Qualifying for the Hope Tax Credit

As a student, you may be eligible to receive the Hope tax credit. The Hope tax credit is a tax credit that allows you to credit up to $1,800 on the first $2400 spent on tuition and associated fees. It was designed to help offset the cost of schooling for first- and second-year students by reducing their taxable income. The credit is available only to those in their first two years of college.


The Hope tax credit has specific criteria that have to be met. The four areas in which you need to qualify for the Hope tax credit are as follows: qualifying person, qualifying expenses, qualifying student, and qualifying institution.

  • Qualifying person--You, your spouse, or your dependent must be the qualifying student.
  • Qualifying expenses--These expenses are tuition, school supplies, equipment, books and others required by the school for attendance or enrollment.
  • Qualifying student--The individual must be a resident or alien of the U.S.
  • Qualifying school--The school must participate in the federal financial aid program.

If you do not meet all four of the qualifying criteria, you are not eligible to take the Hope tax credit. You may research to determine if you qualify for other education credits.

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