Skip to main content

FAQs: Dependent Tuition Program

  1. When do I become eligible to use the dependent tuition assistance?
  2. What happens in the event of disability or death of an employee?
  3. How does Bridging affect this benefit?
  4. What are the eligibility requirements for my child?
  5. How do I request the tuition benefit for my child?
  6. How do I know if the college or university my child is attending is approved for the tuition benefit?
  7. What classes are eligible for the benefit?
  8. Are International programs eligible for the benefit?
  9. What happens after my EdAssist application has been submitted and approved?
  10. When can I apply?
  11. Will the Vanderbilt benefit pay for costs or fees other than tuition?
  12. Does Vanderbilt pay for overloads?
  13. How will other scholarships affect the amount the Vanderbilt benefit pays?
  14. Is there a limit to the number of school semesters or quarters that my child can receive the benefit?
  15. Does Summer Session count as a semester or quarter?
  16. What should I do if I have submitted a dependent tuition benefit form and my child will not be attending the school?
  17. What should I do if I submitted a tuition form and my child changes schools?


 
1. When do I become eligible to use the dependent tuition assistance?

VU Staff: 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.

VU Faculty: 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 (including VUMC), with no break-in-service greater than three (3) continuous months duration). The benefit begins the semester following five years of continuous service.

VUMC Faculty: 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 as a full-time Faculty for the past five continuous years in a regular or term position at VUMC (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 Faculty service. 

2. What happens in the event of disability or death of an employee?
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.

3. How does Bridging affect this benefit?
Tuition assistance is an exception to the general requirements of Bridging. When an employee has a break-in-service longer than three months, he/ she must build five continuous years of employment again before becoming eligible for dependent tuition assistance. A change from full-time status to part-time status or termination of employment constitutes a break-in-service.

4. What are the eligibility requirements for my child?
Your dependent must meet the IRS definition of a qualifying child. In general, to be a taxpayer's qualifying child, a person must satisfy four tests:

  1. Relationship - must be the taxpayer's child (whether by blood or adoption) or stepchild.
  2. Residence – has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year. Exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents. Refer to IRS Publication 501 for additional information.
  3. Age – must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year.1 Dependent child has not attained the age of 24 on December 31 of the year in which the tuition benefit will be utilized.
  4. Support - did not provide more than one-half of his/her own support for the year.

While the four qualifying child tests generally apply, a qualifying child also needs to meet these tests:

  • Nationality - be a U.S. citizen or national, or a resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. There is an exception for certain adopted children.
  • Marital Status - if married, did not file a joint return for that year, unless the return is filed only as a claim for refund and no tax liability would exist for either spouse if they had filed separate returns.

5. How do I request the tuition benefit for my child?
Apply online through the EdAssist Portal ® . Once your Letter of Credit is generated, this must be delivered to the child's financial aid office for processing.

 6. How do I know if the college or university my child is attending is approved for the tuition benefit?
If your child’s institution is not listed in EdAssist, you may contact Customer Support by calling (844) 266-1532 between 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday or by using the live chat feature available through the Support Services icon between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday or by opening a support ticket by navigating to the Support Services icon, and then clicking Create a Support Ticket.

 7. What classes are eligible for the benefit?
Any classwork leading to your child's first bachelor/baccalaureate degree is eligible.

8. Are International programs eligible for the benefit?
Only overseas programs sponsored by an accredited college or university within the United States are eligible This means the program is actually billed through a United States Accredited college or university.  The payment is based on U.S. currency. 

If your dependent would like to attend an International College or University, please contact HR Tuition at (tuitionbenefit@vanderbilt.edu), as this is a manual process and special approvals have to be obtained in advance.

9. What happens after my EdAssist application has been submitted and approved?

1.   When you submit your application online, you will receive an immediate decision from the system. If further information is needed, you will be contacted through automated email or through Application Comments. You will also receive an email confirming the new status of your application.

2. After your application is approved, you will receive a Letter of Credit (LOC) via email. The LOC will also be available on your Home page. Print and present the LOC to your child’s financial aid office.  If your child is attending Vanderbilt University, please send your Letter of Credit (LOC) to the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at finaid@vanderbilt.edu .

3.   The school should follow the instructions contained on the LOC to reach out to EdAssist for billing.

4. Once EdAssist receives the LOC plus invoice from the school, they will pay your dependent’s school on Vanderbilt’s behalf.

5. You can review your application status or your Letter of Credit at any time clicking on ‘Access Letter of Credit’ on the appropriate application on the Home Page, or by clicking on the application number, then clicking on the Actions button at the top right of the screen, then selecting ‘Access Letter of Credit.’

10. When can I apply?
Faculty and staff may apply online through EdAssist starting 90 days prior to each class start date. 
The DEADLINE to submit an application is 30 days after each class start date. 

11. Will the Vanderbilt benefit pay for costs or fees other than tuition?
No, the benefit contributes only to tuition. Mandatory fees, registration fees, books, room and board, and any other expenses are not eligible.

12. Does Vanderbilt pay for overloads?
No, overload charges are not covered. An overload is defined as the credit hour amount above a school's full-time enrollment. For example, if a school charges a flat tuition rate for 12-18 credit hours, and your student is enrolled for 19 credit hours, the amount of overload would be one hour. The benefit amount is based on the individual school's base tuition charge and each school may vary in what they consider to be full-time enrollment. The amount of any overload charges is the responsibility of the student and/or parent.

13. How will other scholarships affect the amount the Vanderbilt benefit pays?
The sum of all scholarships (including Vanderbilt payment) should not exceed the dependent tuition charge. Any scholarships reported towards tuition may reduce the amount of tuition benefit that Vanderbilt pays on behalf of the dependent. For more questions please contact tuitionbenefit@vanderbilt.edu.

General Information

14. Is there a limit to the number of school semesters or quarters that my child can receive the benefit?
Yes, there is a limit. Each individual dependent child can receive the benefit for up to 8 semesters or 12 quarters.

  • If you have more than one child, you can use the benefit for up to 24 semesters or 36 quarters for all your dependent children.
  • If both you and your spouse are Vanderbilt faculty or employees, you can use the benefit for up to 48 semesters or 72 quarters. Note that this does not increase the number of eligible semesters per child.

15. Does Summer Session count as a semester or quarter?
A summer session at your child's school will count as a semester or quarter regardless of the number of hours taken.

16. What should I do if I have submitted the dependent tuition benefit form and my child does not attend that school?
Login to EdAssist to cancel the application or contact EdAssist directly via phone or the EdAssist Portal.

 17. What should I do if I submitted a tuition form and my child changes schools?
We must receive your cancellation before we can process a request for a different school. Please email tuitionbenefit@vanderbilt.edu and let us know that you want to cancel the benefit. Include your student's name, the school's name, and term affected. You will then need to submit a new application along with a new Authorization and Release form.


1To further explain the IRS defines a "qualifying child" as a dependent who has not attained the age of 24 as of the close of the calendar year for which the benefit is requested. The calendar year in which the dependent turns 23 is the last year of eligibility for the benefit.

Have additional tuition questions? Email: tuitionbenefit@vanderbilt.edu 


Revised September 23, 2021