London Borough of Croydon

What do we mean by a full-time student?

A full-time student is defined in council tax law as a person undertaking a course of education at a prescribed educational establishment for at least one academic or calendar year. They must attend the establishment for at least 24 weeks a year and undertake at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week.

A full-time student also includes:

  • 18 and 19-year-olds studying up to 'A' level or the equivalent
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants
  • foreign spouses of students who are prevented from working or claiming benefit.

A person ceases to be a full-time student when their course ends (as shown on their student certificate), if the college they attend closes, or if they abandon or are dismissed from the course.

Please note: these definitions of "full-time student" may be different from that used by your college or by other bodies.

Can a student be liable for council tax?

Yes, if he or she is the owner or tenant of a dwelling and a non-student, who is not a joint owner or joint tenant, also lives there.

However if a student and a non-student are joint owners or joint tenants, only the non-student is liable for council tax.

Student discounts

Full-time students are "disregarded" for council tax discount purposes. This means that they are not included when counting the number of adults resident in a dwelling. For example, if a single parent has one or more adult children who are full-time students they will still receive a 25% discount.

Student exemptions

Dwellings occupied only by full-time students are exempt from paying council tax. This exemption ceases as soon as one of the residents stops being a full-time student.

How do I apply for a discount of exemption?

Please provide a copy of your student certificate issued by your college.

You will also need to confirm the names of any other adults who reside at the property. If they are students we will need to see their certificates too.

What if I stop being a student?

Please write to or email us at the address below, giving the date when you stopped being a student. Please remember to include your name, address and the council tax account number.


Council tax section

020 8726 7000
Payment line - 0345 300 0614 (option 3)
Address Line:

Council tax section

London Borough of Croydon

Bernard Weatherill House

8 Mint Walk

Croydon, CR0 1EA