Students sitting on steps smiling

What is the DSA?
Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are to help meet the extra costs students face in order to address the study difficulties caused by a disability such as an impairment, mental health condition, or learning difficulty. For example, DSAs can help pay for:
  • Specialist equipment
  • Non-medical helper support, such as 1-1 study tuition or specialist mentoring
  • Extra travel costs
  • The cost of extra photocopying or printing
The DSA is not means tested and does not need to be paid back when you graduate.Statistics show that students who access DSA support perform better academically than eligible students who do not access their DSA.
Am I eligible for the DSA?
You are eligible for a DSA if you meet all the following criteria:
  • You are taking a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK (including Open University, H.E. college and distance learning courses) that lasts at least one year
  • You can prove you have a disability, medical condition, sensory impairment, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study
  • You normally live in the UK
  • You qualify for student finance

For more details about eligibility, check out the gov.uk website or get in contact with our helpful admin team by phoning 024 76426146.
Can I bring someone with me to the assessment?
We want the assessment to be as welcoming and supportive as possible. You are welcome to bring a supportive person to the assessment with you, although the majority of students tend to choose a 1 to 1 meeting.
How long will the assessment take?
Assessments usually take between 1.5 – 2 hours, but this may sometimes be longer depending on the complexity of your needs and the nature of the support you require. Some of the session will be spent demonstrating software and discussing support strategies. 
What happens after the assessment?
After the assessment a support recommendations plan will be agreed. The assessor will go through the support plan, explain the next steps and of course, answer any questions you have.

You can choose to be provided with a draft report before it is sent to your funding body so that you can suggest amendments if you wish.

You can also decide if you want a copy of your report to go to your university. You will receive your report within 10 working days
What is a Needs Assessment Report?
The Needs Assessment report is sent to your funding body so they can approve and fund the recommendations made by your Needs Assessor. The report will explain your study difficulties, justify the support request and provide costings.
How long is the DSA Assessment valid for?
The DSA Assessment recommendations are valid for the duration of your studies. Amendments can be made if your circumstances change. If there is a change to your diagnoses then you may be entitled to a funded review of needs.
Do I have to tell my college or university about my disability?
No. Although lots of students find it helpful to tell their university or college about their difficulties, you don’t have to. The information shared in the DSA Report only needs to be sent to your funding body.
Do I need to pay for my DSA Assessment?
No, the assessment fee is paid for by your funding body and is not added to your loan.
When should I book a DSA Needs Assessment?
It is a good idea to book your DSA Assessment as soon as you can. You can apply before your course has started and at any stage during your course.
What is a funding body for the DSA?
The majority of students studying in England on full or part-time courses will apply to Student Finance England unless they are studying a course funded by the NHS. Postgraduate courses may also be funded by Student Finance England unless funded by the NHS or a research council.

However, other funding bodies include:
  • Student Finance Wales
  • Student Awards Agency Scotland
  • Student Finance Northern Ireland
  • NHS Student Bursaries England – This is for English students studying undergraduate and post-graduate courses funded by the NHS
  • NHS Student Bursaries Wales – This is for Welsh students studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses funded by the NHS
  • Research Councils – This is for postgraduate students who are funded by research councils

If you would like to speak to a member of our team at any stage of the process contact: access@hereward.ac.uk or telephone 024 7642 6146.

Hereward College, Bramston Crescent, Tile Hill, Coventry CV4 9SW
Tel: 024 7642 6146
Email: access@hereward.ac.uk

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