1098T Tax Information

What is the 1098-T form?

The main purpose of the form 1098T is to help students, and their families, determine if they are eligible to receive two tax credits:  the American Opportunity Credit, and the Lifetime Learning Credit. We follow Internal Revenue Code section 6050S and the corresponding regulations in reporting Form 1098T, Tuition Statement, for each year a student is enrolled at Lake Forest College. All eligible educational institutions are required to submit the student’s name, address, and taxpayer’s identification number (TIN), enrollment and their academic status.

Beginning with 2003, educational institutions must also report amounts to the IRS pertaining to qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as scholarships and/or grants, taxable or not. A 1098-T form must also be provided to each applicable student. This form is informational only. It serves to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits. It should not be considered as tax opinion or advice.

While it is a good starting point, the 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, does not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. There is no IRS requirement that you must claim the tuition and fees deduction or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.

Note: Please be advised that Lake Forest College is prohibited from providing legal, tax, or accounting advice to students and is not responsible for any use you make of this information.

Why did I receive a 1098-T and what am I supposed to do with it?

In January of each year, Lake Forest College partners with ECSI to mail an IRS Form 1098-T to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year. This form is informational only and should not be considered as tax opinion or advice. It serves to alert students and their families that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits. Receipt of Form 1098-T does not indicate eligibility for the tax credit. To determine the amount of qualified tuition and fees paid, and the amount of scholarships and grants received, a taxpayer should consult with their tax professional. 

Did you send a copy of this form to the IRS?

Yes. Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in determining eligibility for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. The deadline for institutions to provide this information to the IRS is March 31, although the data may be transmitted earlier. 

What educational expenses are considered as qualified tuition and related expenses?


Not Included

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Tuition
  • Mandatory fees
  • Room and Board charges
  • Bookstore charges
  • Library fines
  • Health insurance

Why don’t the numbers on Form 1098-T equal the amounts I paid to Lake Forest College during the year?

There are potentially many reasons for this discrepancy. First, the amount in Box 1 only represents amounts paid for qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) and does not include payments made for room and board, insurance, books, or parking which, though important, are not considered mandatory education expenses for tax purposes. Secondly, Form 1098-T reports amounts that the student paid in a certain year, and the pay date does not necessarily correspond to the dates that the classes were attended. For example, tuition for the Spring semester is typically billed in November so a student may have paid tuition for the Spring semester in 2021 despite the fact that classes didn’t start until 2022. The best and most accurate source of information about the amounts that you paid for qualified tuition and related expenses will be your student account statement.

What other information do I need to claim the tax credit?

While it is a good starting point, the 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, does not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. Most of the information needed must come from the family’s financial records of what the student paid during the calendar year. Additionally, each taxpayer and his or her tax adviser must make the final determination of qualifying expenses.

What are the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit and what are allowable tuition and fee tax deductions for each?

For an overview of the American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and allowable tuition and fee tax deductions visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Benefits-for-Education:-Information-Center. Not all students who pay qualified expenses are eligible for a tax credit. For example, both credits have an income cap. Students who have a Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) greater than or equal to $80,000, or $ 160,000 for those filing a joint return, are not eligible for the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning credit. Each student can only claim one of these tax credits per year. You are also prohibited from claiming a tuition and fees deduction and an education tax credit for the same student for the same year. 

My address listed on the 1098-T has changed. Will this affect me?

Possibly. IRS regulations require mailing your 1098-T to your permanent address, not your local or campus one. If you did not have a current address on file with the College, then your form may have gone astray. 

How do I get a copy of my 1098-T form?

Students w/ Electronic Consent

To access your 1098-T, go to the following website: https://heartland.ecsi.net/index.main.html#/access/lookup

When you login, please click on the + sign next to Delivered () to access your statements.

Students w/o Electronic Consent
Students that have not consented to receive their 1098-T electronically will have a paper 1098-T statement mailed to them by January 31st. You are always eligible to access it electronically using the link above.

For any questions related to the 1098-T statement and to access an electronic copy of the 1098-T statement online please visit the Heartland ECSI website https://heartland.ecsi.net/

To access your 1098T you will need the following 3 pieces of information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Zip Code that appears on their 1098-T form

If you have any questions regarding the information on your 1098-T, please contact the school at: (847) 735-5054.

If you experience trouble with your web login, please feel free to contact ECSI at 866-428-1098. Neither Lake Forest College nor ECSI can answer tax questions, you must contact your tax professional.

What is LFC’s Tax Identification Number?

The Federal Identification Number (FIN) for Lake Forest College is 36-2167770. This number can also be found on the 1098-T form in the middle left section. 

Business Office


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Phone: 847-735-5030
Mailing address: 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045

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