You can take either a tax credit or an itemized tax deduction for allowable college tuition expenses. The expenses must be for undergraduate study, paid by you as a taxpayer, on behalf of yourself, your spouse, or your dependents, to enroll or attend qualifying in- or out-of-state institutions of higher education.

College Tuition Tax Credit

The college tuition credit is a tax credit allowed for qualified college tuition expenses paid for an eligible student. For taxpayers with allowable expenses of $5,000 or more, the credit equals the applicable percentage of qualified tuition expenses multiplied by 4 percent. The maximum amount of allowed qualified college tuition expenses is $10,000; therefore, the maximum tuition credit is $400 per eligible student.

If your total qualified college tuition expenses for all eligible students total less than $5,000, the credit is equal to your qualified college tuition expenses or $200, whichever is less.

College Tuition Itemized Deduction

The college tuition itemized deduction is equal to the amount of your qualified college tuition expenses paid, up to a maximum deduction of $10,000 for each eligible student.

Qualifying tuition expenses are defined as net of scholarships or financial aid. Institutions of higher education include business, trade, technical or other occupational schools, recognized and approved by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, or a nationally recognized accrediting agency accepted by the Regents, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a postsecondary degree, certificate or diploma.

The Federal government also offers tax credits and deductions in the form of the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Federal Education Loan Interest Deduction.

Consult your tax advisor for more detailed information.