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.
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.
You can use any smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer to fill in your online form. The census should take about 10 minutes per person.
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 this academic year, even if you're not there at the moment.
- 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 must be included on a census form at both places you live, even if you don't live there all the time.
Halls of residence
We have sent a letter to your hall of residence with an individual access code for your online form.
If you haven't got your access code for your term-time address, you should order a new individual access code. We will send you your new code by text.
Private rented accommodation or student lodgings
Please talk to your housemates to decide how you're going to work together to complete the form for your household.
If you need to, you can answer separately from the rest of your household. You, or whoever is completing the household form, should list you as a resident and record your relationship to other household members. There will then be an opportunity to order an individual questionnaire for any member of the household who wants one.
If you don't want others in your household to know that you're completing a separate form, you can order an individual form from the census website. If you or anyone in your household orders an individual form from the website, someone still needs to complete the household form.
I'm not at my term-time address
We will have sent a letter addressed "To the householder" at your term-time address with a household access code for your online form.
If a member of the household has collected the letter, they can use the access code to open the online form for this household. They need to include you on this form and either:
- share the code so you can fill in your own answers on the household form, or
- order you an individual access code so you can answer separately from the rest of your household
If no one has collected this letter, a member of the household should order a new household access code for that address. We will send the new code by text.
If you're not in touch with any of the members of your term-time household, you should order an individual access code.
I'm still at my term-time address
You will receive a letter addressed "To the householder". You must open the letter and use the household access code to complete the online form. You must include all other members of the household on the form and either:
- share the code so they can fill in their own answers on the household form, or
- order individual access codes for them so they can answer separately from the rest of the household
If you haven't got the access code for your term-time address, you or another member of the household should order a new household access code. We will send you the new code by text.
Living at home
If you usually live at home during term time, whoever is the householder at home needs to 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 will need to answer questions about yourself on a form at each address.
You only need to 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.
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
You should order an access code for your term-time address in England or Wales. We will send you your code by text.
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.
You can also:
- request an access code if you haven't received one by Sunday 21 March 2021
- order a replacement access code if you've lost yours
- order a paper form if you need one
- order a replacement paper form if you've made too many mistakes on your original one
- order a large-print version of the paper form if you need one
- download or order information in accessible formats, such as Braille, British Sign Language (BSL) and easy read
If your student accommodation has a manager, they may also be able to help you.
If there's no one to help, please contact us.