Qualified Education Expenses

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The term Qualified Education Expenses is used is several different ways by the IRS depending on the tax credit or deduction you are seeking.  This information is explained in the IRS Publication 970 which, for clarity’s sake when using our website,  we have excerpted below. 
 

American opportunity credit. Tuition and certain related expenses (including student activity fees) required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study are included even if not purchased from the educational institution. Does not include expenses for room and board. Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies (including noncredit courses) that are not part of the student's postsecondary degree program.
 

Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Expenses related to or required for enrollment or attendance of the designated beneficiary at an eligible elementary, secondary, or postsecondary school. Many specialized expenses included for K–12. Also includes expenses for special needs services and contribution to qualified tuition program (QTP).
 

Education savings bond program. Tuition and fees required to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution. Also includes contributions to a qualified tuition program (QTP) or Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Does not include expenses for room and board. Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies that are not part of a degree or certificate granting program.
 

IRA, early distributions from. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, plus certain limited costs of room and board for students who are enrolled at least half time. Also includes expenses for special needs services incurred by or for special needs students in connection with their enrollment or attendance.
 

Lifetime learning credit. Tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Does not include expenses for room and board. Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies (including noncredit courses) that are not part of the student's postsecondary degree program, unless taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills.
 

Qualified tuition program (QTP). Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, plus certain limited costs of room and board for students who are enrolled at least half time. Includes expenses for special needs services and computer access.
 

Scholarships and fellowships. Expenses for tuition and fees required to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution, and course-related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for the courses at the eligible educational institution. Course- related items must be required of all students in the course of instruction.
 

Student loan interest deduction. Total costs of attending an eligible educational institution, including graduate school (however, limitations may apply to the cost of room and board allowed).
 

Tuition and fees deduction. Tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.

 

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