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TurboTax Help

Am I considered a full-time student?

According to the IRS, a full-time student is defined as a student who is enrolled for the number of hours or courses that the school considers to be full-time attendance. Keep in mind that each school defines "full time" in its own way (usually in terms of the number of courses or hours).

To qualify as a student, the person must be (during some part of each of any five calendar months of the year):

  1. A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and a regularly enrolled student body at the school, or
  2. A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or by a state, county, or local government agency.

Note: The five calendar months do not have to be consecutive. 

More detailed information can be found in the Chapter "Personal Exemptions and Dependents" of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

A child’s student status determines if  parents or guardians can continue to claim the qualifying child on their tax return until they turn 24-years-old.   

A "qualifying child" means:

  • They're related to the person claiming them
  • They aren't claimed as a dependent by someone else
  • They're a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a Canadian or Mexican resident
  • They aren’t filing a joint return with their spouse
  • They're under the age of 19 (or 24 for full-time students)
  • There’s no age limit for permanently and totally disabled children
  • They lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year (exceptions apply)
  • They didn't provide more than half of their own support for the year
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