NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Parents of college students or those working on their own degree should know of the many tax breaks linked to college spending that can make a big difference when you ship your taxes off to the IRS.
Yet a recent study from Sallie Mae says only 41% of parents with kids in college take advantage of education tax credits or student loan interest deductions.
"It is worth it to learn what tax breaks for education expenses are available and how you can qualify," said Nikki Lavoie, a Sallie Mae spokeswoman. "Filing for education tax credits and student interest tax deductions is one way to make college more affordable."
Fortunately, it's not too late to grab these tax breaks, with more than a month to go until tax deadline day, April 15.
To get going, Sallie Mae points the way to these college-based tax breaks. See if you qualify:
American Opportunity Tax Credit: The AOTC was recently extended through the 2017 tax year, and for the 2013 tax year it allows college students and parents who pay for college to claim a tax credit of up to $2,500 for costs related to tuition, fees and textbooks, but only for the first four years of college. To get the maximum credit amount, a taxpayer must have modified adjusted gross income of less than $80,000, or $160,000 for joint filers. Low-income families who owe no tax may be eligible for a credit refund of up to $1,000 for each qualifying student.