Benefits and support Help with rent and Council Tax for students

Who is a student for help with rent and Council Tax Support purposes?

A student is 'a person who is attending or undertaking a course of study at an educational establishment'.

This includes study at any level - whether at school, college, university, or some other establishment such as a training hospital (so student nurses are included). It must be study, not training, so people on government (and other) training schemes do not count as students.

Certain courses (see below) are defined as full-time for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support rules, but in other cases we (the Benefits Service) have to decide by considering:

  • what sort of course it is, including the number of hours the student must attend
  • whether the educational establishment says it's full-time or part-time
  • the amount and type of any grant or loan that the student gets.

We consider these courses to be full-time:

  • courses that have more than 16 guided learning hours a week and
    are completely or partly funded by the Secretary of State (Department for Education) or the Chief Executive of Skills Funding
  • sandwich courses
  • modular courses - only for the parts of the course for which the student is registered as full-time

But if you are making a new claim for help with rent you now have to claim Universal Credit and the rules may be different. Check the rules.

About Council Tax for students. (including discounts and exemptions)

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