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Financial support for students with disabilities (DSA & DSF)

Disabilities or learning difficulties are no barrier to success at Bloomsbury Institute. We are committed to combatting the financial burden that additional support needs can entail.

There are two key sources of funding for students with additional support needs: DSA and DSF. To qualify for DSF or DSA, you must have a diagnosed disability or specific learning difficulty first. If you do not have a diagnosis but suspect that you might have a disability, then please do get in touch, the Disability Office will help you to get the support that you need.

Disabled Students' Allowance

Disabled Sudents’ Allowance (DSA) is provided by the government, via the Student Loans Company, and is only available for students who qualify for Student Finance (primarily British or Irish citizens).

Disability Support Fund

The Disability Support Fund (DSF) is provided by Bloomsbury Institute to all of our students with a diagnosed disability or specific learning difficulty.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

DSA is a grant of up to £25,000 to help with the extra costs that you may encounter because of your disability. DSA grants help students living with a disability, mental health problem or long-term illness pay for study-related costs.

Specifically, DSA can help with the cost of:

  • Specialist equipment
  • Non-medical helpers
  • Extra travel because of your disability
  • Other disability-related costs of studying.

Eligible students recieve these allowances on top of their student finance and they do not need to be repaid.

How to apply for DSA

Are you eligible?

If you are a UK resident, whose studies are funded by a student loan, and have any of the conditions below then you are eligible:

  • Long-term medical condition
  • Sensory impairment
  • Specific learning difference
  • Mental health issue
  • Autistic spectrum condition
  • Physical disability.
Apply to your funding body

As DSAs are issued by your student finance provider, you will need to apply through them. Where you apply depends on which body grants your student finance. You must submit your application within 9 months of the start of your academic year.

Needs Assessment

Once your application has been sent and approved, you’ll be asked to book a Needs Assessment. The Needs Assessment will establish what additional support you are eligible for and will send a report to you and your funding body.

Your funding body will confirm what support and equipment you are entitled to and how you can obtain it.

If you need any help or support throughout the DSA application process, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Disability Support Fund (DSF)

We’ve created the Disability Support Fund (DSF) to help students with disabilities to combat the additional support costs that can come with studying for a degree. The DSF issues grants towards services or equipment that supports your academic study, either directly or indirectly.

The primary focus of the DSF is to give financial support if you are faced with additional costs that you are unable to fund through other channels, such as DSA. Therefore we recommend that you apply for DSA before requesting a DSF grant. DSF grants are issued for specific goods or services that can help you learn; for example the £200 contribution towards DSA equipment.

Applications can be made between 1 November and 30 July each academic year. You can apply more than once for a DSF grant, but the maximum amount of money a student can claim is up to £1,000 per academic year.

Who can apply?

The Disability Support Fund is available to Bloomsbury Institute students who:

  • Are fully enrolled and started their studies from and including the academic year 2021-22
  • Have a diagnosed disability, long-term medical condition or Specific Learning Difference
  • Are registered with our Disability Office.
How to apply

We strongly advise you to contact the Disability Office before making a DSF application.

Once you are ready to do so, you can apply to access DSF financial support through the Student Self-service Portal (SSP). Please raise a request and upload your supporting evidence and proof of purchase where relevant.

Contact the Disability Office

We’re here Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm except bank holidays.