Student Accounts: Frequently Asked Questions

Billing Statements
  When are tuition billing statements available?
  When are student tuition billing statements due?
  Can a student allow others to access the billing statement?
  What is the student ID# or account number?

Payment
  How can I pay the bill and what types of payments are accepted?
  Do you accept payment plans?
  How can I make an international payment to Amherst College to pay my student account?
  How do I communicate to Amherst College that funds are coming from a third party source that are NOT posted as a PENDING credit on my account statement?
  How can I verify that a payment has been received?

Other
  Do you offer tuition insurance?
  What if I have questions about health insurance tax forms?
  How do I waive the health insurance fee?
  How can I request a refund from the credit balance on my student account?
  How do I make a deposit to a student’s AC Dollar$ account?
  How can I contact the Student Accounts Office?

1098-T
• 
What is the IRS Form 1098-T?
•  How do I know if I’m eligible for a tax credit or tax deduction?
•  When will I receive my Form 1098-T?
•  How do I print a copy of my Form 1098-T?
•  What do I do if the box for student’s tax information number is blank? 
•  Why isn't there an amount in Box 1 Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses?
•  Why doesn’t Box 2, Amounts Billed for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses on Form 1098-T equal the amounts I paid to Amherst College during the year?
•  What does an amount in Box 4 mean?
•  What does an amount in Box 5 Scholarships or grants mean?
•  Do I need to report my scholarships as taxable income?
•  What does an amount in Box 6 Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses mean?
•  What does the check mark in Box 7 mean? Why are amounts for the January or Spring 2016 term included on the form?
•  What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?
•  I am an undergraduate student.  What semesters are included in my Form 1098-T?
•  I graduated in May of 2016, do I have a 1098-T for 2016?
•  How do I do my taxes without a 1098-T?


 

Billing Statements

•  When are tuition billing statements available?
Billing statement availability is noted on the Student Accounts homepage, linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts.

•  When are student tuition billing statements due?
Deadlines for tuition billing statements are noted on the Student Accounts homepage, linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts.

•  Can a student allow others to access the billing statement?
Yes, students can desginate family and friends to access their billing statements by following the instructions linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/billing-statement-access#DesignateFF.

  What is the student ID# or account number?
This number can be located on the top right-hand side of the account statement on AC Data: https://acdata.amherst.edu.

 

Payment

  How can I pay the bill and what types of payments are accepted?
For complete instructions on how to pay your bill and details on the different types of payments accepted, please visit https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/payment-options.

  Do you accept payment plans?
For those who desire a monthly payment plan, arrangements can be made directly with Tuition Management Systems (TMS).  Please visit https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/payment-options#paymentplan for details.

  How can I make an international payment to Amherst College to pay my student account?
International students may pay via a wire transfer process. Amherst College has partnered with flywire by peerTransfer to streamline the bill payment process for international students.  For details, please go to https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/payment-options#international.

  How do I communicate to Amherst College that funds are coming from a third party source that are NOT posted as a PENDING credit on my account statement?
Follow the instructions linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/payment-options#thirdparty.

•  How can I verify that a payment has been received?
If your payment has been received and posted by the Student Accounts Office, you can view your updated balance on AC Data.  Online payments are not posted in real-time.  These payments should post by the end of the next business day after payment transaction is made.  Your most recent account balance can be viewed at https://acdata.amherst.edu.

 

Other

  Do you offer tuition insurance?
Yes - full details can be found on our website here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/tuition-insurance.

  What if I have questions about health insurance tax forms?
To find answers to many common questions about health insurance tax forms, please visit https://www.amherst.edu/mm/481421#taxfaq.

  How do I waive the health insurance fee?
Please follow the instructions linked here to waive the health insurance fee: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/semester-billing-fee-details#health.

  How can I request a refund from the credit balance on my student account?
Follow the instructions linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts/refund-of-credit-on-account.

  How do I make a deposit to a student’s AC Dollar$ account?
To make a deposit to a student's AC Dollar$ account, follow the instructions linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/it/services/card-services/acdollars/deposits.

  How can I contact the Student Accounts Office?
To contact our office, please reference the contact information linked here: https://www.amherst.edu/offices/controller/student-accounts#contact.




1098-T Frequently Asked Questions

•  What is the IRS Form 1098-T?
The IRS Form 1098-T is an information form filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS Form 1098-T that you received reports amounts billed to you for qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as other related information.  You, or the person who may claim you as a dependent, may be able to take either the tuition and fees deduction or claim an education credit on Form 1040 or 1040A for the qualified tuition and related expenses that were actually paid during the calendar year.  There is no need to attach Form 1098-T to your tax return.

•  How do I know if I’m eligible for a tax credit or tax deduction?
Amherst College may not provide personal tax advice. Each student and/or their parents must determine eligibility for the tuition and fees deduction or one of the education credits (American Opportunity or lifetime learning credit). Please refer to the IRS website https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center for the following resources on higher education tax benefits:
              •  IRS Publication 970 "Tax Benefits for Higher Education", which includes chapters on the Hope credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the tuition and fees deduction.
              •  Form 8863 "Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits)".
              •  Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A.
              •  IRS Publication 17 "Tax Guide for Individuals".
The tax rules regarding eligibility for, calculation of, and limitations on the tuition and fee deduction and education credits can be complex. You may want to consult your tax advisor to determine whether you are qualified to claim the education expense tax credits and deduction.

•  When will I receive my Form 1098-T?
Your Form 1098-T will be available to you electronically on or before January 31 (or the next business day) through AC Data.   Paper forms will be mailed on or before January 31 (or the next business day) to those students that did not choose to receive their Form 1098-T electronically.

•  How do I print a copy of my Form 1098-T?
The 1098-T form can be printed from AC Data under the student’s menu options.

•  What do I do if the box for student’s tax information number is blank?
This box reports the last 4 digits of your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number.  If this box is blank, Amherst College does not have your number on record.  You will need to add your number through AC Data by January 31 for it to be included in the 1098-T file submitted to the IRS. 

•  Why isn't there an amount in Box 1 Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses?
Consistent with IRS regulations, the College has the option to include information in Box 1 Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses or Box 2 Amounts Billed for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses – but never both. Amherst College has elected to complete Box 2. Your tuition bills reflect payments posted to your account in the calendar year and should be used in addition to the Form 1098-T to determine payments eligible for either an educational tax credit or tax deduction.

•  Why doesn’t Box 2, Amounts Billed for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses on Form 1098-T equal the amounts I paid to Amherst College during the year?
Box 2, Amounts Billed for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses represents amounts billed for tuition and qualified expenses during the calendar year and does not include charges for certain fees, room and board that you may have paid. In addition, the timing of amounts charged in a calendar year may differ from the calendar year in which payment was made.  The best and most accurate source of information about the amounts that you paid will be your tuition bills.

•  What does an amount in Box 4 mean?
Box 4 - Adjustments made for a prior year shows an amount if qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.

•  What does an amount in Box 5 Scholarships or grants mean?
Box 5 - Scholarships or grants shows the net amount of certain forms of educational assistance that was received or applied to your student account during the calendar year (January – December).

•  Do I need to report my scholarships as taxable income?
Scholarships that pay for qualified tuition and related expenses 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’ at the https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center.

•  What does an amount in Box 6 Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses mean?
Box 6 - Adjustments to Scholarships or grants for a prior year shows an amount if scholarships or grants that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.

•  What does the check mark in Box 7 mean? Why are amounts for the January or Spring 2016 term included on the form?
Amherst College has elected to report charges billed during a calendar year, as do most educational institutions. Included on your current year Form 1098-T may be 2017 January/Spring term charges if they were billed prior to December 31, 2016. In addition, 2016 January/Spring term charges may not be included on your 2016form 1098-T if they were billed in 2015. Amherst College does not report amounts paid. Therefore Box 1 is intentionally left blank.

•  What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?
Box 8 - Check if at least half-time student, if checked, indicates that you were considered to be enrolled at least half-time for one or more terms during the tax year.

•  I am an undergraduate student.  What semesters are included in my Form 1098-T?
Typically, charges are posted to your student account in December for the Spring semester and July for the Fall semester.  Depending on when you registered for classes, your Form 1098-T could include charges for different semesters.  Your tuition bills will detail the specific dates charges were posted to your account and is a valuable resource for determining the semesters that are included in your Form 1098-T.   

•  I graduated in May of 2016, do I have a 1098-T for 2016?
Most May 2016 graduates will not have a 2016 1098-T form. Since the form is based on amounts charged to your account in 2016, and Spring charges were generally posted in December of 2015, there are no charges to report in 2016.

•  How do I do my taxes without a 1098-T?
Because Form 1098-T reports your qualified tuition and related expenses on an “amounts billed” basis, and you are more concerned about amounts that you actually paid when you are preparing your taxes, your tuition bill will be the best and most accurate source of information when you are preparing your taxes. This is true regardless of whether you receive a Form 1098-T.