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FAQ: Employee Tuition Programs

  1. Am I eligible for the Vanderbilt tuition benefit for myself or my spouse?

    You are eligible for this benefit if:
    • You have completed three months of continuous full-time employment in a regular or term position here at Vanderbilt. The completion of those three months must be accomplished prior to your course registration.

For Faculty related details please refer to the Faculty Manual.

In order to receive the tuition benefit, employees must be in an eligible position at the time the benefit is paid.

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

  1. How does Bridging affect the education assistance program?
    Tuition assistance is an exception to the general requirements of Bridging. When an employee has a break in service for longer than three months, he/she must build three continuous months of employment again before becoming eligible for the benefit. A change from full-time to part-time status or termination of employment constitutes a break in service.
  2. How many terms and credit hours can I receive the benefit for myself or my spouse?
    You and your spouse can receive the benefit for one three-hour credit course per term (semester/quarter), with a limit of three courses per academic year. The "academic year" is the period beginning with fall through the following summer term. The benefit will cover one three-hour course per term (four hours if there is a required lab).

    If a lab is required as part of your course, then you can request 4 credit hours and receive the benefit for 4 credit hours. However, if the lab is not clearly stated on the submitted documents (Invoice or term schedule), you must provide proof of the lab component being required for the course via a course syllabus. Please note: a lab course is typically a hands-on experience that is being taught in a lecture course.

  3. Are there other limitations to the benefit?
  • The benefit is limited for spouses to only classes attended at Vanderbilt.
  • When applying to Vanderbilt, staff and spouse are subject to the same competitive admission standards as other applicants to Vanderbilt.
  1. As an employee, how do I know if the college or university I am attending is approved for the benefit?
  • If your 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.
  1. Which classes are eligible for this benefit?
  • For you as an employee, any classes offered for academic credit as part of an associate, baccalaureate, or post-graduate degree are eligible for the benefit.
  • For your spouse, classes taken here at Vanderbilt are eligible for the benefit.
  1. Can a class be audited at Vanderbilt for no college credit?

    Eligible employees and their spouses may audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, provided the staff member has the instructor's and the supervisor's written permission to attend. No credit is given for audited classes. You can find the form to audit a course here.  For more information, see the Faculty/Staff Members page on the University Registrar website.

  2. How do I request the Vanderbilt tuition benefit for myself or my spouse?
  • Applyonline through the  EdAssist Portal®  .
  • Submit your application and itemized invoice up to 90 days before the class begins for review.

    An itemized invoice or other school official document that includes the following is required: school name, logo or URL, student full name, course name, term information, itemized detail of tuition and fees for the term. Eligible employees and their spouses may audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, provided the staff member has the instructor's and the supervisor's written permission to attend. No credit is given for audited classes. You can find the form to audit a course here .  For more information, see the  Faculty/Staff Members page on the University Registrar website.


    If you receive scholarships, grants, discounts, etc. that are applied to your tuition cost, please note that your benefit will be calculated from your tuition minus those credits. Please have the Institution clarify on the invoice which credits are solely applied to tuition cost to ensure you receive the correct benefit payment from EdAssist. 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.  
  • Your application will be automatically routed to your supervisor for review, the new status will be “Forwarded to supervisor for review”.
  • ‘Once your application is approved and acceptable documentation uploaded, you will receive a direct payment on your next available payroll cycle. Therefore, it is advised to submit your application and itemized invoice as soon as possible to expedite your payment
  • Once your course is completed you have 30 days from the course completion date to submit your proof of grades via EdAssist. A grade report should indicate successful course completion in compliance with the grade requirements of the program policy.  Grade reports must be legible and must include school name, logo or URL, student name, course name/number and grade received. Web printouts of official grades are acceptable.
  1. What happens if I don’t finish the class and/or submit my proof of passing grade?

Failure to provide appropriate documentation of your passing grade, may result in disqualification for future benefits under this benefit and/or the obligation to return any benefit paid, which may include payroll deduction to recoup the benefit.

  1. 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 and itemized invoice is 30 days after each class start date. 

  2. Will the benefit pay for costs or fees other than tuition?
    The benefit contributes only toward the cost of tuition. Registration fees, books, and other expenses are not eligible for the benefit.

  3. What is the tuition benefit if I attend Vanderbilt or another college/university?

For employees, the benefit will direct pay 70% of your tuition cost for one three-hour course per term, up to an amount equal to 70% of what Vanderbilt would charge for similar level coursework.

  1. Am I required to pay taxes on this benefit?
  • Courses which are determined to be job-related are not taxable to the employee.
  • Courses which are not job-related are taxable to the employee only after the benefit exceeds the IRS limit of $5,250 in a calendar year.
  • The tuition discount for your spouse is taxable to you and is included on your W2. A line item entitled "Taxable Tuition" will be reflected on your payroll check and the appropriate tax will be deducted from your pay.
  1. How do I determine if a course is job-related?
    If it:
  • helps meet the primary requirements of the employee's job;
  • prepares the employee for new responsibilities in the current job; and/or
  • prepares the employee for a position for which he/she is being considered

Do you have additional tuition questions?

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


Revised May 2, 2022