Tuition Reporting Requirements

Under the final regulations (T.D. 9029) regarding information reporting for qualified tuition payments for colleges and universities, an eligible educational institution must file information returns (Form 1098-T) and provide written statements to help taxpayers. The IRS determines the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (qualified expenses) for which an education tax credit and other education tax benefits are allowed. Colleges and universities are not required to report on noncredit courses, even if a student is enrolled in a degree program. Only credit courses must be reported. You must file for each student you enroll and for whom a reportable transaction is made.

You do not have to file Form 1098-T for:

  • Students enrolled during the year only in courses for which no academic credit is offered;

  • Nonresident alien students, unless requested by the student;

  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships; and

  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the student’s employer.

You must file Form 1098-T if you are an eligible educational institution. Eligible educational institutions may choose to report payments received, or amounts billed, for qualified tuition and related expenses. The institution must use the same reporting method for all calendar years unless the IRS grants permission to change the reporting method. An eligible educational institution is a college, university, vocational school, or other post-secondary educational institution that is described in section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and that is eligible to participate in the Department of Education’s student aid programs. This includes most accredited public, nonprofit, and private post-secondary institutions.

Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition and fees a student must pay to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution. The following are not qualified tuition and related expenses:

  • Amounts paid for any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies unless the course or other education is part of the student’s degree program or is taken to acquire or improve job skills.

  • Charges and fees for room, board, insurance, transportation, and similar personal, living, or family expenses.

You must file Form 1098-T for each student who is enrolled in your institution for any academic period (e.g. semester, trimester, or quarter) beginning in 2002. Determine your enrollment for each period under your own rules or use one of the following dates:

  • 30 days after the first day of the academic period,

  • A date during the period when enrollment data must be collected for purposes of the integrated Postsecondary Education Data System administered by the Department of Education, or

  • A date during the period when you must report enrollment data to the state, to your governing board, or to some other external governing body.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.