Student exemption

Students are exempt from paying council tax. This means that if you are a student and you live on your own or you only live with students then your household will not have to pay council tax. If there is one person in your household who is not a student, they will qualify for a single person's discount.

Council tax exemption is not applied automatically for students and you need to apply or you will still be charged.

Qualification criteria

Full time higher education students

You are classed as a full time student if you are:

  • studying course lasting at least one academic year
  • attending for at least 24 weeks each year
  • attending on average at least 21 hours study or tuition each week you attend

You need to meet all of the above criteria to qualify.

If you are undertaking work experience as part of your course you will only be classed as a full time student if the periods of study exceed the periods of work experience.

If you abandon or complete your course part of the way thought the year, you will be liable for council tax from the date you stop being a full time student, even if you have completed 24 weeks of study during the first part of that year.

Students under 20 in non-advanced education

You qualify for this exemption if you:

  • are under 20 years of age
  • studying a course up to and not exceeding higher level, ordinary national certificate (ONC), ordinary national diploma (OND) or equivalent
  • study for at least 12 hours each week
  • the course will last for at least 3 months

You must meet all of the above criteria to qualify.

Foreign language assistants

You will be treated as a full time student for council tax purposes if you are:

  • appointed to a school or educational establishment in the UK
  • registered as a foreign language assistant with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges

You must meet both of these criteria to qualify for this exemption.

How to apply

Apply online or download an application form.

We may contact you to request more information to support your application.

Do you need to talk about Council Tax or Housing Benefits?

Contact us


Would you like to give feedback about the website?