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Cambridge City Council

Discounts for students and school leavers

You can manage your Council Tax account online. Use the system to tell us if your address or circumstances change, or if your course is extended.

You are classed as a student under Council Tax rules if:

  • You are undertaking a full-time course at a UK or EU member state college, university or similar that:
    • lasts at least one academic or calendar year
    • requires at least 21 hours of study per week and lasts for at least 24 weeks in the year
  • You are under 20 and on a full-time qualifying course that:
    • lasts for more than three months
    • requires at least 12 hours per week on relevant activities between 8am and 5.30pm
    • is not a course of higher education
  • You are a student nurse undertaking a course that leads to registration on Parts 1 to 6 or 8 of the register maintained under section 10 of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979, as a first inclusion on that register
  • You are a British Council-registered foreign-language assistant

Student-only households

The following properties are exempt from council tax:

  • halls of residence (you do not need to claim an exemption)
  • shared properties where all the residents are full-time students – this includes non-British spouses of full-time students
  • properties left empty by full-time students

Living with students

If you are a non-student living with students or with other adults who qualify for a discount, you may still be able to get a 25% discount on your council tax.

Proof of student status

Your details may have already been given to us if you study at:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Cambridge Regional College
  • Any of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge, or
  • A graduate student of the University of Cambridge

You'll need to supply the name of your college and your unique student number (USN) so we can verify your details.

Other UK colleges or universities

If you are undertaking a full-time course at any other college or university in the UK and you meet the criteria below, you must provide us with a student certificate:

  • Get the certificate from the administration office
  • Upload your council tax student certificate through via My Account and going to 'Apply for Council Tax Reductions', or bring it to our customer service centre.
  • Or send the original paper copy, with your term time address, by post to Cambridge City Council, Revenues and Benefits, PO Box 130, Cambridge CB1 0JH

It's very important that you tell us if you're a full-time student and when you've moved to a new address in Cambridge, otherwise you could pay the wrong amount of council tax.

Student certificates

Your college or university will need to supply you with a Student Certificate. The certificate must contain the following information:

  • The name and address of the educational establishment issuing the certificate.
  • Your full name and date of birth.
  • A statement certifying that you are following or have followed a course of education as a student.
  • The date when you became a student.
  • The date when your course has or will end.

Students enrolled with member state institutions will need to provide letters from their educational establishments containing the above information.

Foreign students with an overseas partner or dependant

If you are a foreign full-time student with a partner or dependant who is not a British citizen and is not allowed to work or claim benefits you can get a discount on your council tax.

You'll have to send us a copy of your partner's passport and 'visa' page with the other student details that we need for you.

Registered foreign language assistants are treated as full-time students as long as they are registered with the British Council.

School and college leavers

If you're under 20 years of age and left school on or after 1 May, you won't be eligible for council tax until 1 November of that year.

School pupils under 20 years for whom child benefit is still payable, don't have to pay council tax.

The following properties are also exempt from council tax:

  • a property where the only resident, or all the residents are under 18 years of age
  • a property where all the residents are school or college leavers who left on or after 1 May

Apply for an exemption on the account amendment form.

Appealing our decision

You can appeal if you disagree with any decision relating to liability, discounts, reductions or exemptions.

Service related queries

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form