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What are qualified education expenses for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits?

SOLVEDby TurboTax1954Updated January 13, 2023

These expenses qualify, as long as they are required to enroll in or attend a qualified educational institution:

  • Tuition, if paid to the institution
  • Student-activity fees, if paid to the institution
  • Books, supplies, and equipment, if required to be purchased from the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance (Lifetime Learning Credit)
  • Books, supplies, and equipment, regardless of where purchased (American Opportunity Credit)

Fees paid for non-credit courses and sports (or similar activities) don't qualify unless:

  • The course or activity is included in the student’s degree program, or
  • The course helps the student acquire or improve job skills (Lifetime Learning Credit only)

These expenses are not considered qualified education expenses for either credit:

  • Tutoring
  • Housing, room and board
  • Insurance, including student health fees
  • Medical or dental expenses
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment, babysitting, and other personal expenses

Qualified education expenses paid on behalf of the student by someone other than the student (such as a relative), are treated as paid by the student. Qualified education expenses paid (or treated as paid) by a student who's claimed as a dependent on your tax return, are treated as paid by you.


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