Last updated: September 03 2008

Education & Textbook Credits Available for Full and Part Time Students

Many frenzied parents find the "back to school" rush a financial burden.  Besides clothing, school supplies, transit passes and books, there is tuition for university students, a rising cost across the country.  Last week we covered the rules behind tax relief for tuition fees.  This week, consider the monthly credits earned by post-secondary students, which will turn into cash at tax time for students or their supporting parents, grandparents or spouses.  No receipts are necessary to benefit from this lucrative credit, but Form T2202A must be received from the university or designated educational institute.

Advisors and clients should check the points below for a better understanding of qualifying criteria.


Full Time Students. The credit for full-time students is $400 per month. A full-time education amount may be claimed for each whole or part month in the year that the student was enrolled in a qualifying educational program at a designated educational institution and the student:

  • was enrolled full time,
  • was enrolled part time and qualified for the disability amount, or
  • was enrolled part time because of a mental or physical impairment.

Qualifying educational programs (FULLTIME): a program that lasts at least 3 consecutive weeks and requires a minimum of 10 hours of instruction or work in the program each week (not including study time). Instruction or work includes lectures, practical training, and laboratory work. It also includes research time spent on a post-graduate thesis.

After 2003, a program taken by the student in connection with the student's employment duties, even if that student receives income from that employment, will however qualify, provided only that the employer does not reimburse the tuition cost. Prior to 2004, the opposite was the case: such programs did not qualify, whether the employer reimbursed the student or not.

Non-qualifying educational programs: Students who receive, from a person with whom he or she deals at arm's length, a grant, reimbursement, benefit, or allowance for that program do not qualify.

However, receipt of a scholarship, fellowship, bursary, or prize received, or any benefit received under the Canada Student Loans Act, Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or the Act respecting financial assistance for education expenses of the Province of Quebec does not disqualify the education program.

Part Time Students. The credit is $120 per month. These may be claimed for each whole or part month in the year that the student was enrolled in a specified educational program at a designated educational institution. A specified educational program is a program that lasts at least 3 consecutive weeks and requires at least 12 hours of instruction each month.


Only one education amount may be claimed for each month ó the full-time amount or the part-time amount.

Designated educational institutions include:

  • Canadian universities, colleges, and other educational institutions providing courses at a post-secondary school level,
  • Canadian educational institutions certified by the Minister of Human Resources Development as offering non-credit courses that develop or improve skills in an occupation,
  • universities outside Canada where a Canadian student is enrolled in a course that lasts at least 13 consecutive weeks and leads to a degree, and
  • universities, colleges, or other educational institutions in the United States that give courses at the post-secondary school level if the student is living in Canada (near the border) throughout the year and commutes to that institution.

Age limitation for education credit. Students who are under 16 at the end of the year, may claim the education amount only for courses taken at the post-secondary level.

Ineligible Amounts. Students may not claim the education amount if they:

  • received a grant or were reimbursed for the cost of courses, other than by award money received,
  • received a benefit as part of a program (such as free meals and lodging from a nursing school),
  • received a salary or wages while taking a course related to their job, or
  • received an allowance for a program such as a training allowance.
Join us in the coming weeks to hear about other FAMILY TAX PROVISIONS:
  • Public Transit Passes
  • Children's Fitness Credit
  • Medical Expenses