An eligible educational institution is a school offering higher education beyond high school. It is any college, university, trade 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 most accredited public, nonprofit and privately-owned–for-profit postsecondary institutions.
If you aren’t sure if your school is an eligible educational institution:
- Check to see if the student received a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement. Eligible educational institutions are required to issue students Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement (some exceptions apply).
- Ask your school if it is an eligible educational institution, or
- See if your school is on the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Post Secondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) or the Federal Student Loan Program list.
Education Benefit Resources
Information for Schools, Community and Social Organizations on our Refundable Credits Toolkit
Tax Preparer Due Diligence Information on our Tax Preparer 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 claimed for whom qualified education expenses were not paid
- Claiming the credit for a student not attending a college or other higher education
Find more answers to the questions you ask about the education credits
More education benefit resources
- Education Credits: AOTC and LLC
- American Opportunity Tax Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
- Compare Education Credits
- Interactive App: "Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?"
- No Double Benefits Allowed
- Qualified Education Expense
- Eligible Educational Institution
- Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
Technical Forms and Publications