Higher Education – University/HE College

Higher Education – University/HE College

You might be looking to go on to university once you have completed your time at college. A young person who is studying for a level 4 qualification (such as a degree) is not entitled to an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), but this doesn’t mean that there won’t be support in place.

There are separate systems in place to support disabled young people in higher education, including Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). These are non-repayable grants that assist with additional costs incurred by disabled students, you can find out more on Gov.uk here: Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

When you are looking at different universities and colleges, as with everything else, preparation is key.

Have a look at the providers website first, if your questions aren’t answered by looking there, then contact their Student Support Services and they should be able to answer any questions you have.

Find out when their Open Days are and arrange to attend, this will give you a good idea of how far away they are, how easy they are to get to, what the student accommodation is like, where the course you’re interested in will be taught. They also give you an opportunity to meet staff, other students and to ask questions. It might be an idea to make a list of the things you want to know before you attend, to remind you when you’re there.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, or UCAS, is the central place where you make your university applications. Their website is full of valuable information, including links to all the universities in the UK. They also have a useful section for students with disabilities UCAS – with useful tips, guides and pointers: Disabled Students | Advice And Financial Support | UCAS.

If you are a young person who is currently receiving a care package and are exploring university options that would mean living away from home, or would need a package of support, please make contact with your social worker to discuss your options.

Funding for higher education (Disabled Students' Allowance)

If you are living in England and accessing higher education (such as at college or university) you can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability including a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia

You don't have to have an Education, Health and Care Plan to apply for a DSA.

A DSA is paid on top of your other student finance. The money helps you to pay the extra costs you may have because of your disability. It doesn't have to be repaid.

You can find out more about DSA eligibility, how to apply and what support is available on the website.

GOV.UK - Help if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability

If you are thinking about going to a Higher Education provider or University, it is also worth looking at the Careers Advice page.

Useful links

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