Who Qualifies for the Hope Scholarship?The Taxpayer: An eligible taxpayer must file a tax return and owe taxes to claim the credit. The taxpayer must also claim the eligible student as a dependent, unless the credit is for the taxpayer or the taxpayer's spouse. The taxpayer is eligible for the maximum benefit with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of up to $40,000 for a single taxpayer (or $80,000 for married taxpayers). The credit amount is phased-out between $40,000 and $50,000 for single taxpayers (or $80,000 and $100,000 for married taxpayers).
The Student: An eligible student must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program leading to a degree or certificate at an eligible school during the calendar year and must not have completed the first two years of such undergraduate study. The student may claim the credit if the student is not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer; this means the eligible student may also be the eligible taxpayer. In addition, the student may not have been convicted of a Federal or State felony drug offense before the end of the tax year in which the academic period occurs.