Helpful Information

There are a lot of moving parts in the process of getting financial aid. Make sure you have all the information available to navigate this important piece of your education.

See below for available resources and information. 

Higher Education Tax Credit

1098-T Overview

The U.S. tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are paying higher education costs or repaying student loans. The resources provided here are designed to assist you in understanding the tax benefits that may be available to you.

Student Accounts Office staff members are not tax professionals and given the complexity of the tax code, we unfortunately cannot provide tax advice or determine your eligibility for education tax benefits. We can provide you with information about your Bristol account, which you may need to determine your eligibility for tax benefits; however, any questions about your eligibility should be directed to the I.R.S. or a tax professional.

Accessing Your Bristol 1098-T & Supplemental Account

  • Beginning in early January, you may access your 1098-T, and print copies, through Vangent's online system. Download an instructional document if this is your first-time accessing your 1098-T through the Vangent system. If you access your 1098-T in Vangent's online system, you will not be mailed a copy. You may print as many copies as you need from the Vangent system.
  • Once your profile is set up, you may access your 1098-T through Vangent’s online system anytime.
  • Tuition and payment information is available online for all students through accessBCC. As detailed below, you may be eligible for tax benefits even if a 1098-T is not issued.

Understanding Your 1098-T

  • A 1098-T is issued to all students that reported charges for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31) and/or if any information reported on a prior year's 1098-T has been adjusted.
  • The 1098-T does not indicate your eligibility for tax benefits.
    • You may be eligible for certain tax incentives even if you are not issued a 1098-T.
    • You may receive a 1098-T but not qualify for education tax benefits.
    • The 1098-T provides information that you may use to determine your eligibility for tax incentives.
    • For assistance in determining your eligibility for education tax benefits, consult I.R.S. Publication 970 and/or your tax preparer.
  • Colleges and Universities may choose to report either "Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses" in Box 1 of the 1098-T - or - "Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses" in Box 2 of the 1098-T. Bristol reports qualified amounts billed in Box 2. As a result, nothing will be reported in Box 1 of your 1098-T. Your eligibility for tax benefits is not impacted by whether a university reports amounts paid in Box 1 or amounts billed in Box 2.
  • The charges billed reported in Box 2 reflect charges for which you were billed during the calendar year - regardless of the semester to which those charges apply. Bristol begins billing students for spring tuition and fees in November and December, in advance of the spring semester. If you registered for spring 2011 semester courses in November of 2010, the charges for these courses were billed in November/December of 2010 and were therefore reported on your 2010 1098-T. Since the I.R.S. operates on a calendar year, and the University operates on an academic year, many students will need both their 2010 and 2011 1098-T information in order to determine their tax benefit eligibility for their 2011 Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Not all charges are considered "qualified charges" by the I.R.S. For a detailed explanation of qualified charges, see I.R.S. Publication 970.
  • Your 1098-T will reflect only amounts that were billed to your Bristol student account. Other charges, such as required textbook costs, may be qualified charges but are not reported on the 1098-T because they were not billed to your student account.
  • Many students and families need their 1098-T information from the current and prior calendar year and records of other qualified expenses and their personal payments in order to determine their education tax benefit eligibility.
  • If your 1098-T includes an adjustment to Scholarships or Grants in Box 6, please note that the adjustment will reflect on your 1098-T as a positive number although the actual adjustment is a negative.
  • Bristol’s Student Accounts Office staff members are available to assist you in understanding the information reported on your 1098-T but cannot provide tax advice or determine your education tax benefit eligibility.

Links & Resources

Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
W-9S Request for Student\'s TIN
I.R.S. Publication 970
How to View your Tuition Payments Statement (1098-T)
Tuition Payments Statement (1098-T) FAQ

Useful Links

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web

You may use this web site's on-line form to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

Federal Student Aid ID Web Site
The FSA ID serves as your identifier to let you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. It also acts as your official signature in Federal Student Aid applications and promissory notes.

National Student Loan Data System
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants that are tracked through their entire cycle; from aid approval through closure.

Federal Student Aid
This is a portal to access many of the federal financial aid information sites: FAFSA, Publications, Loan Information and much more.

Loan Counseling
This will link you to the entrance and exit counseling for Direct Loans or the TEACH Grant.

Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance
Information about financial aid programs for Massachusetts residents.

Fastweb has a scholarship search database of more than 180,000 scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans.

Selective Service Registration
Register for Selective Service or print out documentation of registration. Almost all male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the U.S., who are ages 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.

Internal Revenue Service
Information to obtain federal tax return transcript.

BCC Tuition Payment Plan
A monthly payment plan for tuition and fees is available to BCC students.

Book Advances

The  is needed for the book advance program. Book advances give students the opportunity to use some of their financial aid funds in advance of the first disbursement to purchase books at Bristol's Bookstore. To be eligible for a book advance, you will need to have a complete financial aid file, have received a financial aid award letter, and have a pending credit balance on your bill. A book advance is not a grant and is not in addition to your financial aid award package.

For a book advance you will need to have the following with you at your Bristol Bookstore:

  • Your Campus Card
  • Your current class schedule


The book advance amount is based on enrollment level, authorized financial aid, and charges. The maximum value is listed below.

  • $800 for full-time students (12 or more credits)
  • $600 for 3/4-time students (9-11 credits)
  • $400 for 1/2-time students (6-8 credits)
  • $200 for 1/4 time students (less than 6 credits)

A student may meet the eligibility requirements, but not be eligible for the maximum value. An example would be a full-time student with a $200 pending credit balance. Although the full-time limit is $800, the student will be eligible for only a $200 book advance.

There are no cash refunds on books returned that were bought with a book advance. Also, you don’t need to spend your entire book advance. All book advance charges are added to your tuition bill from Bristol. If your eligibility changes and/or your financial aid award is not enough to cover the book advance charges, you are responsible for paying any charges not covered. Also, if you drop a class or fully withdraw from Bristol Community College and used the book advance, you may be responsible to pay back all or part of the book advance.