American Opportunity Credit (formerly Hope) and Lifetime Learning Credits


In an effort to make college more affordable,

Congress included in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA97),

the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

  • In box two of form 1098-T, we are reporting your qualified tuition and fees billed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 net of any refunds or reimbursements.
  • In box four, we are reporting any adjustments made for a prior year.
  • In box five, we are reporting grants and scholarships disbursed during calendar year 2014.
  • In box six, any adjustments to scholarships and grants for a prior year.


You will need to rely on your own records to identify qualified tuition and fees paid. The detail supporting the amounts reported for 2014 on the 1098-T is available behind your web for student login and pin under student records. The URL is:


The academic terms included in the dollar amounts reported on the 1098-T are: Winter 2014 (201302), Spring 2014 (201303), Summer 2014 (201400), Fall 2014 (201401) and Winter 2015 (201402) if applicable. If Winter 2014 is included, box seven will be marked. Again, you will need to determine if all or a portion was paid during calendar year 2014.


American Opportunity tax credit: The American Opportunity provides tax credits to taxpayers that pay qualified tuition and required fees for attending college on at least a half-time basis. This credit is designed to offset tuition costs incurred during the first four years of college. It may only be used four years for any particular student. This credit is available for tuition and required fees paid during 2014 minus certain grants, scholarships, and other tax-free educational assistance. The maximum credit is $2,500 per student.


Lifetime Learning tax credit: Like the American Opportunity credit, the Lifetime Learning provides tax credits to taxpayers that pay qualified tuition and required fees at an eligible institution. It differs from the American Opportunity in that the student is not required to be half time. A family may claim a credit for up to $2,000 per tax year. The Lifetime Learning tax credit is available for tuition and required fees paid during 2014 less certain grants, scholarships and other tax free educational assistance.


Anyone planning to make use of the credit will need much more specific information than is provided above.


Listed below are some sources of more detailed information:

Western Oregon University employees cannot offer tax advice. However, if you have questions about the information provided, you may contact a Western Oregon University representative at (503) 838-8202.


You should be aware that the law creating these credits requires the University to provide the name and social security number of all enrolled students to the IRS. It is important that the information be accurate. Please review the social security number on your 1098-T for accuracy. If incorrect you will need to provide a copy of your social security card to the Business Office.



Accounting & Business Services

503-838-8201 | or e-mail: | Location: First floor of the Lieuallen Administration building