General Frequently Asked Question

How can I finance my education?

Ready for professional education but not sure how to afford it? Multiple resources are available to help you finance your continuing education at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension.

Workforce Training Grants

When you qualify through a local California Employment Development Department office, funds may be applied toward the cost of your Extension fees, required books, and materials for specific certificate programs.

Employer Reimbursement Programs

Most employers provide some kind of benefits to help their employees pursue professional education. According to an employer survey by SHRM, about 78 percent pay certification and recertification fees. About 43 percent pay for cross-training to develop skills not directly related to the job, and about half provide some kind of higher education assistance.

Private Continuing Education Student Loans

UCSC Extension students can apply for a private student loan that includes course fees and textbook costs. UCSC Extension does not endorse any financial institution, but you will find important information and a helpful chart comparing terms offered by prominent lenders by visiting our Student Loan Lender List. U.S. News & World Reports has a great article about student loans.

Tax Credits for Education

Tax benefits may be available to you if you are saving for or paying education costs for yourself or, in many cases, another student who is a member of your immediate family. Be sure to talk with a tax professional to learn more.

Work-Related Education Expenses

You may be able to deduct the cost of work-related education expenses paid during the year if you're a:

  • Self-employed individual
  • Qualified performing artist
  • Fee-based state or local government official
  • Disabled individual with impairment-related education expenses

1098-T Tax Deduction for Education

Tax credits are available to taxpayers who paid education expenses for themselves, their spouse or for their dependent. To claim a credit, you must provide us with your Social Security number, file a Form 1040 or Form 1040-A federal tax return. and complete Form 8863. You can learn more from the IRS.

Education Credits

UCSC Extension students may be eligible for the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or American Opportunity Act Tax Credit under provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, provided your adjusted gross income is within current IRS specifications. See IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education for complete information, including eligibility requirements. Compare Education Credits and Tuition and Fees Deduction. To be eligible for the AOTC, students must be pursuing a degree or recognized educational credential; conversely, the Lifetime Learning Credit does not have this requirement.

Qualified Tuition Programs (Section 529)

UCSC Extension is an eligible educational institution for a qualified tuition program (QTP), also referred to as a section 529 plan, is a program established and maintained by a state, or an agency or instrumentality of a state, that allows a contributor either to prepay a beneficiary's qualified higher education expenses at an eligible educational institution or to contribute to an account for paying those expenses. Under Section 529 taxpayers can establish accounts on behalf of a designated beneficiary, who could be a child, grandchild, spouse, niece, nephew, friend, or even themself.