Students are often concerned about finances. Having a disability can produce even more financial burdens: part-time employment isn’t always an option, and often there are a number of extra disability-related expenses. Below are some sources of assistance that may be helpful to students with disabilities.
Campus Financial Aid
Financial aid is offered to students, disabled or not, who may qualify by showing that their income, resources, and in some cases, parents’ income and resources, are not adequate to meet the cost of the student’s education.
The situations listed below can result in inadequate financial aid awards without DSP’s help. At your request, DSP can work with the Financial Aid Office to protect or enhance your award:
- Taking a reduced course load (most undergraduates: less than 13 units, graduates: less than 10 units)
- Inability to work part-time due to your disability (during summer and breaks, during the school year, or both)
- Medical expenses, treatments, disability-related equipment, etc. that you pay for, not covered by medical insurance
Other sources of assistance available through the Financial Aid Office include the following:
If you are a graduate student, consult the Graduate Division website at for extensive information about financial aid and fellowships. You are also encouraged to check your department’s website for information on fellowships and scholarships.
DSP Student Grants
Students with disabilities who are eligible for Student Financial Aid may apply for a DSP Student Grant to assist them in purchasing assistive technology and/or equipment for disability-related needs. The Grant recognizes the unique needs of students with disabilities for assistive technology or specialized equipment that either improves access to instructional material or promotes physical independence. The DSP Grant is intended for improvement of access, but not as an emergency source of funding.
Living Expense Loans up to $775 (new rate in effect as of 8/21/08) are available to currently registered students. Co-payable Loans for Fees are available to non-registered students without blocks for the amount required to qualify for the Fee Payment Plan.
Scholarships and Awards
In addition to DSP Student Grants, several other awards are available to DSP students:
The Lois I. Hogan fund makes money available to students with disabilities who have been offered a job opportunity and who are in need of financial assistance in order to realistically pursue the work experience. The fund was established in the memory of Lois Hogan. Ms. Hogan was a parent, the mother of UC Berkeley student Brian Hogan. Work experience for students with disabilities is essential to prepare students for the realities of the work world. The UC Berkeley Public Service Center (formerly Cal Corps), with the Career Center and Disabled Students' Program (DSP), provides information about internships, summer jobs, and other work experience. Disability-related needs include transportation, housing attendant care, and interpreter and reader availability. For more information and timelines, contact Public Service Center Interim Director Mike Bishop.
The University Section Club is a UCB support group composed of faculty wives and other members of the University community offer two different grants. Student Grants of up to $1,000 are available to graduating seniors and graduate students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The Sylvia Elberg Memorial Fund provides emergency aid of up to $500 to any student. These grants are intended to assist disabled students and others who have an unforeseen financial emergency. Students must submit a letter to their DSP specialist stating the reason for their request, along with a transcript.
Non-Campus Financial Resources
If you receive one or more other disability benefits, consult with your DSP specialist about ways to prevent the various aid programs from having an adverse effect on each other.
In addition to campus financial assistance, students with disabilities may be eligible for the following government financial benefits.
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)
- Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS)
- IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services)
- Department of Rehabilitation
- California Regional Centers
- California Children’s Services’
If you have further questions, contact DSP at (510) 642-0518.