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Money off council tax for students

If you're a student or a student nurse, you may be exempt or receive a discount.


If you're currently struggling to pay your bills, please see our financial support during Coronavirus outbreak information.

You can get a discount or be exempt if:

  • everyone in the property is a student or student nurse
  • only some people are students or student nurses

If you live in halls of residence, you're exempt from paying council tax and you don't need to do anything.

How to apply

When you complete the form, you will need:

  • address and postcode of the property
  • names of all adults over 18 living at the property
  • date of birth of all adults over 18 living at the property
  • student number for each student, their course start and end date

Only one application is needed per household.

We receive a list of full time students from New College Durham and Durham University, but if you study at another educational establishment we will require a copy of your student certificate. We may need to contact you if we require any further information.

Once you've completed the form, either email it to, drop it into one of our customer access points, or post it to the address included on the form.

Who can apply


If you're a student, you don't pay council tax if you are:

  • Over 20 years old, and your university or college course:
    • lasts at least one academic or calendar year
    • requires at least 21 hours per week of study, tuition or work experience.
  • Under 20 yeas old and your course:
    • lasts for more than three months
    • requires at least 12 hours a week of study for any qualification up to A-Level and equivalent
  • A foreign language assistant registered with the British Council.

Student nurses

If you're a nursing or midwifery student, including those on pre-registration undergraduate courses and post-registration health visitor training, you count as student.

Student nurses taking traditional hospital based training do not count as students.

Where you may have to pay council tax

You are only exempt from paying council tax if all the people living in a property are full-time students. If there is one person who is not a student, you will only a receive a 25% discount. If there are two people who are not students, you will not receive a discount at all.

Change in circumstances

You need to let us know when you are no longer a student. If you don't inform us, you may receive a fine.

See our Tell us you've moved house or had a change in circumstances page for more information.

School or college leavers under 20-years-old

If you're under the age of 20 and have left school, college or full time education on or after the 1 May in any year after studying towards qualifying course of education (for example, one no higher than A-level or equivalent) you may not have to pay as much council tax from 1 May to 31 October in the same year.

Contact us
Council tax
03000 26 4000
Our address is:
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP