American Opportunity Credit

Beginning in 1998, revised in 2010 and 2018, taxpayers may be eligible to claim an American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit against their federal income taxes.

In previous years, your 1098-T included a figure in Box 2 that represented the qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) the University billed to your student account for the calendar (tax) year. Due to a change to institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, we will report in Box 1 the amount of QTRE you paid during the year.

Depending on your income (or your family’s income, if you are a dependent), whether you were considered full or half-time enrolled, and the amount of your qualified educational expenses for the year, you may be eligible for a federal education tax credit. (You can find detailed information about claiming education tax credits in IRS Publication 970, page 9.)

The dollar amounts reported on your Form 1098-T may assist you in completing IRS Form 8863 – the form used for calculating the education tax credits that a taxpayer may claim as part of your tax return.

The University of South Alabama is unable to provide you with individual tax advice, but should you have questions, you should seek the counsel of an informed tax preparer or adviser.

To decide if you qualify for one of these credits please see IRS Publication 970 and Form 8863 for instructions, and/or contact your personal tax advisor.

For additional information about IRS Publication 970, go to

IRS Forms and Publications are also available at your local IRS office or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM.

Common questions:

Q. Why did I receive a 1098-T Form for courses taken for credit at the University of South Alabama?

A. All students enrolled in credit courses at the University of South Alabama from January 1, through December 31, 2022, received a 1098-T Form as required by the IRS.

Q. Do I qualify for the tax credit?

A. The University of South Alabama cannot determine if you, and/or your family are eligible for an education tax credit. You should refer to the IRS Publication 970 and/or your personal tax advisor.

Q. Do my parents qualify for the tax credit?

A. Only you or your family can decide if they qualify for an education tax credit. Please refer to IRS Publication 970 and/or contact your personal tax advisor.

Q. What should I do if I have not received a Form 1098-T from the University by February 15? (View 1098-T Tax Info)

A. Log in to your PAWS account.   Click on the Student Services & Financial Aid tab on the next menu select Student Records, on the next menu select Student Account Access. At this point you will leave the South Alabama website and be directed to the university’s payment gateway provider (TouchNet).  Once on their site, in the upper left corner select My Account.  A drop down menu will appear, select statements.  You can then select 1098-T Tax Statements.  If you did not opt to receive your 1098T electronically, the form will be mailed by January 31st of each year.