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What is an Eligible Educational Institution?

An eligible educational institution is a school offering higher education beyond high school. It is any college, university, vocational school, or other post secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program run by the U.S. Department of Education.


This includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit and privately-owned–for-profit post secondary institutions.


If you aren’t sure if your school is an eligible educational institution:


Some educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid programs but are not on the list. So, you may need to ask the school if they are an eligible educational institution.


Return to Education Credits home page




Information for Tax Professionals, Schools, Community and Social Organizations on our Refundable Credits Toolkit 

Watch out for these common errors made when claiming education credits

  • Students listed as a dependent or spouse on another tax return
  • Students who don’t have a Form 1098-T showing they attended an eligible educational institution
  • Students who are not paying qualified education expenses
  • Claiming the credit for a student not attending a college or other higher education

Find the answers to the questions you ask about the education credits

See both Education Credits:  Questions and Answers and
Education Credits Frequently Asked Questions

More education benefit resources


Technical Forms and Publications



Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 15-Dec-2014