Course providers welcome almost 30,000 disabled students each year, meaning there’s already lots of on-campus support available. Most course providers have disability coordinators and advisers.
If you have a disability, ongoing health condition, sensory impairment, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), you may be entitled to a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). What this covers varies according to which part of the UK you’re applying from, but it’s designed to help you meet the costs of any additional equipment or support you may need, e.g. specialist equipment and non-medical helpers (e.g. note takers).
If you’re a care leaver applying for an undergraduate higher education course, you could get financial support, as well as advice, help settling into higher education, and accommodation all year round.
If you’ve been in Local Authority (LA) care, you can apply for financial support from your course provider or your LA, in addition to your student loan. This may be in the form of a bursary, scholarship, or grant. Contact your personal adviser, social worker or LA case worker for advice, or visit the Propel website for more information.
It’s also a good idea to contact conservatoires directly to find out what support they provide for care leavers – this information may also be available on their website.
Students not supported by their family (estranged)Support is available for students who no longer have a relationship with their family and are not supported by them. This can include help with accommodation and finances, as well as health and wellbeing.
If your relationship with your family has broken down, and you no longer have their support (also known as being ‘estranged’), it’s important to find out what support is available. You’ll need to apply for student finance as an independent student, which will mean providing supporting evidence or speaking to an adviser, so start the process as soon as possible.
As well as student finance, you may be entitled to further support, perhaps in the form of bursaries, grants, or scholarships from your university or college, or a charitable organisation.
For more information, visit the StandAlone student website.
If you are responsible for providing unpaid care to a family member, partner or friend, you may be able to receive extra financial support during your studies, such as a bursary or priority access to hardship funds.
There’s a variety of help available for carers, so it’s important to do your research before you apply. We recommend that you contact your university as early as possible to discuss your circumstances and any support needs you may have, however small or major they may seem. This will help you to make a smooth transition to university and succeed in your ongoing studies.
Further advice for carers can be found on the Carers Trust website.
Students with parenting responsibilities
If you're responsible for the care and wellbeing of child aged 17 or under, you may be able to access additional support, both financially and practically.
On top of your student finance package, you may also be eligible for additional benefits, depending on where you live - take a look at our additional funding page for more details.
Refugees and asylum seekers
If you are a refugee or asylum seeker applying to higher education, there may be support available to help you with financing your studies, such as a bursary or scholarship.
It's a good idea to contact course providers before you apply, to discuss if they can offer your support, and what this might be. This will depend on your circumstances, and you will need to let them know your refugee status.