Students: what you need to know


Students need to be counted at both their term-time address and their home address. This means you need to be included on a census form at both addresses, even if you've only left your term-time address temporarily for the Easter break.

Your answers should relate to the address at the beginning of each form.

Everyone in England and Wales must complete their census or be included on a census for the place where they're living or staying.

If you don't complete the census, you can be prosecuted and you may have to pay a fine of up to £1,000, plus court costs.

Important information:

If a census has not been completed for your term-time address and you have a paper form, please fill it in as soon as you can and return it to FREEPOST, Census 2021.

Why do I need to be on a form for my term-time address and home address?

We need to count the population in every area, so that local authorities can plan services for the number of people there, both in and out of term time. Our processes take into account that students may be counted in both locations.

What we mean by "term-time address"

A term-time address is an address that you intended to stay at regularly during term time in the 2020/2021 academic year.

For example:

  • private rented accommodation or student lodgings near your place of learning that you are paying rent for
  • a hall of residence that you had planned to stay at for this academic year and have a contract for, but you are not there because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

I don't live at my term-time address all the time - do I still need to fill in the form?

Yes. You should be included on a census form at both places you live, even if you don't live there all the time.

Halls of residence

The online census has now closed. If you have an access code, you can no longer use it to access your census.

You can still fill in your census on paper.

Private rented accommodation or student lodgings

The online census has now closed. If your term-time address has received an access code, it can no longer be used to access the census.

If a member of the household has received a paper questionnaire at this term-time address, they should include the other members of the household on this form. They can do this by contacting their housemates and asking for their answers so they can fill in their sections for them.

Living at home

If you usually live at home during term time, whoever is the householder at home should include you on the form at your home address.

If you intended to live at another address during term time, but haven't been able to live there as much as you planned this academic year, you should answer questions about yourself on a form at each address.

You should be included at your home address if it is in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If your home address is in Northern Ireland, please visit the Northern Ireland census website.

International students

You should be included if you're:

  • staying here now and have stayed, or intend to stay, in the UK for at least three months
  • not currently in the UK but attended in person during the Autumn 2020 term, and/or Winter 2021 term, and still have a formal agreement to be able to stay at your term-time accommodation

I need help to fill in the form

If you have difficulty filling in the form, try and get a family member or friend to help you.

If your student accommodation has a manager, they may be able to help you.