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Category: Education: Tax Breaks Related to School

What are "qualifying education expenses"?

For purposes of the student loan interest deduction, these expenses are the total costs of attending an eligible educational institution, including graduate school. They include amounts paid for the following items.

  • Tuition and fees.
  • Room and board.
  • Books, supplies, and equipment.
  • Other necessary expenses (such as transportation).

The cost of room and board qualifies only to the extent that it is not more than the greater of:

  • The allowance for room and board, as determined by the eligible educational institution, that was included in the cost of attendance (for federal financial aid purposes) for a particular academic period and living arrangement of the student, or
  • The actual amount charged if the student is residing in housing owned or operated by the eligible educational institution.

Eligible educational institution.  An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education. It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions.

Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs.

For purposes of the student loan interest deduction, an eligible educational institution also includes an institution conducting an internship or residency program leading to a degree or certificate from an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health care facility that offers postgraduate training.

An educational institution must meet the above criteria only during the academic period(s) for which the student loan was incurred. The deductibility of interest on the loan is not affected by the institution's subsequent loss of eligibility.

For further information regarding Tax Benefits for Education, please click here.