Credits for Education Tuition

Qualified education expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expenses for an eligible student.

Qualified education expenses must be paid by:

You or your spouse if you file a joint return,

A student you claim as a dependent on your return, or

A third party including relatives or friends.

You can claim an education credit for qualified education expenses paid by cash, check, credit or debit card or paid with money from a loan.

If you pay the expenses with money from a loan, you take the credit for the year you pay the expenses, not the year you get the loan or the year you repay the loan.

Qualified expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expense for an eligible student that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.

For American Opportunity Tax Credit only, expenses for books, supplies and equipment the student needs for a course of study are included in qualified education expenses even if it is not paid to the school. For example, the cost of a required course book bought from an off-campus bookstore is a qualified education expense.

The following are not qualified education expenses:

Room and board


Medical expenses (including student health fees)


Similar personal, living or family expenses