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Dependent Tuition Assistance

Also see: Education Assistance Programs policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019


The purpose of this policy is to outline the dependent tuition benefits for regular or term full-time employees (including faculty).



  1. Employee is any person (including faculty) designated as a regular full-time employee in the employment records of Vanderbilt.
  2. Dependent Child(ren) to whom the employee is entitled or would be entitled, without regard to any divorce decree or separation agreement, to a personal exemption as a dependent "qualifying child" for federal income tax purposes as defined in Section 152(c) of the Code.
  3. Term employees are any employees working in positions identified as "term positions" in the Recruitment, Hiring and Onboarding policy.
  4. Accredited Institution is an institution as accredited in the Directory of Higher Education and offering academic courses toward an associate, baccalaureate, or post-graduate degree.


Educational benefits are available for the employee’s dependent children when the employee is at least twenty-one (21) years old and he/she has been employed full-time for the past five continuous years in a regular or term position at Vanderbilt (or any other accredited college or university, with no break-in-service greater than three (3) continuous months duration). The benefit begins the semester following five years of continuous service.

The children of an employee whose service is terminated due to permanent disability or death may be eligible to receive the tuition benefit. The employee must have met the full-time five-year service requirement, and the dependents must enter an accredited institution within five years of the disability or death.

Note: Vanderbilt temporary employees are not eligible for this benefit.


Vanderbilt will assist with paying tuition for undergraduate courses for the employee’s dependent child(ren) as follows:

  • The employee must be eligible for the benefit and enrolled in an accredited institution as defined in section I and II of this document.
  • The child must meet the IRS dependency test (see Dependent Eligibility Requirements) in order to qualify.
  • The child must be enrolled in undergraduate courses, leading to the student's first baccalaureate degree.
  • The employee must have 5 or more years of eligible service.
  • Plan for those employed prior to 9/1/2012 - Your benefit will be the greater of the following, but not to exceed 70% of what Vanderbilt would charge for similar level coursework:
    • 100% of up to $2,000 of the total tuition per semester, or
    • 70% of the total tuition.
  • Plan for those employed on or after 9/1/2012 - Your benefit will be the greater of the following, but not to exceed 55% of what Vanderbilt would charge for similar level coursework:
    • 100% of up to $2,000 of the total tuition per semester, or
    • 55% of the total tuition.
  • Each eligible dependent child may receive tuition assistance for up to 8 academic semesters or 12 academic quarters of undergraduate courses.
  • The maximum family tuition benefit is 24 semesters or 36 quarters for all of the employee’s children; or a maximum of 48 semesters or 72 quarters for all of the children if Vanderbilt employs the eligible employee and his/her eligible spouse.
  • Fees, books, room and board, the remaining amount of tuition, etc., are the responsibility of the employee.
  • Dependent children who apply to Vanderbilt are subject to the same competition for admission as other applicants.



Dependent Tuition Program

This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for employees. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt employees, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.