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Tax Documents

How to Interpret the 1098-T

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Each box of Form 1098-T reports specific transaction totals from the calendar year. This page will help you understand how these amounts are calculated.

Note: The University cannot provide tax advice. Please review Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education provided by the IRS or consult with a professional tax advisor.

What do the figures in each box signify?


  • Box 1 reports on total payments made to Stanford from any source for Qualified Tuition and Tuition Related Expenses (QTRE) in a given calendar year.
  • As defined per the IRS, Qualified Tuition and Tuition Related Expenses (QTRE) are tuition (including course fees, lab and music rental room fees, and course materials), student activities fees, and the one-time document fee. These are the only charges that can be used for claiming an education tax credit.
  • Box 1 does not include payments for non-tuition related expenses such as housing, meal plans, health insurance, and other fees.


  • Reports any adjustments made by the University to Box 1 for Qualified Tuition and Tuition Related Expenses (QTRE) that were reported in a prior year 1098-T.
  • The amounts adjusted may also reduce any allowable education credit received during a prior year (this may increase tax liability for the year of the refund). Please refer to “recapture” in the Index of Publication 970 to report a reduction in your education credit for tuition and fees deduction.


  • Reports all scholarships, fellowships and grants provided to you in a given calendar year. Payment sources may include:
    • University or Departmental grants and fellowships
    • Third Party Contracts (TPC)
    • Governmental and private entities (Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense (DOD), civic and religious organizations)
  • Notes: 
    • Box 5 does not include your payments
    • Box 5 does not include your assistantship salary


  • Reports any adjustments to scholarships, fellowships or grants that were reported for a prior year.
  • Adjustments do not necessarily reflect an increase or decrease in funding amounts for a previous year. Sometimes, for instance, Academic Departments or the Financial Aid Office (FAO) must update or change funding sources for scholarships, fellowships or grants. Stanford is required to report these adjustments. 
  • The amount in Box 6 may affect the amount of any allowable tuition and fees deductions or education credits you claimed in a prior year.
  • You may have to file an amended tax return (Form1040-X). Please consult with a professional tax advisor.

How do I view an itemized report of my 1098-T raw data?

The data used to calculate the amounts reported in each box of the form is viewable via the Box Amount breakdown in Axess:
1. Log into Axess (student role)
2. My Finances > Pay & Tax Statements > 1098-T
3. Select the Box Amount tab
4. Click the amount you would like to review to see the list of items included in each total.

How does the 1098-T reflect my Winter quarter payments?

The 1098-T reflects student payments according to the calendar year in which these payments were posted to QTRE in Box 1. For example:

  • Payments that posted by December 2023 will be reported on the 2023 1098-T Form.
  • Payments that posted in January 2024 will not be reported on the 2023 1098-T Form.

Please keep in mind that even if you make payments in December that initially posted towards QTRE for Winter, these funds may be displaced to cover non-tuition related expenses when your financial aid is disbursed in January.  Please note that many scholarships and fellowships are applied to tuition with first priority; your payments are applied to remaining tuition charges only after such scholarships and fellowships have been applied. 

How are my scholarships, fellowships, and or grants reflected in the 1098-T?

These amounts are reflected in Box 5.

Is my salary included in Box 5?

No, your salary is not included in Box 5 at all. The income you earn via a salaried appointment is reflected on the W-2.

My 1098-T does not make sense. How can I get help?

If you have additional questions about your 1098-T, please submit a Service Now Ticket to the Student Services Center (SSC).

You can also request to meet with one of our Specialists for additional assistance. Visit our Get Help page to view all the ways to contact the SSC and make an appointment.

You can also refer to page 75 of IRS Publication 970 for references on how to get tax help.