HOPE & LIFETIME LEARNING TAX CREDITS

This information pertains to two higher education tax credits that are available to Valparaiso University students and their parents. The following table summarizes the differences between the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits:

Comparison of Education Credits
Hope Scholarship Credit Lifetime Learning Credit
Up to $1,800 credit per eligible student. Up to $2,000 credit per return.
Available only for the first two years of post-secondary education.and only for two years per eligible student. Available for any post- secondary education.and for an unlimited number of years.
Student must be pursuing a degree or other recognized educational credential. Student must be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period beginning during the year. Student does not need to be pursuing a degree or other recognized educational credential. Available for one or more courses.
No felony drug conviction on student's record. Felony drug conviction rule does not apply.

Publication 970, Cat. No. 25221V, IRS

General Information:

  • Credit cannot be claimed for tuition expenses paid with tax-free funds (scholarships, grants, etc.). Credit can be claimed, however, for tuition expenses paid with cash, check, credit card, or with borrowed funds.
  • To claim the credit, you will need to complete and return IRS Form 8863 with your tax return. You do not need to attach IRS Form 1098-T to your tax return. Keep this form with your tax documentation.
  • If you are married with a combined modified adjusted gross income of more than $116,00, or single with an adjusted gross income of more than $58,000, then you do not qualify for either tax credit. Married taxpayers must file jointly to qualify for either tax credit.