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College Tax Credits [Comparison]

College Tax Credits


The time for summer college tours has begun. While you're looking at which university your child will pick, don't forget to consider the different tax benefits available for funding. Our chart below explores the different options. Any extra bit helps! 

  American Opportunity Credit Lifetime Learning Credit Student Loan Interest Deduction Deduction for Qualified Higher Education Expenses
Credit/Deduction Applies To: Qualified tuition and related expenses for first four years of undergraduate education Qualified tuition and related expenses for courses taken throughout lifetime to improve or acquire job skills Interest paid on a qualified student loan Qualified higher education expenses paid during the year
Qualified Expenses include Room & Board? No No Yes No
Maximum Credit/Deduction $2,500 $2,000 $2,500

$4,000 (full)

$2,000 (partial) 

Half-time or graduate students eligible?   No Yes

Half-time: No

Graduate: Yes

Family Limits?  No Yes, annual credit is limited to $2000 per tax return  No; if applicable, parents can claim the deduction for more than one child in the same year  No; if applicable, parents can claim the deduction for more than one child in the same year
Must student be enrolled for a degree/program leading to an educational credential?  Yes No Yes No


For more helpful tips around college funding, watch our CEO, Kim Curtis, share tips around the cost of college. 

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