For many college families, the expense of higher education is one of the largest investments they will make. In fact, according to the College Board’s 2016 Trends in College Pricing – the average published in‐state tuition and fee and room and board charges for 2016-17 are $20,090 and for out of state students, total charges are $35,370. The average published total charges at private nonprofit four-year institutions are $45,370.
With so much money at stake, it is smart for college families to make a plan in case your student is forced to withdraw from school due to a bad bout of mono, illness or injury. Supporting a college student through an unexpected event can be stressful and it is made worse if parents are not aware of the college refund policy. A 2016 survey by College Parents of America indicates 71% of parents do not recall being informed of the university refund policy and 67% of parents surveyed indicated that they have no idea how the school would handle a refund if their student was unable to complete the term.
The Top 5 Reasons Tuition Insurance is a Smart Decision:
1. If you can’t afford to lose the investment you are making in your semester of school – Tuition insurance can provide up to 100% refund for your expenses if a student gets sick, injured or is forced to leave school for other covered reasons. Tuition insurance can cover those costs and help you get back on your feet in the event of a withdrawal, without the added stress of a financial loss.
2. If your school does not provide 100% refund – Do you know what your school’s refund policy is? A majority of school refund policies do not extend beyond the fifth week of the semester, and many don’t refund the full cost of tuition after the start of classes. Be sure to check with your school to see what their policy is and how much money is at risk.
In fact, in a 2015 national survey by HigherEdStudy of college & university bursars & health administrators, only 23% of schools reported providing 100% refunds. According to the survey, most schools only refund a portion of tuition for qualified withdrawals through the fifth week of classes and virtually no school provides a refund for the academic fees.
3. Not every student graduates. According to a 2015 National Student Clearinghouse: the overall national six-year completion rate for the fall 2009 cohort was 52.9 percent. There are many factors that may disrupt a student’s education. Tuition insurance is not drop-out insurance, but it can help your student and family to avoid a financial loss if a student is forced to withdraw due to a serious illness, accident or injury.
4. If you have more than $2,500 of academic expenses – Even if the school provides a 100% refund for tuition, most schools do not refund academic fees or student housing. Many tuition insurance plans provide coverage for not only tuition but also for expenses related to academic fees and student housing.
5. Student health and well-being can force a student to withdraw from classes. The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment reports that student health incidents such as illnesses, accidents, and injuries happen frequently, even to young and healthy college students. It is important to note that ordinary student health problems such as mononucleosis, chronic health conditions or injuries also may force a student to withdraw from classes and cost a student and their family thousands of dollars.
The Investment in College & Your Student Deserve Protection:
Starting at $33.75 for $2,500 of coverage per term, tuition insurance is an affordable way to protect your investment. A good starting point is GradGuard’s school search tool to see what tuition insurance program may be available to your student.
Remember, tuition insurance must be purchased prior to the start of school and, like all insurance plans, be sure to check the specific terms, conditions, and exclusions of your policy.