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Student Life Uncategorized

Top 3 Characteristics of a Great Roommate

August 27, 2020

The idea of having a roommate can be exciting and little nerve-racking at the same time. We all have different expectations of how a living arrangement should be when sharing spaces with others. Whether you are a college student who may not have a choice in who you are living with or an adult searching for the ideal person to live with, there are certain things that should be a default when it comes to roommate situations. Here are a few of the most important characteristics of a great roommate!

  1. Make sure your roommate is trustworthy! Being trustworthy and reliable are valuable qualities. In most roommate arrangements, two or more people are responsible for splitting the costs of rent, utilities, internet, and other shared amenities. If your house mates are trusting in you to have your portion of the costs covered when they are due, you should always adhere to what has been agreed upon by everyone! Sometimes issues arise in which someone may not be able to contribute. This is when communication and understanding are key.
  1. They should be clean and neat! Growing up, we all learned from our parents and other adults the importance of having good cleaning and hygiene habits. This is important to implement when you are sharing living spaces with others. Part of being a great roommate includes making sure that the shared spaces in your residence are always clean and presentable. Areas like the living room, kitchen, and shared bathrooms should be as clean and neat as possible. Having good personal hygiene habits are even more important! Living with others should be a pleasant experience and this includes making sure that you are keeping up with your personal care (bathing, laundry, cleaning your room, etc).
  1. Be friendly and kind! Some roommates become best friends while others barely speak or interact with each other. No matter what your roommate situation is it vital to remain friendly and kind with each other. Being friendly does not mean you have to spend every minute together when everyone is home. By simply saying good morning, good night, or asking someone how their day was can go a long way. Feeling comfortable in your residence starts with the way you treat your house mates and vis versa. If you or your roommates have guests over it is important to never make someone feel unwelcome. Be polite and say hello!

Being a good roommate doesn’t have to be hard. There are enough stressors that come along with college life and living with other people should not be one of them. Take these 3 things into account when starting the new term with a new roommate.

Health

How To Make Connections in the Era of Covid-19

August 1, 2020

It is no surprise that in the face of Covid-19, countless changes have had to be made to maintain the goals of the different facets of university life. Changes of learning, changes in teaching and most importantly, changes in community are being formed to better supplement the lack of in person connection. 

In all of this chaos, especially for students entering college for the first time, meeting people and finding friends can feel like an impossible task but luckily there are ways to quickly and effectively not just meet, but actually connect with others. 

Find Gateways

The first way is not a destination but more of the first steps and gateways that can lead to the end goal and these are the school sponsored or facilitated conversations. These can take the form of a discussion on Canvas, a school sponsored app like ZeeMee or in the classes themselves. While the conversations within these settings are most often stale, they provide an area where you can meet people and then form separate group chats aside from that. 

Social Media

The second area of importance are the various social media platforms available. Things such as finding roommates by going to instagram and looking for people that are the same year and college as you, snapchat group chats, twitter, or reddit, the possibilities on these sites have the doors, you just need to open them. 

Make Yourself Accessible

The third way is the thing that people get wrong most often and that is because they forget that they need to make themselves easier to find as well. Hardly anyone has a large group of friends going into a University so by making yourself easier to find on any of the mediums above, and doing things like listing or showing your interests will help others that are in the same position find you.

At the end of the day, all it takes is some effort and information to be able to make friends easily and quickly in this unknown environment so while this post is meant to help students with the information, it is only half of the solution to solve this complex problem students are facing. 

Student Life

Testimonial: Tuition Insurance Gives Peace of Mind to College Parents

July 30, 2020
Tuition insurance is smart for families to consider

Tuition insurance exists to provide a refund for a covered medical withdrawal when colleges and universities don’t. The best way for college students and their families to understand the value of GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance is to hear from a customer directly.

Anna learned about GradGuard’s tuition insurance before her son started college in New Jersey.

“We weren’t exactly sure if he was going to follow through on college,” Anna said. “He has some medical issues, so we weren’t sure exactly what was going to go on.”

Anna said it was in the back of her mind that Tuition Insurance was a good idea to have, so she purchased a policy for her son as a precaution.

“We weren’t exactly sure if we would need it, but we thought it was well worth it,” Anna said.

Worth the cost for peace of mind

Tuition Insurance can be purchased for as little as about 1% of the cost of tuition for the majority of schools that GradGuard directly partners with. That’s $10,000 worth of coverage for $106.

Anna’s son needed to withdraw from school for a covered medical shortly after the semester started. Because she had purchased a policy before the start of classes, she was able to file a claim for tuition and fees.

“The fact that it’s insurance and it’s peace of mind, and we actually had it, led us to feel more comfortable,” Anna said.

Thirty years ago, tuition insurance may not have been necessary, but today, given the high cost of college and ordinary risks of college life, it’s smart for all families to be vigilant.

“You just never know when you actually need it,” Anna said. “I would recommend it highly.”

College is one of the largest investments most families will ever make after buying a home. You insure your home, and your car, so why not also insure your tuition? You can with GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance.

Questions to ask your college or university:

What will happen to my tuition payment if my college student is forced to withdraw from school due to an illness or even COVID-19?

What is the school’s refund policy?

Do you offer tuition insurance?

GradGuard is thankful to work closely with more than 350 colleges and universities nationwide, including Ramapo College of New Jersey, where Anna’s son was enrolled. Learn more about how to buy Tuition Insurance for your school using GradGuard’s college search tool.

Student Life

Testimonial: Why Renters Insurance is a Good Idea for College Students

July 29, 2020
College students are smart to consider renters insurance

College students have a lot of stuff with them on campus, and they’re often expensive items that aren’t easily replaced. And so it’s no surprise laptops or bicycles are stolen or damaged from time to time. Colleges don’t replace these items, but GradGuard’s Renters Insurance can. Garrett, a student at UC Santa Barbara purchased a policy because he thought it was a good idea. He shares his experience with filing a claim for his stolen bike.  

Simple way to prepare for the unexpected

Garrett learned about GradGuard’s Renters Insurance through his school. He said he heard about occasional bike thefts on campus, so he purchased a policy as a precaution.

His Renters Insurance came in handy when he returned from work one day to find his bike that was kept outside his apartment had been stolen. 

“I had gone out to work and then when I had gone back, I noticed something was off,” Garrett said. “I went inside my apartment and I came back outside and I realized that my bike was no longer there.”

Garrett, a student at UC Santa Barbara and a GradGuard member, shares his experience filing a claim when his bike was stolen.

Garrett called GradGuard to file a claim for his stolen bike. He was smart to think ahead, and take a picture of his receipt when he bought the bike, to be able to show proof of purchase. 

He says he’d definitely recommend GradGuard after he was able to get some money back to buy a new bike. 

Garrett called GradGuard to file a claim for his stolen bike.

“I think just having insurance, in general, is a pretty good idea, since you never know what can happen,” Garrett said. 

College students are smart to consider protecting themselves and their belongings with renters insurance.

The Top 3 Reasons Renters Insurance is a Smart Decision for College Students:

  1. If you can’t afford to replace your backpack, bicycle or computer. Renters insurance can replace your stolen or damaged property and help you get back to classes, without the added stress of a financial loss.
  2. If your school does not replace stolen or damaged property. The majority of schools do not replace stolen or damaged student property. Be sure to check with your school to see what their policy is and how much money is at risk.
  3. If you can’t afford to pay for accidental damages you may cause. True renters insurance includes personal liability protection and can help pay for unintentional damages when a student cannot.

Transition Uncategorized

Money Magazine: Tuition Insurance and Coronavirus

July 28, 2020
Some college families consider tuition insurance amid the pandemic

Chances are, college is the biggest investment families will ever make next to buying a home. According to College Board, the average cost of a 4-year public university for out-of -state students in $42,970, and $26,590 for in-state students. So it’s no surprise to see the growing interest in tuition insurance amid the pandemic, as college families are looking for ways to protect their investment.

Money Magazine contributor Joanna Nesbit interviewed John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard about how tuition insurance works, what’s covered, and what’s not.

How does tuition insurance work?

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance reimburses tuition, room and board, and academic fees if a student completes a covered medical withdrawal. Plans also cover mental health conditions – which are on the rise among students – including depression and anxiety. Untimely death of a student or tuition payer may also be covered.

It’s important for students to know there are limitations and exclusions that apply, and plans must be purchased prior to the start of classes.

What isn’t covered by tuition insurance?

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance is not “drop-out insurance.” As stated in the Money article, student’s can’t simply decided they need to go home. They must be assessed by a licensed medical practitioner and obtain a written recommendation to withdraw. Other exclusions include injuries during amateur sports competitions, participating in a riot, or pursuing in extreme sports such as mountain climbing or bungee jumping.

Pre-existing physical or mental health conditions might be covered. Fees advises that the best thing students with pre-existing conditions should do is to obtain a doctor’s note saying they’re well enough to start college.

Can tuition insurance help protect against uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic?

Epidemics and pandemics are typically excluded from most insurance policies. But until further notice, GradGuard’s plans include coverage if a student becomes ill due to COVID-19. It’s important to be aware that if campuses close, and students are sent home again like they were in the spring, tuition and housing fees would not be reimbursed by tuition insurance.

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance also does not provide refunds due to fear of being on campus, or if the method of instruction has changed — such as moving in person classes to online.

The bottom line:

Many families may not find the need for tuition insurance, especially if their student’s school provides a generous refund policy or they can afford the cost of an unexpected extra semester in the event the student had to leave school. However, most families find it difficult to afford the extra cost and thus are smart to purchase tuition insurance, and make sure their investment is protected.

Looking to buy tuition insurance? First, ask your school if they offer it. Another easy way to find out is to use GradGuard’s College Search Tool.

Student Life Uncategorized

5 Tips To Being A Successful Student-Athlete

July 22, 2020

When you first think of a student athlete, you think of the free clothes, gear, travel, scholarships, and the fame that comes along with it. You get to travel the country and play your favorite sport in front of numbers of fans. Although being a student-athlete may sound glamorous and fun, it is not to mention the stress that comes with the 20 hours of athletic training per week.  

Here are 5 tips on being a successful student athlete:

  1. Utilize All Your Resources

Aside from having a rigorous training schedule, student-athletes need to worry about attending all their classes and submitting all their coursework on time. As a student-athlete, maximizing the use of tutors and academic centers will make your life a lot easier. Using these resources will make it a lot easier to finish work on time and get private attention on topics you have not grasped. Resources are there for a reason!

2. Time Management

With the training, lifting, conditioning, classes,  and homework , it can be difficult to plan some free time for yourself. Making sure you have a set plan every day will help you find times during the day to relax and reenergize.

  1. Form Relationships With Your Professors

The first week of the school year is the most important for student-athletes. Establishing relationships with your professors will show them your initiative to do well in their class as well as getting on their good side. It is important to attend all the classes and office hours you can to continue to show your hard work ethic and initiative to do well in the class. Doing this will make it easier to ask professors for help if a situation arises.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Getting 7-9 hours of sleep as a student-athlete, is one of the most important factors. Not getting enough sleep will make you feel sluggish and lead to an unproductive day. This directly correlates to your athletic and academic performance. According to the National Library of Medicine students that receive less than 8 hours of sleep per night are 1.7 times more likely to get injured than teens that sleep more than 8 hours a night.

  1. Learn From Your Failures

Do not let your failures define who you are. During your time as a student-athlete, you will have plenty of failures whether it is on the field or in the classroom. It is important to take each failure and learn from it so that you don’t repeat it in the future.

Being a student-athlete can have its challenges, but with these 5 tips, you are sure to make the best of your time as one in college.

Adulting Uncategorized

Why You Need College Renters Insurance

July 13, 2020

As you start to prepare for the new semester, there is always something new around the corner that you forgot to think about when heading off to college. Did you pack enough clothes? Do you have your laptop and smartphone? Shower caddy? Dorm bedding?

These might make the top of your move-in list, but don’t forget to add renters insurance! GradGuard makes getting renters insurance easy and eliminates the hassle of understanding your policy or wondering if something is covered.

Our policy perks include:

  • Worldwide personal property coverage
  • Protection against the theft of electronics
  • Replacement cost value
  • Low deductibles
  • No credit score or cosigner required when purchasing

Not only do we protect your stuff, but we protect the residence you are living at with our liability coverage. Ever set off a sprinkler system in your residence hall? We sure hope not! But if in the event it happens, we are there to protect you.

Watch the video below to see why renters insurance is important for college students:

You can learn more about the protection we offer by visiting our website. Remember, we sell policies for both on-campus and off-campus housing; so even if you aren’t living in the dorms this year, be sure you take us with you.

Safety Uncategorized

Top 3 Reasons College Tuition Insurance Is a Smart Decision

July 13, 2020

When college families and their students are discussing college, the topic of money always comes up in the conversation. For good reason too! Did you know that the combination of tuition, fees, and room and board charges average between $20,000-$50,000 a year?

For many college families, the expense of a higher education is one of the largest investments they will make. Since there is so much money at stake, we suggest that college parents make a plan in case their student is forced to withdraw from school due to severe injury or illness. Of course, if you are one of the few families out there that can afford to lose your large investment, then tuition insurance may not be necessarily needed for you.

However, for most of the twenty million college students and their families, the financial loss of an entire college semester is a burden big enough to break the bank. As a result, college families are smart to consider the purchase of tuition insurance prior to the start of the school semester.

3 Reasons Tuition Insurance is a Smart Decision

  1. If you can’t afford to lose the tuition paid for a semester at school – Tuition insurance can provide up to 100% refund of your expenses in the instance that a student gets severely ill or injured and needs to completely withdraw from the university due to a covered reason.
  2. If your school does not provide a 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 after the first week of classes. Be sure to check with your school to see what their refund policy is so you can see how much of your money is at risk.
  3. If you have additional academic expenses – Even if the school does provide you with a 100% refund for tuition, most schools do not refund academic fees or student housing. Many tuition insurance plans can provide coverage for academic fees and student housing in addition to tuition.

Student health incidents like illnesses, accidents, and mental health conditions happen frequently, even to young and healthy college students. The good news is that college families can protect their investment by purchasing tuition insurance! Visit our website at www.gradguard.com/tuition to see the plans available on your campus!

Adulting Uncategorized

The College-Bound Guide to Insurance: Be Sure You’re Protected as You Head Off to School

June 26, 2020

College students need a lot of supplies for college life. From bedding to electronics to school supplies, the costs can add up. In 2017, families spent as much as a mortgage payment or more on school supplies and that’s not counting tuition!

Is your college investment protected? Certain insurance products can help your family protect what you’ve invested in your student’s college experience, from personal property, to the cost of a trip to the campus health center during flu season.

In The Residence Halls

You’re probably bringing a laptop, smartphone, tablet, TV, speakers, dorm decor, clothes, and school supplies with you to college. Maybe you’ll even bring a bike or some furniture. The cost of these belongings can add up – what would you do if they all needed to be replaced due to a fire on campus? Or if your big-ticket items, like your laptop or bike were stolen – could you afford to replace them? Insurance can help you and your family protect your belongings if you face a loss or damage because of a covered reason, like theft, fire or water damage.

There are two primary types of insurance that can help you and your family protect your belongings while you’re at school: homeowners and renters insurance. If your parents have a homeowners insurance policy, you may already be covered, but be sure to check the specifics of the policy. Many homeowners policies will only cover full-time students living on campus, and often at a percentage (usually 10%) of the policy limits. Be sure to take into consideration the deductible, as well as a claim’s effect on the premium. Renters insurance can be a good alternative in these areas, as renters plans typically feature low deductibles and often low monthly rates.

To make the most of your insurance protection, you should create a home inventory of everything you’ve brought with you to school and how much it cost. Taking photos and carefully taking a record of everything you have will make it much easier to determine what has faced a loss if you need to make a claim. The total cost could surprise you, and knowing how much all of your stuff is worth can help you determine whether 10% of your homeowners limits or the limits you chose on your renters insurance policy are adequate protection.

The New York Insurance Association recommends that students ensure they have adequate insurance protection as well as taking a common-sense approach to protecting their valuables. They offer these tips to help students be mindful of their belongings:

  • Leave valuables at home if possible – While it may be necessary to take a computer or sports equipment to campus, other expensive items, such as valuable jewelry, luxury watches or costly electronics, should be left behind.
  • Mark your electronics – Label electronic items such as computers, televisions and portable devices like iPods with the student’s name or other identifying information that can help police track the stolen articles.
  • Always lock your room door and keep your keys with you at all times, even if you leave briefly. And not just at night—most residence hall thefts occur during the day. Insist your roommates do the same.
  • Do not leave belongings unattended on campus. Whether you are in class, the library, the dining hall or other public areas, keep book bags, purses and laptops with you at all times. These are the primary areas where property theft occurs.

Health

Newfound independence, the stress of classes, dining hall food, all-nighters, community living, partying – the college lifestyle, if unchecked, can take its toll on students’ health. Many schools require that students have health insurance, and for good reason: it can help protect students and their families from the high costs of medical treatments in the case of an injury or illness, like a sports injury during an intramural game or a case of mono.

Many schools offer students a health insurance plan, but often the most inexpensive option is for students to remain on their parent’s plan. Under health care law, young adults are allowed to remain on their parents’ plans until the age of 26. Check with your parents to see if their plan may be an option or speak with a licensed insurance agent to see what’s available to you.

In addition to health insurance, there are many ways students can take control of their well-being throughout the semester by setting time aside to eat well, exercise and manage stress:

  • Eat right. There’s a lot of temptation in the dining halls, but adding a side salad and ensuring that you get protein and vegetables and fruits each day will go a long way to giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs. It is important to maintain a varied diet and stay away from eating the same bowl of cereal for dinner everyday.
  • Stay hydrated. Swap sugary drinks for water. Getting 8 glasses a day can help fend off fatigue and keep you feeling good. It can be helpful to carry a water bottle such as a Hydro Flask with you to avoid becoming dehydrated during class.
  • Get sleep. It can be difficult to get enough sleep when there are so many deadlines, due dates, and social events, but you should do your best to get in bed at a reasonable hour and if not, take a nap during the day. Sleep helps your immune system and can help you retain information, so you’re not studying in vain!
  • Manage your stress. College comes with an inevitable amount of stress, but setting aside time to deal with it will make it much easier. Exercise, taking time to relax, reading a book for fun or setting aside an hour to catch up on your favorite show each week will help you unwind and appreciate the many opportunities college presents. If the stress of college life is too much, there are many resources on campus that you can turn too. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  • Get moving. Exercise is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, and not only will it help you stay healthy, but it will also make you feel good too. Exercise for at least 30 minutes several times a week and try to walk as much as possible. Getting your blood pumping will relieve stress and help you study smarter. Your school may even offer fun classes such as spin or yoga which you can attend with your friends.

Tuition

Perhaps the largest expense of all, more than airfare, a laptop, gas or a flu shot, is tuition for many families. Luckily, this too can be protected by insurance. Tuition insurance can help refund lost tuition if a student should be forced to completely withdraw from school due to a covered reason. Many schools do not refund most tuition after the first couple weeks of the semester, which could leave many college families vulnerable. Be sure to check your school’s refund policy, which you should be able to find on their website, and consider whether you need more protection than it affords.

Travel

Whether it’s traveling to campus from home, traveling to study abroad, or bringing a car to campus, insurance can help protect students from costs that may arise if things don’t go according to plan, like a health issue abroad, a canceled flight or fender bender while at school. Depending on your situation, you may want to consider insurance protection.

Car insurance is required if you bring a car to school. Look for a plan that gives you adequate coverage, though you may have to spend more to get more coverage, it will minimize your exposure. Speak with an agent about what coverages are right for your vehicle. Don’t forget to ask if you qualify for a “good student” discount – you could save 5-15%!

Depending on how far away from home your school is or where you travel to during the school year, travel insurance could be beneficial to you and your family. Travel insurance has different levels of features that you can customize for your trip. Most people think of travel insurance as just covering airline ticket reimbursements in case something goes wrong, but it can also protect you financially if you lose your luggage or need to be airlifted to better healthcare, depending on the plan you select.

Insurance can help college students and their families protect their investment in education. Some of these protections may be beneficial to your family, while some may not. It depends on your situation and risk tolerance. If you have questions regarding your insurance coverage for college, speak with an insurance agent for more information. Have a wonderful and safe semester!

Transition Uncategorized

5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

May 27, 2020
5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

Graduating in December means finishing all your classes and requirements mid-school year, and getting your diploma just in time for the holidays. It might not come with wrapping paper and a bow, but it’s a pretty impressive gift. If you’re a winter grad or are thinking about graduating next winter, take a look at this list of perks that can come with finishing college in December.

It can be a money saver.
If you’re graduating early, that’s one less semester’s worth of fees and costs that spring up between classes. Dealing with student loan payments after college is tough, and this can help cut some of those costs you’ll be faced with.

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