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Thanks Bob and AJ for your responses. I sincerely appreciate!

I read the publications and the instruction for Form 8917 as you guys suggested. I found the paragraph that AJ quoted. Though it is still kind of unclear to me. It might just mean you cannot use what you paid in 2014 for academic period that started in 2014.

To further clarify, I paid the tuition twice in 2014, once in the summer for the fall semester 2014 and once in the winter for the spring semester in 2015. Since I paid using a loan, so I processed the loan earlier. I am pretty sure the deadline is a few days before the semester started in January 2015. I could have paid in 2015. Though I paid earlier, the expense is really for the spring semester 2015. Why can’t I claim it as education expense for my 2015 tax?

I think this situation should be pretty common for anyone who graduated in the tax year and got a job for the first time. I will sincerely appreciate if anyone can share their experience.


Regards,

Tom
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