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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.

2. 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.

3. 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).

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Can a class be audited at Vanderbilt for no college credit?
You or your spouse can audit one class per semester at Vanderbilt for no college credit with the written permission of the class instructor and your supervisor. For more information, see the Faculty/Staff Members page on the University Registrar website.

8. How do I request the Vanderbilt tuition benefit for myself or my spouse? 

  • Apply online through the EdAssist Portal® .
  • Submit your application up to 90 days before the class begins for review. 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.  
  • Once sent to your manager for review, the new status will be “Forwarded to supervisor for review”.
  • After your manager approves the application, it will change to the “Approved” status.  No further action is needed  UNTIL your class is completed.
  • You will receive email notifications throughout the process.  These will inform you each time your application changes status. Examples are: Submitted, Approved, Documents Received, Ready for Payment. 
  • You can review your application status at any time via the ‘Action Needed’ section of the Home Page.
  • Once your course is completed you have 30 days from the course completion date to submit your grades for reimbursement from the Submit Documents page.Click on Upload Documents on the relevant application on your Home Page or click on the application number and either drag the document or select file to upload. When uploading grades, be sure to manually input your grade in the menu that appears, as well as complete the upload of the document. 
  • 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 your name (first and last), school's name and/or logo, grade, course name and number. Web printouts of official grades are acceptable*.
  • An itemized invoice or other school official document showing tuition, fees and any financial aid received is also required. 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.
  • EdAssist will process your tuition assistance application within 5 days of receipt of the proper documentation. You will be sent an email notification that your documentation has been reviewed and approved.  EdAssist will contact you using application comments if further information is required. This reimbursement will appear on your next available paycheck.

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

10. 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.

11. What is the tuition benefit if I attend Vanderbilt?

  • For employees, the benefit will reimburse 70% of your tuition cost for one three-hour course per term. The application and reimbursement process are the same whether you are taking courses at Vanderbilt University or any other eligible institution. 

12. What is the tuition benefit if I attend another college or university?
For employees, the benefit will reimburse 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.

13. 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.

14. 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 August 12, 2021