Discounts and exemptions for students

There are three types of reduction which may apply if a property is occupied by a student - an exemption, a 50% discount or a 25% discount, depending on the circumstances.


A full exemption is awarded when a property is occupied wholly by one or more students. A separate application form should be completed for each student resident in the property.

50% Discount

If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50% discount may be awarded instead if all the adults of the property fall into one of the special categories for Council Tax. These special categories include students, student nurses, youth training trainees, apprentices, carers, 18 year olds for whom Child Benefit is payable and people who have an enduring mental illness.

25% Discount

A 25% discount is applicable when all the adults of the above property, except one, are students or fall into any other of the special categories mentioned above.

What about property left unoccupied by a student?

An exemption applies if a student leaves a property unoccupied where:
(a) it was last occupied by the student owner (or tenant) as their main residence; and,
(b) that owner (or tenant) has remained a student for the whole of the period since leaving the dwelling (or has become a student within 6 weeks of leaving).

When is a person classed as a student?

A person is regarded as a student for Council Tax purposes if one of the following applies to them:
(a) they are undertaking a full-time course of education - this applies to those attending a university or college course which lasts for at least an academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves an average of at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time. Please note that the hours of study must be more than the time taken by work experience, except for Initial Teacher Training courses
(b) they are undertaking a qualifying course of education - this applies to those people under the age of 20 studying for more than three months and at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard. It does not apply to correspondence courses, evening classes, or courses taken in connection with a person's job, such as day release
(c) they are a student nurse - this applies to student nurses studying academic courses at universities or colleges, or who are on a Project 2000 course, will be considered as students for Council Tax purposes
(d) they are a foreign language assistant - this applies to those people registered with the British Council
(e) they are a non-British partner of a student - this applies to a student's spouse or dependant being either case a person who is now a British Citizen and who is prevented, by the terms of his/her leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
In addition, school or college leavers aged 18 or 19 are still classed as students for Council tax purposes between the end of their course and the following 1st November, provided that they left the course after 30th April.

How do I apply?

You can print out a form to fill in and return to us or complete our easy to use online form. Both methods are available below.

Please note that a separate form should be completed for each student. It is also essential that a student certificate is sent with each completed student form (or separately if the form is completed online). Student certificates provide details of your course and they can be obtained free of charge from your college or other educational establishment which you attend.

What happens if I qualify?

If you qualify, the Council will send you a revised Council Tax bill. You are then legally obliged to inform the Council of any change of circumstances which may affect your discount/exemption. For example, you should notify the council if you leave your course early or another adult moves into your property.

Downloadable Documents

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File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Unknown file formatCouncil Tax Discount Application - Students in Unknown format422 Kb1 min 0 secs @ 56k, 2 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatGuidance Notes for Student Discount in Word format33 Kb5 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

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0303 123 1702

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