The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

This tax credit is available to students who are enrolled in at least one course of postsecondary education or professional development. It is particularly helpful for graduate students or others who either are not eligible for, or may have exhausted, other tax credits. The credit is non-refundable, which means that the amount you receive is limited to the amount of tax you owe.

The amount of credit you can receive is up to $2,000 per tax return (not per student). The amount of the credit varies based on your income.


Bullet You must have qualified higher education expenses incurred during enrollment in at least one course of postsecondary education or professional development.
Bullet You do not have to be pursuing a degree or certificate to qualify, and you may claim the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit for all years of postsecondary education in which you are enrolled.
Bullet Your modified adjusted gross income must be $64,000 or less if single, and $128,000 or less if married and filing jointly.
Bullet Qualified education expenses include: tuition, required course related expenses (books, supplies, equipment), and mandatory student activity fees (less the amount of certain scholarships and grants that the student may have received).
Bullet If you claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for one or more students in your family, you may not use their expenses towards the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. However, you may still claim the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit for family members for whom you are not claiming other tax credits.
Bullet If you are claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (e.g., your parents’ tax return), only the person who claims you can apply for the credit.
Bullet Students with felony drug convictions are still eligible for this tax credit.

How to Claim Your Benefits:

To determine your eligibility and claim education tax benefits, including the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, you must file a federal income tax return.

Tax information is provided for informational purposes only. Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. is not engaged in providing legal, accounting, or tax services. Please consult a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS Publication 970 for tax information and assistance. A U.S. Treasury regulation requires us to inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any hyperlinks) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party, who is not the original and intended recipient of this communication, any transaction or matter addressed herein.