Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
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Student Tax Benefits

You may be able to claim several education tax credits or deductions on your federal income tax return.

  • American Opportunity Credit: Claim this tax credit during your first four years of college if you are enrolled at least half time in a degree or certification program. The maximum credit in 2010 was $2,500 for qualified tuition and related expenses.
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: Claim a tax credit of up to 20% of the first $10,000 of tuition and related expenses (maximum of $2,000 annually). Can be used for out-of-pocket college expenses for education or training, including graduate and professional schools. It’s available even if you’re enrolled less than half time, and there is no limit on the number of years in which you may claim the credit.
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction: If you pay interest and meet income qualifications, you may be able to deduct your interest payments from your taxable income. The deduction is limited to $2,500 per year.
  • Tuition and Fees Tax Deduction: Deduct qualified tuition and related expenses, even if you don’t itemize deductions. The maximum deduction is $4,000.

For more information, visit the Internal Revenue Service website at, or call 1-800-829-1040. Or visit the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators at Under the Students, Parents and Counselors tab, click on Tax Breaks Help You Save.

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