BOSTON, MASS.; July 21, 2010- Tuition insurance is now available to any student enrolled in an accredited higher education institution through the first-ever national group policy made available by GradGuard, a service of Next Generation Insurance (NGI) Group, LLC.
The announcement, made by NGI Chief Executive Officer, John Fees, comes as families of more than 14 million full-time students prepare to send their sons and daughters to college this September. Until now, the family investment in tuition and related expenses – which averages between $15,213 and $35,636 for one year in a four-year undergraduate program, according to The College Board – was a gamble.
According to a 2009 study by Student Monitor, 27 percent of students had to themselves, or knew someone who had to, withdraw from college mid-semester due to health issues or a death in the family. Until now, tuition insurance was typically available only at select private colleges and universities.
Said NGI’s Fees, “Parents may mistakenly believe that colleges refund tuition in the case of unexpected illness, injury or even death. In fact, a 2010 study by College Parents of America indicates that most colleges and universities do not provide a full refund if a student is forced to withdraw from school for medical reasons. Through GradGuard, all parents and students now have the opportunity to protect their investment in education.”
GradGuard’s tuition insurance program provides up to $50,000 of annual tuition insurance for the non-refunded financial loss associated with the cost of attending college. The GradGuard plan is available to students nationwide and covers verifiable losses connected to the cost of attendance. This includes not only the loss of non-refunded tuition payments, but also academic fees, room and board, books and travel to and from the academic program.
“For many families, tuition is the largest expenditure after their home. We send our children off to school with a great deal of optimism, as we should. As with other standard insurance products – life, travel, auto – the concept is based on hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst,” said Fees.
The GradGuard tuition refund plan is available for undergraduate or graduate programs, and can be purchased at any time with coverage for any accredited institution. It is also available to international students studying in the U.S. and to American students studying abroad. GradGuard also offers the Student Protection Plan, a bundle of insurance and lifestyle benefits designed to protect college students including emergency medical evacuation insurance, identity theft protection and resolution services, and protection for their personal computers.
NGI developed the blanket tuition insurance policy for College Parents of America, a national membership organization of current and future college parents, in order to give members and their families a convenient and effective way to protect their college investment. GradGuard’s tuition refund plan offers families flexible coverage with levels ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 with affordable monthly or annual payment options.
College Parents of America President James A. Boyle said, “Not all families need $50,000 of annual coverage, but nearly every student would benefit from having at least $5,000 of annual coverage. Even if a college has a generous refund policy, it is unlikely that a student will ever be refunded the cost for academic fees, books or room and board.”
“With college costs increasing annually, and the substantial number of students who are at risk of leaving college for medical reasons, it makes sense for parents to protect their investment in education with tuition refund insurance,” added Boyle.
About GradGuard: GradGuard is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI has established the nation’s first comprehensive insurance and benefits solution specifically designed for the collegiate market. GradGuard.com aims to offer protection for college life. Its products include tuition refund insurance, renters insurance and student health insurance. For more information, visit www.gradguard.com/tuition or call 877-556-3984. Tuition refund insurance is underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, an “A” (Excellent) rated company according to industry watcher A.M. Best.