Helpful Information


There are a lot of moving parts in the process of getting financial aid. Make sure you have all the information available to navigate this important piece of your education.

See below for available resources and information. 

Higher Education Tax Credit


1098-T Overview

The U.S. tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are paying higher education costs or repaying student loans. The resources provided here are designed to assist you in understanding the tax benefits that may be available to you.

Institutions may no longer continue to report amounts billed in Box 2 for tax year 2018 and beyond. For tax year 2018 (forms filed in 2019), IRS has determined that all institutions must report amounts paid in Box 1.  Since Box 2 will no longer be used, it is grayed out on the 2018 form. This will make it difficult to compare your 1098-T with prior years.

Please note Student Accounts Office staff members are not tax professionals and given the complexity of the tax code, we unfortunately cannot provide tax advice or determine your eligibility for education tax benefits. We can provide you with information about your Bristol account, which you may need to determine your eligibility for tax benefits; however, any questions about your eligibility should be directed to the I.R.S. or a tax professional.

Accessing Your Bristol 1098-T & Supplemental Account

  • Beginning in early January, you may access your 1098-T, and print copies, through Vangent's online system (www.tra.vangent.com). Download an instructional document if this is your first-time accessing your 1098-T through the Vangent system. If you access your 1098-T in Vangent's online system, you will not be mailed a copy. You may print as many copies as you need from the Vangent system.
  • Once your profile is set up, you may access your 1098-T through Vangent’s online system anytime.
  • Tuition and payment information is available online for all students through accessBCC.

As detailed below, you may be eligible for tax benefits even if a 1098-T is not issued.

  • A 1098-T is issued to all students that reported qualified charges and payments for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31) and/or if any information reported on a prior year's 1098-T has been adjusted.
  • The 1098-T does not indicate your eligibility for tax benefits. 
  • You may be eligible for certain tax incentives even if you are not issued a 1098-T.
  • You may receive a 1098-T but not qualify for education tax benefits.
  • The 1098-T provides information that you may use to determine your eligibility for tax incentives.
  • For assistance in determining your eligibility for education tax benefits, consult IRS Publication 970 and/or your tax preparer.
  • Not all payments are considered "qualified payments" by the I.R.S. For a detailed explanation of qualified payments, see IRS Publication 970.
  • Your 1098-T will reflect only amounts that were paid to your Bristol student account. Other charges, such as required textbook costs, may be qualified payments but are not reported on the 1098-T because they were not payed to your student account.
  • Many students and families need their 1098-T information from the current and prior calendar year and records of other qualified expenses and their personal payments in order to determine their education tax benefit eligibility.
  • Bristol’s Student Accounts Office staff members are available to assist you in understanding the information reported on your 1098-T but cannot provide tax advice or determine your education tax benefit eligibility.

Understanding Your 1098-T

  • Box 1:  Payments Received for Qualified Tuition:This box will show payments received for eligible charges for qualified tuition and related expenses in the year 2018. 
  • Box 2 (Qualified Amounts Billed): This box is blank. 
  • Box 3: BCC has changed their reporting method for 2018.                 
  • Box 4 Adjustments to Qualified Tuition from a Prior Reporting Period:Any changes to a prior tax year that resulted in a reduction of payments toward previously reported qualified tuition will be reported in Box 4. For example, if BCC reports $500 in payments in 2018, but a student retroactively drops a course from 2018 in the 2019 year without fee liability, the dropped value will appear in Box 4. Your tax preparer should be consulted.

Note:  Since 2018 is the first year of the payment reporting method, Box 4 on 2018 1098-T will be empty

  • Box 5 Scholarships and Grants Received: Scholarships, grants, third party payments or waivers posted to a student account in the year 2018 are reflected here. This may also reflect scholarships or grants from a previous year that were received late. 
  • Box 6 Adjustments to Scholarships and Grants Reported in a Prior Year: Similar to Box 4, Box 6 reports adjustments to previously reported scholarships and grants from a prior year. If a scholarship or grant is retroactively revoked, the value of the scholarship or grant will be reported in Box 6. Your tax preparer should be consulted.

Links & Resources

Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
W-9S Request for Student\'s TIN
I.R.S. Publication 970
How to View your Tuition Payments Statement (1098-T)
Tuition Payments Statement (1098-T) FAQ

Tuition Payments Statement (1098-T) FAQ:

What is QTRE? 

Qualified Tuition and Related Expense (QTRE) is tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of a student for courses of instruction at an eligible educational institution.  

What is I.R.S. Form 1098-T?

A 1098-T is a statement of “QTRE” in the preceding tax year.  The 1098-T is provided to assist you in determining if you are eligible any higher education tax benefits. 

Why didn't I receive a 1098-T?

A 1098-T is not issued for non credit courses. A student must have qualified chargesand payments on their account to receive a 1098-T. 

What tax benefits am I eligible for?

Unfortunately, given the complexity of the U.S. tax code, we cannot determine your eligibility for education tax benefits or provide tax advice. The 1098-T does not indicate your eligibility for tax benefits; rather, it provides you with information about your account which you or your tax preparer may use to determine your education tax benefit eligibility. Many students and families report that in order to determine their education tax benefit eligibility, they need 1098-T statements from the current and prior calendar years and records of other qualified expenses and records of payments made. For more information, we encourage you to see I.R.S. Publication 970(PDF), or consult your tax advisor. 

What will most students see on Form 1098-T?

Most students will see two boxes populated on their 1098-T, box 1 and box 5. Some students may have box 4 and box 6 populated as well. All transactions on the 1098-T reflect activity that occurred within a calendar year, regardless of the year or term that the transaction affected. 

Why are my scholarships / grants for next year reported on my 1098-T this year?

The 1098-T only displays transactions that are posted to a student account within a calendar year, regardless of the year that the transactions affect. For example, your Box 5 value for Scholarships and Grants may be higher than what you actually received in a year if your department or third party payment provider pays your future term tuition in the current year. This often happens when the tuition for the spring semester of next year is calculated in December of current year, and if the department /3rd party pays that tuition in December of the current year it will appear on the current tax year Form1098-T. 

Why does my reported payment amount in Box 1 not match my receipts?

Tuition at BCC may include health fees, etc., which are not considered qualified expenses under IRS code. These fees are removed from reporting in Box 1, and can make it appear that less was reported than what you paid. Also, not all fees at the University are reported in Box 1, only those related to tuition-- no housing, no dining, no books, etc.

Do I need to report my scholarships as taxable income?

Scholarships that pay for QTRE are not taxable to the student. However, if any portion of your scholarships paid for non-qualified expenses, then you may be responsible for reporting such portion as taxable income on your tax return. For further guidance, please review IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education or consult with a tax professional.

Foreign students who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes should also review IRS Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens.

Are loan proceeds reported on my Form 1098-T?

The IRS is changing the reporting requirements for the 2018 tax year, therefore loans may be reported. For the purposes of tax reporting, if the loan proceeds were credited to the student’s account then they are assumed to pay QTRE first.  Under the rules, you may assume that all payments received go first toward QTRE, and then to nonqualified expenses. The amount reported in Box 1 should not exceed QTRE charged.

Will I receive a form 1098-t if I made qualified payments but withdrew from classes?

Yes, per IRS regulations, you will receive a Form 1098-T for only the amount of qualified expenses that have not been refunded.

 

Useful Links


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web

You may use this web site's on-line form to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

Federal Student Aid ID Web Site
The FSA ID serves as your identifier to let you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. It also acts as your official signature in Federal Student Aid applications and promissory notes.

National Student Loan Data System
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants that are tracked through their entire cycle; from aid approval through closure.

Federal Student Aid
This is a portal to access many of the federal financial aid information sites: FAFSA, Publications, Loan Information and much more.

Loan Counseling
This will link you to the entrance and exit counseling for Direct Loans or the TEACH Grant.

Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance
Information about financial aid programs for Massachusetts residents.

Fastweb
Fastweb has a scholarship search database of more than 180,000 scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans.

Selective Service Registration
Register for Selective Service or print out documentation of registration. Almost all male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the U.S., who are ages 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.

Internal Revenue Service
Information to obtain federal tax return transcript.

BCC Tuition Payment Plan
A monthly payment plan for tuition and fees is available to BCC students.

Book Advances


The Campus Card is needed for the book advance program. Book advances give students the opportunity to use some of their financial aid funds in advance of the first disbursement to purchase books at Bristol's Bookstore. To be eligible for a book advance, you will need to have a complete financial aid file, have received a financial aid award letter, and have a pending credit balance on your bill. A book advance is not a grant and is not in addition to your financial aid award package.

For a book advance you will need to have the following with you at your Bristol Bookstore:

  • Your Campus Card
  • Your current class schedule

Eligibility

The book advance amount is based on enrollment level, authorized financial aid, and charges. The maximum value is listed below.

  • $800 for full-time students (12 or more credits)
  • $600 for 3/4-time students (9-11 credits)
  • $400 for 1/2-time students (6-8 credits)
  • $200 for 1/4 time students (less than 6 credits)

A student may meet the eligibility requirements, but not be eligible for the maximum value. An example would be a full-time student with a $200 pending credit balance. Although the full-time limit is $800, the student will be eligible for only a $200 book advance.

There are no cash refunds on books returned that were bought with a book advance. Also, you don’t need to spend your entire book advance. All book advance charges are added to your tuition bill from Bristol. If your eligibility changes and/or your financial aid award is not enough to cover the book advance charges, you are responsible for paying any charges not covered. Also, if you drop a class or fully withdraw from Bristol Community College and used the book advance, you may be responsible to pay back all or part of the book advance.