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What are qualified education expenses?

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

If you are a college student, or the parent of a college student, you may be able to claim certain education-related deductions and credits to lower your federal income tax burden. These tax benefits may be available to you if you have qualified education expenses.

Available benefits include:

  • A deduction for college tuition and fees
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)
  • Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC)


Qualified expenses for the tuition and fees deduction and the LLC include qualified tuition and fees required for enrollment for the eligible student. 

Qualified expenses for the AOTC include tuition and fees, plus course materials needed for the course of study. To receive tax benefits, the qualified expenses must be for the higher education for an eligible student that is enrolled in an eligible educational institution.

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