IRS 1098T

If your school is new to Populi, have a look at this article to learn how to import 1098-T data from your legacy system into Populi.

The 1098-T is a document furnished by your school to the student and the Internal Revenue Service to help determine a student's tuition deduction on his 1040 form. The deduction is based on the amount of Qualified Payments Received (payments and financial aid used to pay for tuition and eligible fees) which were applied in a given calendar year and which were not covered by financial aid grants.

For example, Joe Smith is billed $15,500 for tuition and fees; $500 of that amount are (aid-ineligible) fines for parking tickets, library books, and dorm damage. He received a $3,000 Pell Grant, a $1000 Scholarship, and a $5000 Stafford Loan; the remaining $6000 he paid by personal check. His 1098-T would report:

  • Box 1: Qualified Payments Received (check and financial aid applied to everything but the fines) of $15,000.
  • Box 5: Grants (Pell and Scholarship) totaling $4,000.


The finer points of the IRS regulations for the 1098-T, to put it plainly, are rather imprecise. In order to program this report, we have to make certain assumptions based on the information you provide. For the most part, students will find themselves in a straightforward situation—e.g. she paid this amount, you charged qualified expenses of that amount, she borrowed this much, was granted that much, etc. And in those cases, you've nothing to worry about.

There are nonetheless situations where our assumptions might not perfectly suit the student—especially if the financial records you've entered in Populi are incomplete. We therefore strongly encourage you to review the 1098-Ts generated by Populi. To aid you in your review, we've provided a couple tools we'd like to call to your attention:

  • You can click and select Show Source Details to review the individual charges, payments, offers, etc. that determine the values Populi enters in the appropriate boxes on the 1098-T.
  • You can also adjust the values entered in an individual student's 1098-T in case they do not match the student's actual situation.

Who should get a 1098-T?

Populi generates 1098-Ts for all students enrolled in a given calendar year. However, if a student cannot claim a deduction for qualified payments, he can claim no tax benefit. Therefore, the IRS does not require a 1098-T from him.

A student may claim a deduction for qualified payments if he meets all of the following conditions:

  • He is a U.S. citizen, Resident Alien, or has a Social Security Number:
    • The Citizenship field on his profile is either blank or United States... OR
    • His citizenship is set to another country but his Residency is set to Resident Alien... OR
    • He has a Social Security Number. SSNs are given to citizens of the United States and those with a Green Card.
  • You have received payments on his behalf for his qualified expenses in a given Calendar Year. Per the IRS: "Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition, fees, and course materials required for a student to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution." In Populi, qualified expenses include tuition and any fees marked report on 1098T.
  • The amount he paid towards qualified expenses for the year exceed the amount of grants he received.
  • He was enrolled in at least one course in that year in a program that grants academic credit.

Using the report

Each column of the report corresponds to one of the fields in the 1098-T form.

  • Select a calendar year from the drop-down. You may view, release, and export the data for a given calendar year only after it has fully elapsed! If you'd like to look at the 1098-T report for 2023, you'll have to wait until January 1, 2024 to do so.
  • The Include all enrolled students checkbox shows/hides different groups of students:
    • If not checked: The report shows students with U.S. citizenship or Resident status who have been enrolled AND have a payment made to their accounts sometime in the selected year.
    • If checked: The report will also show students with foreign citizenship or Non-resident status, who were enrolled but did not make a payment, and were not enrolled but did make a payment.
  • indicates that the student does not have a valid Social Security Number recorded in Populi (this includes those with nothing entered and those for whom a placeholder SSN has been entered—e.g. 123-45-6789). You can enter one on the student's Profile > Info view under Other Info.
  • indicates that the values for this student have been adjusted (see below).
  • Click to:
    • Show Source Details: View the calculated source data for a student's 1098-T. These are the charges, payments, offers, etc. that determine the values Populi enters in the appropriate box on the 1098-T.
    • Edit Values: See the next section of this article for details on how to adjust the values on a student's 1098-T.
    • Download Released: After the student's form has been released, you can download a PDF of it.

Editing values for a student's 1098-T

The report automatically gathers the information required to be reported from your school's billing and financial aid records—provided it has been recorded in or imported into Populi. If the values shown for a particular student's form need to be adjusted (say, the record in Populi is incomplete), you can manually adjust those yourself. You cannot adjust values for a form that has already been released to the student; you must first hide/unrelease it (see Actions, below).

  1. Next to the student whose values you wish to edit, click and select Edit Values.
  2. Enter the adjusted value(s) as appropriate.
  3. Click Clear Adjustments to erase all adjusted values and go back to the Populi calculated values (this clears any previously-made adjustments as well).
  4. Click Save when you're finished.

After adjusting 1098-T values:

  • The symbol will appear next to the adjusted record.
  • You'll find a record of all adjustments recorded in the changelog.


Before releasing or exporting this data, please make sure you've read the most recent IRS 1098-T regulations(PDF link).

  • Students flagged for not having an SSN can be released and exported. However, your school could incur fines for submitting such forms to the IRS.
  • Students flagged for a placeholder SSN can only be included in the unofficial XLS export. Their 1098-T cannot otherwise be released or exported.

Release to Students

Before exporting PDF or electronic versions of a student's 1098-T (see below), you must first release the form to that student.

  1. Select Release.
  2. Enter your school's Employer Identification Number (EIN) and financial aid office's phone number.
  3. Check to verify your compliance with regulation section 1.6050S-1.
  4. Click Release to Students.

Now that you've released these forms to the students:

  • Students can now download their Copy B form from their Profile > Financial > Dashboard view.
  • You will no longer be able to modify the information on the form unless you Hide/Unrelease it.
  • If the SSN on the released form is incorrect, please read this article.


You can Export 1098-T data in a few different formats. If there's a lot of data to crunch, the export may take a few minutes. Remember, you can only export 1098-Ts that have already been released to students!

  1. Click Export.
  2. Select the export format. Most of these require that you enter your school's Employer Identification Number and financial aid office's phone number. If you changed your school's reporting method this year, check the box to indicate so.
    • XLS: creates a spreadsheet of the report that includes the students primary mailing and email addresses.
    • IRS Copy: creates a single PDF of the data formatted to print on blank IRS forms. There are three forms per page.
    • Student or College Copy: creates a single PDF of the 1098-Ts on the report that have been released to students. This option is exported on the standard IRS form. The Student option creates the Copy B form; the College option creates the Copy C form.
    • IRS e-File: This exports a .txtfile of all 1098-T's that have been released to students. You'll also enter your five-digit College TCC (Transmitter Control Code). This file can then be uploaded to the IRS' FIRE system. You can also generate a test file.
  3. When you're ready, click Export.
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