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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.

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 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.
  • The spouse cannot be seeking a degree and cannot be enrolled as a full-time student.
  • 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?

  • From the EdAssist homepage, scroll down to Explore Education Options and click on Search for Education Provider. If you your child’s school is not listed and you feel it should be, contact EdAssist Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT at 844-266-1532 or Submit a help ticket by clicking Contact Us from the left menu through the EdAssist Portal.

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 that are not leading to an associate, baccalaureate, or postgraduate degree 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? 

  • Submit your application online for review. You will receive a pop-up window with an immediate decision from the system before it is sent on to your manager. 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 approval, the new status will be “Forwarded to supervisor for approval”.
  • 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 Task List shows applications needing your immediate attention. 
  • Once your course is completed you can upload required documents from the Submit Documents page. There is a  drop-down selection to be made for Grades and Proof of Payment. When uploading grades, be sure to manually input your grade in the menu that appears, as well as complete the upload of the document. To Upload, select Choose File and navigate to the documents saved on your electronic device.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

10. 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 is the same whether you are taking courses at Vanderbilt University or any other eligible institution. 

11. 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. Upon submitting the Request for Reimbursement form, staff members who attend a college or university other than Vanderbilt will be reimbursed on a future payroll check.

12. 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.

13. 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? Contact Human Resources by phone at 615-343-4788 or email at human.resources@vanderbilt.edu


Revised December 13, 2018