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If you can be claimed as a dependent, you cannot claim your personal exemption and your will not be able to claim an education credit or the tuition and fees deduction.

See the following from IRS Publication 970:

Who Can Claim the Credit?

Generally, you can claim the American opportunity credit if all three of the following requirements are met.

  • You pay qualified education expenses of higher education.

  • You pay the education expenses for an eligible student.

  • The eligible student is either yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.


Qualified education expenses paid by a dependent for whom you claim an exemption, or by a third party for that dependent, are considered paid by you.

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