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BRET Student Financials – Resources and FAQs for Graduate Students


Resources & FAQs for VU SOM Graduate Student Financials

We are here to help ensure all graduate students in the School of Medicine programs are administratively well supported throughout their training. By working cooperatively with other departments and staff across our institution, the BRET Financial team expects for all students to be financially supported (tuition, insurance, stipends, etc.) continuously during their training.
*Please note, the HCM team is not authorized to give tax advice. For questions regarding taxes, filing, etc., please work with your CPA/tax accountant.

For questions regarding student payments (payroll or stipend payments), please email

For questions regarding student accounts (tuition, insurance, student service fees, etc.), please email

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  • For students that are moving in from out of state, please be sure to update your personal information in Oracle to your Tennessee address ASAP to avoid having another state’s taxes taken out.
    *Oracle Quick Reference Guide: Accessing Your Personal Information
  • If you receive an email requesting for you to complete an I-9 form, please do so ASAP in order for you to be hired into your position on time. Failing to do so could delay your start date.

For reference purposes, students funded by training grants or fellowships, 1st-year rotation students, and 2nd-year International students are typically paid via stipend. Students paid by other grants and/or faculty funds are typically paid via payroll. There can be exceptions to this, though. If you have questions about how you are paid, please email

  • How do I set up payroll direct deposit?
    Graduate students can now submit/update their direct deposit information in Oracle. Go to “Me”, “Pay”, then “Payment Methods”. Once there, you can either add a new account or edit your current direct deposit information. Please allow one to two payroll cycles for the update to be reflected. Instructions for managing payroll direct deposit accounts in Oracle are available here. For more information, please visit the Direct Deposit of Pay HR webpage.
  • What is a W-4 form? How do I submit my W-4?
    Per the IRS, the W-4 form (Employee’s Withholding Certificate) is used for your employer to withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. You may find more information on the IRS webpage about the W-4 form.
    The Form W-4 should be completed online as soon as possible following hire your hire date. Please do not email this document to the HR team. Instructions for managing Form W-4 information within the Pay module of Oracle are available via the Oracle Help Center and/or here.
  • What is an I-9 form? How do I submit I-9 information?
    The I-9 form is the Employment Eligibility Verification form. Please refer to the USCIS webpage on the I-9 form for more information.
    You may complete the online I-9 web form using this link.
    Once the form is submitted, you will receive a link from our vendor, EMPForce, to complete section one online. If you do not receive the link within two business days, please contact You must complete section one of the federal form I-9 online prior to your first day of employment.
  • Why are taxes coming out of my check?
    All students not paid on stipends will have taxes removed from their paycheck. The deduction will show up as FIT Withheld.
  • Why are other state taxes coming out of my check?
    Please check your address in Oracle. If this is incorrect, please reach out to your BRET financial contact for your enrolled program.
  • Who do I contact for questions regarding filing taxes?
    Questions regarding taxes should be directed to your CPA/tax accountant. The HCM team is not authorized to give tax advice. Some webpages you may find beneficial include:
    *Vanderbilt University Graduate School Tax Information webpage
    *Vanderbilt University Human Resources Tax Resources webpage
    *Vanderbilt University Human Resources W-2 Tax Forms webpage
  • Where do I download my W2?
    For instructions on downloading your W-2, please view the following Quick Reference Guides:
    *View or Download your Form W2 
    *Elect or Update W-2 Electronic Delivery Preference
    *Please note: Students paid via stipend will not receive a W-2 for their time paid via stipend; you will need to download your payslips to report income.
  • Where do I locate my payslip?
    For instructions on viewing your payslips, please view the View or download my payslips pdf. You may also wish to view the Quick Reference Guide: Understanding Your Oracle Payslip.
  • How do I contact someone about my student pay?
    Please contact the BRET financial team at
  • Why isn’t my tuition and fees paid/posted yet?
    Please know that while we try our best to process the payments as quickly as possible, if your payment is late we will work with Student Accounts to have late fees waived on payments that we are responsible for entering.
    ***Please be sure to pay any fines, Commodore Cash, and student service fees (if responsible for). We cannot have late fees waived for payments that are the student’s responsibility to cover.
  • How do I waive my student health insurance?
    For information on the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Waiver Policies, please visit the Student Care Network’s webpage to learn more about important deadlines, actions, links, and pertinent details. Other beneficial links concerning student health insurance are linked below:
    *Student Health Insurance Overview
    *Student Accounts: Graduate & Professional / International Student Health Insurance
  • Who pays my student service fee?
    This depends on how the student is paid. Most fellowships and training grants cover this fee. If the student is paid in payroll, they will be responsible for paying this fee (the money is built into the monthly paycheck and why the stipend rate is lower). Student services fee support recreational programs administered through the Office of Campus Recreation (OCR) including intramural programs, sports clubs, classes and workshops, the outdoor recreation program, and wellness activities. It also supports the operation of the Student Recreation Center, and the University’s recreational playing fields and student organizations, student programming (including social and cultural events), and related student facility costs.
  • I have questions about registering for classes. Who do I contact?
    Please work with your program manager regarding questions about registering for classes.
  • How do I contact someone about my student account?
    Please contact the BRET HCM team at

In the BRET Office, Leslie Osing oversees the student fellowship submissions for the following programs:
*Human Genetics
*Biomedical Informatics
*Microbe-Host Interactions
*Molecular Pathology & Immunology
*Chemical & Physical Biology
*Hearing & Speech Sciences
*Health Policy

Leslie Osing, Training Grant Development & Support Specialist

Please see BRET’s process here.

Please see links below for helpful information for International Students:

International graduate students affiliated with the BRET office and the programs BRET oversees will work with the BRET HCM financial team for questions about student payments and accounts, same as the domestic graduate students we service. Being as many of the onboarding requirements for international students are completed prior to working with the HCM team, you may find the links below beneficial in answering questions you may have, as well as helpful contact information.

  • I need help with travel reimbursement. Where do I go?
    Visit the BRET Student Travel website and/or email Aaron Howard at
    *Please note, Aaron only works with graduate students. If you are a postdoc and need travel assistance, please work with your department administrator.
  • Where can I find more information on travel grants offered by the Graduate School?
    Please visit the Graduate School’s Travel Grants webpage.

    Aaron Howard, Grants and Contract Coordinator

    Aaron coordinates student travel for our graduate students. For questions regarding booking travel or travel reimbursements, please reach out to Aaron.
    *Visit the BRET Student Travel webpage.

Stacy Johnson, Associate Director,
Finance & Administration

Stacy is the Student Financial Associate Director and oversees the HCM team. 

Dana Doss, HCM Team Leader & Senior Budget/Accounting Analyst

Dana oversees retroactive transfers & student financials for the following programs:
*Chemical & Physical Biology
*Human Genetics

Jean Miller, Budget/Accounting Analyst

Jean oversees student financials for the following programs:
*First-year umbrella programs, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) & Quantitative & Chemical Biology (QCB) Program
*Cancer Biology
*Cell & Developmental Biology
*Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Karen Eardley, Budget/Accounting Analyst

Karen acts as the VUMC liaison and oversees student financials for the following programs:
*Biomedical Informatics
*Microbe-Host Interactions
*Molecular Pathology & Immunology
*Hearing & Speech Sciences
*Health Policy and Health Services Research

Megan Chapman, Administrative Officer

Megan oversees student financials for students funded by BRET-managed training grants.

Meet more of the BRET Office Team.