Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021
Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
Q1: Can you make any adjustments for students who cannot get their university or college to complete section 5 of the full DSA application?
A: Yes. We understand that our customers are unlikely to get their university or college to complete this section during this time. We will be able to accept an email from the university or college instead of a signed and stamped section 5. The email must come from a university or college address. It must confirm the following:
- academic year
- course name
- course start date
- course end date
- year of study (for example, year 2 of 3)
- mode of study (full-time or part-time)
- intensity of study (for example, 50% of full-time equivalent – we must have this information for part-time students)
- level of study (undergraduate or postgraduate)
Section 5 information is only a requirement for students who are applying for:
- DSA only on undergraduate courses
- part-time or postgraduate courses
Q2: Can you adjust the requirements for students who need to sign their DSA application?
A: We can accept scanned copies of application forms which have had a wet signature. We can also accept digital or electronic signatures. This means that the student has been able to sign their application using a digital method. For example, they may have used the digital signature features within the PDF or signed using a tablet or touch screen.
Full-time undergraduate students, making their first application for DSA, can apply alongside their online application for tuition fee and maintenance support. This means that they can 'sign' for their DSA application online and do not need to print anything.
Q3: What adjustments can you make to the medical evidence requirements?
A: A student who wants to apply for DSA must submit medical or diagnostic evidence. This will let us determine their eligibility for DSA. Evidence can be in the form of:
- a diagnostic assessment (for students with a specific learning difficulty)
- medical evidence from a GP or consultant
- medical evidence from another qualified medical practitioner or appropriate specialist
Evidence should state the nature of the student’s disability. It must also briefly explain how the disability affects the student.
We understand that students may be experiencing difficulties or delays in getting new evidence in support of their applications. In these cases we would encourage students to apply now and provide any evidence they already have. Our team can then review this in full and try to establish their eligibility for DSA support.
Q4: Will you accept remote Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) assessments as evidence to support DSA applications?
A: The specific details for Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales are outlined in student support notices:
- SFE - Student Support Information Note (SSIN) 03/21
- SFW - Student Finance Wales Information Notice (SFWIN) 04/2021
You should follow the guidelines from the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) about the requirements for evaluations of need and diagnostic assessments which are carried out remotely.
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