Tax credits, deductions and other benefits

The information in this section is provided by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) website from the Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center, published on June 5, 2020. Prospective students are encouraged to refer to the IRS website for the most updated information on these programs.

Lifetime learning tax credit

The lifetime learning credit (LLC) is for qualified tuition and related expenses paid for eligible students enrolled in an eligible educational institution. This credit can help pay for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree courses—including courses to acquire or improve job skills. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the credit. It is worth up to $2,000 per tax return.

American opportunity tax credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a credit for qualified education expenses paid for by an eligible student for the first four years of higher education. You can get a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student.

Tuition and fee deductions

If you qualify based on income, you can deduct up to $4,000 from your gross income for the money you spent on eligible education expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other purchases your school requires. 

This deduction is available to students and parents who earned less than $65,000 (or $130,000 if married and filing jointly). Those who earned between $65,000 and $80,000 ($160,000, if filing jointly) may be eligible for a $2,000 deduction.

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