Figure 2-2. Who Is an Eligible Student for the American Opportunity Credit?

Note under title: This chart is provided to help you quickly decide whether a student is eligible for the American opportunity credit. See the text for more details.


This is the starting of the flowchart.

Decision (1)

Did the student complete the first 4 years of postsecondary education before the beginning of the tax year?

Decision (2)

Was either the American opportunity credit or Hope Scholarship Credit (or a combination of both) claimed in at least 4 prior tax years for this student?

Decision (3)

Was the student enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential for at least one academic period beginning during 2017 (or the first 3 months of 2018 if the qualified expenses were paid in 2017)?

Decision (4)

Is the student free of any federal or state felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance as of the end of the tax year?

Process (a)

The student isn't an eligible student.

Process (b)

The student is an eligible student.


This is the ending of the flowchart.

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