go through the process is that you are in charge of your support rather than someone deciding what is best for you.

What can’t I get?

Essentially, anything that isn’t listed in the what can I get post falls outside the remit of the Disabled Students Allowances, but to clarify, here is a list of things that sometimes students will think they may get funding towards but can’t

What can I get?

The funding is actually made up of four different components that fund different types of support – equipment, non-medical helper, general and travel. Read on to find out what is available through each of these

Why apply?

Good question – if your university or college supports its students, why do you also need funding for individual support?

The DSA crucially provides two things worth thinking about. Firstly, it provides is a package of support which is individually tailored to your specific requirements, and secondly, it funds support that isn’t available through the university.

Facts and figures

Around about 6% of all students in higher education (about 80,000 students) get support through Disabled Students Allowances, though it is estimated that over double the number (up to 13%) are actually eligible but have not applied for the funding


If you are a UK student at university with evidence of a disability, long term health condition, sensory impairment, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study, you are likely to be eligible for the Disabled Students Allowances


Support for disabled students in higher education generally comes from two different sources. One is the university or college itself, and the other is through something called the Disabled Students Allowances. The Disabled Students Allowances (or DSAs for short) provide extra help for students who have a disability, a mental health condition such as anxiety …

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