Skip to main content

Student exemption and discount

Skip to contents of guide

If you or others in your property are students, you may be eligible for a discount or exemption on your Council Tax.

There are 3 categories of students for Council Tax purposes:

  • full time students
  • students under 20 years old
  • foreign language assistants

Full time students

Full time students must be enrolled with a university, college or some other institution that only or mainly provides courses of further or higher education. The course must also satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • it must last a full calendar year (or if the establishment operates on an academic year, a full academic year)
  • it requires study of an average of at least 21 hours a week over a full year
  • it requires the person to undertake it for a minimum of 24 weeks in each year of the course

Students under 20 years old

Under 20-year-olds not undertaking a full-time course as detailed above may still count as students for Council Tax purposes if they are:

  • required to study for more than 12 hours per week
  • on a course lasting three months or more
  • not on a higher education course
  • normally expected to attend college between 8am and 5:30pm

Foreign language assistants

These are people appointed as foreign language assistants at schools or similar establishments in this country and who are registered with the British Council.

Evidence you need to provide

You need to get a Council Tax exemption certificate from your University or College that shows the dates of your course. You must apply and provide us with a copy of your exemption certificate. (If you attend Bournemouth University, the Arts University College at Bournemouth or AECC University College we do not normally require your exemption certificate).

Once the course end date has been reached, any student exemption will end. You will not be treated as a student, for example, if you have finished one course and are waiting to start another. At this point you will be liable for Council Tax.

The following people do not qualify for an exemption

Part time students, evening class students, ‘block release’ type arrangements in conjunction with employment and English Language Courses.

If you live in student halls provided by your university or college, you do not need to apply.

Partner or dependant of a foreign student

Any spouse/civil partner or dependant of a student will be disregarded for the purpose of discount if the student's spouse or dependant is not a British citizen and who is prevented, by the terms of their leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.

In this respect, the spouse/civil partner will effectively be ignored and in fact a Class N Exemption may also be applied.

The person applying will need to make a claim to us in writing giving proof of your prevention from claiming benefit and taking up employment.

You will also need to give full details of your spouse/civil partner/guardian or parent's student status.

We’ll require a certificate of student status from the prescribed educational establishment to support the claim.

How to apply

To apply for an exemption or discount, please complete our form. You’ll need to know your Council Tax account number.

For Bournemouth residents:

For Christchurch residents:

For Poole residents:

If you need any help with completing the form, please contact us.

Have you encountered a problem with this page?