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college refunds

Student Life

Why Tuition Insurance is an Essential Consideration for College Families

July 19, 2021

For many college families, the expense of higher education is one of the largest investments they will ever make. With so much money at stake, it’s important for college parents to make  a plan for the unexpected, in case their student is forced to withdraw from school due to a severe injury or illness. 

What is Tuition Insurance?

For most of the 20 million college students and their families, the financial loss of an entire semester of college is a burden big enough to break the bank. Tens of thousands of dollars are on the line and college families are smart to consider purchasing tuition insurance before the start of the semester. Tuition Insurance provides a refund for tuition, room and board, and academic fees when schools may not in the event of a covered medical withdrawal. It’s not drop out insurance and students must completely withdraw from classes due to a covered injury or illness. 

College is a fun time to meet new people, create memorable experiences, and of course, learn. That’s not to say it doesn’t come without risks. Knowing some of the biggest financial risks will prepare you for the unexpected. 

Tuition Insurance: What’s Covered?

Tuition insurance may not have been essential for all families to consider 30 years ago, when college was more widely affordable and school refunds were more generous. But things have changed. Given the high cost of college and less generous refund policies, tuition insurance is an important benefit that colleges and universities can offer to protect their students. 

Coverage for Major Injuries and Illnesses, Including Covid-19

Even before the pandemic, ordinary medical conditions, not just Covid-19, are a source of large financial losses for both students and schools. GradGuard is the only major provider in the country to cover withdrawals due to becoming ill with Covid-19. 

The 2020 National Student Health Assessment from the American College Health Association data reveals some of the ordinary risks college students and their families face today, and the impact it has on degree completion:

  • Concussion: 2.2% 
  • Mononucleosis (mono): 56.9%
  • Stress: 43.7%
  • Death of a friend/family member: 40.5%
  • Influenza (flu) or flu-like illness: 50:4%
  • Orthopedic injury (broken bone, fracture, sprain, etc): 2.5%
  • Cold/virus or other respiratory illness: 42.1%

Many students arrive at college with on-going and chronic conditions that may interfere with their studies, such as anxiety and depression. GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance covers controlled pre-existing conditions for students who are medically cleared to attend school. 

Mental Health Coverage Included

Last fall, college families and experts alike were most worried about students becoming ill with Covid-19. This year, the focus is on how the pandemic has greatly impacted the mental health and wellbeing of college students. 

GradGuard became the first and only program in the country to cover mental health as a condition. The growth in student mental health concerns looms as another risk to the investments families make when paying for college. 

Among the troubling trends:
  • 2020 report by the American College Health Association found more than half of nearly 9,000 students surveyed experienced anxiety or depression
  • A nationwide study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health found that rates of moderate to severe anxiety and depression among U.S. college students rose substantially over the last few years — from 18% and 23%, to 34% and 41%, respectively.
  • 2020 survey by the American Council on Education found 68% of college and university presidents say student mental health and well-being is top concern

Room and Board and Academic Fees are Also Covered

Tuition Insurance covers more than just the cost of tuition. GradGuard’s plans can also cover room and board and academic fees. Most higher education institutions only provide a partial refund of tuition during the first five weeks of a semester, and virtually no schools provide refunds for academic fees or housing. 

Conclusion

More than 20 million college students are getting ready to head to campus in the fall. After an extraordinarily challenging year due to the pandemic, families are looking for ways to protect their investment from the unexpected. 

By working with more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide, GradGuard is able to offer students and their families comprehensive and affordable coverage for up to 100% of the cost of college including student housing, tuition and academic fees. Each policy also includes Student Life Assistance, which helps families through the logistics that may accompany an unexpected student withdrawal. GradGuard’s mission is all about helping more students graduate. With Tuition Insurance, students who are forced to withdraw are given the rare opportunity for a do-over

Major or chronic illnesses, accidents and injuries happen frequently, even to young and healthy college students. The good news is that college families can protect their investment in higher education by purchasing tuition insurance. Visit GradGuard.com/Tuition to see the plans available on your campus. 

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Plan(s) underwritten by BCS Insurance Company or Jefferson Insurance Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Student Life

Don’t Rely on College Refunds: Why Tuition Insurance is Important

January 4, 2021

This year has left many individuals uncertain what their academic futures will look like. With COVID forcing colleges and universities to change their business tactics, many students are finding it nearly impossible to get tuition refunds if they are forced to withdraw from school.


How can you protect your investment in your education and get a full refund for your college tuition?

Tuition insurance is a great way to keep your finances secure in a time of crisis. Here’s a guide to help you understand tuition insurance and how it could benefit you.


How COVID has Affected Refund Policies


Most colleges and universities offer a refund policy allowing you to get your money back after deciding to withdraw from school. This usually applies only to the first five weeks of college. However, most schools do not refund 100% of the money you paid to attend.


COVID has affected college life in many ways as most students shift to online classes. Many institutions are continuing to charge room and board, even while students study from home. Some classes also lack certain classroom fundamentals. This includes mock trials, clinical experiences, and more.


Some colleges have found themselves unable to give refunds at all. The virus has brought many new changes that universities aren’t sure how to cope with; some schools are citing a lack of funding as a reason to hold onto college tuition. Due to this lack of funding, among other issues that universities are facing with the virus, you may have a hard time getting a refund.


What That Means for You

If you decide to attend college or a university in the near future and decide to withdraw yourself, you may be out of luck when trying to get a refund. Some students have taken their universities to court over the matter. Many cases are still pending and waiting for a resolution. 


Not only will you be paying for things you won’t actually receive, such as room and board, but you may not even get your money back after dropping out. At most, you may receive a small fraction of what you paid. 


What is Tuition Insurance?


Are you considering applying for college in the coming year? If so, then you should strongly consider getting tuition insurance for yourself. This will help you protect your money in case you decide not to follow through with your education.


Tuition insurance, otherwise known as tuition refund insurance, is exactly what it sounds like; it protects you from being denied a tuition refund after withdrawing from school. The reasoning behind your withdrawal, however, must be due to your medical or mental state. For example, if you received a serious injury that prevents you from attending your classes, then you can get your tuition funds back with tuition insurance.


Your reimbursement may depend on the type of coverage you apply for. This means that you are not guaranteed a 100% refund just because you have tuition insurance; however, it is better to receive a percentage of your tuition because of your insurance than to be denied any refund.


Tuition insurance commonly covers one academic term. However, you are able to purchase additional insurance policies in order to protect yourself throughout your academic career. 


The Benefits of Tuition Insurance


Tuition insurance can grant you peace of mind when it comes to paying for your education. You can know that your investment in your education is safe and that if the worst happens, you can get your money refunded. 


If you are wondering whether or not tuition insurance is right for you, there are a couple of things you can consider.


First off, consider the overall cost of your tuition. Is the institution you are attending particularly expensive? If so, then tuition insurance can greatly ease your mind and is a great way to protect your investment.


If you have a chronic illness or severe mental illness or disability that may make it hard for you to attend college, then tuition insurance is a great way to protect yourself. The last thing you want is to enter into your institution and realize you cannot continue due to your physical or mental health.


With COVID as a serious threat to your physical health, you should strongly consider tuition insurance in case you do contract the virus. This disease can leave you bedridden for weeks, which would make you incapable of completing your schoolwork and attending your classes even if they are online.


How to Get Tuition Insurance


If you are considering tuition insurance, you will need to apply for coverage before beginning the academic year. You are not required to purchase tuition insurance for the entirety of your academic career, so choose your plan and coverage wisely.


There are many different plans that you can choose from, so do your research before settling on a plan. Your school likely offers various forms of tuition insurance, so don’t hesitate to look and see what plans they are offering as well. 


Protect Yourself and Your Money


There’s no need to worry about where your money is going when it comes to your college tuition. With tuition insurance, you can keep your assets safe and get a college refund without being denied by your university.


Are you considering attending a university in the near future but are concerned about needing to have your tuition refunded?


We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about our tuition insurance and continue reading our blog for more helpful information.

Student Life

Forbes Spotlights Value of Tuition Insurance

November 17, 2020

The impact of the Coronavirus on the operations of colleges and universities has focused attention by students and families on the refund policies of schools. With families investing more than $300 billion annually in college expenses, it’s not surprising that Forbes recently published an article explaining how tuition insurance can provide a refund when a school may not.

Tuition insurance may not have been essential 30 years ago, when college was more widely affordable and school refunds were more generous. Today, however, given both the high cost of tuition and less generous refund policies of schools, it’s an important benefit that colleges and universities can offer to protect their students.

When combined with trends in student health conditions, tuition insurance is also an essential consideration for families worried about their student’s chronic health conditions or potential vulnerabilities.   

Less Generous College Refund Policies

If a student needs to leave school, it’s more than likely that the institution will only provide a prorated refund through the first few weeks of school. Refunds for room and board and academic fees are even more unlikely to happen. 

Forbes personal finance journalist, Cameron Huddleston, recently interviewed John Fees, the CEO and co-founder of GradGuard about the importance of knowing a school’s refund policy.

“Typically, this is only a refund of tuition through the first five weeks of classes,” Fees said. 

A 2019 benchmark study conducted by HigherEdStudy for GradGuard found that only 6% of schools reported providing a 100% refund of tuition—down from 23% in 2015. None of the public colleges surveyed provide full refunds and nearly half of the schools don’t provide any refund for student fees and academic fees. 

Source: Forbes, Tuition Insurance Rescues Lost College Deposits And Payments. Data: GradGuard, Benchmark Study: 2019 Trends & Common Practices for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds

Growth in Student Medical Conditions 

A 2019 national benchmark study of colleges and universities revealed student medical withdrawals are also on the rise.  In fact, 70% of schools surveyed reported a growth in student medical withdrawals – up from just 42% in 2015.

In addition, the American College Health Association’s annual research report on student medical conditions also confirms the value of  tuition insurance.  The complete report includes even more dramatic increases in mental health conditions that may disrupt a students semester. 

GradGuard’s tuition insurance covers an unexpected withdrawal due to a covered illness, injury, or other covered reason. This chart below demonstrates the impact of health conditions that can also create a financial loss for families. 

Four common student illnesses including concussions and mono have a big impact on degree completion

How Colleges and Universities Benefit

Given the growing media interest by Forbes and other publications, schools are smart to provide their students the opportunity to protect their investment in college. There are multiple benefits to schools who offer GradGuard’s tuition insurance to each of their students including:

  • Help assure that students who have to leave school for a medical reason can afford to return to campus when they are healthy enough to do so.
  • Demonstrate to students that they can receive a payment for the potential financial loss that may result from withdrawing from an academic term due to covered reasons such as medical conditions.
  • Provide a more affordable product with expanded coverage that meets the needs of the school and student.
  • Reduce collections issues from students who leave school by providing the school a payment for any outstanding balance of an insured student.

Lastly, schools are smart to offer GradGuard’s tuition insurance because it will enable them to have an answer to students and parents who may ask them for it. The attention from the Forbes article, ‘Tuition Insurance Rescues Lost College Deposits and Payments’ will certainly lead to more questions from students and families looking to protect their investment in college.

Student Life

Financial Advisor Magazine: Want a College Refund for Covid Chaos?

October 6, 2020
Financial Advisor Magazine: Want a College Refund for Covid Chaos?

Even outside of a pandemic, getting a college tuition refund or reimbursement could be tricky. Confusion has only increased since the spring, and is coming to light even more now that fall semesters are in full swing at colleges and universities nationwide. 

Kevin Walker dives into the college refund conundrum for Financial Advisor Magazine.

Many schools attempted to curb outbreaks by delaying the start of in person classes, or switching entirely to online-only instruction. 

But despite Covid-19 concerns, many schools opened doors for on-campus learning and the inevitable spread of the virus still happened, despite mask requirements, rules against large groups and gatherings, and other restrictions, Walker states.

College And University Response

Some colleges and universities have tried to limit further spread by recommending students quarantine and shelter in place. Financial Advisor mentions the University of Arizona’s two-week shelter in place order that was implemented on September 14.

This semester is proving to definitely be a challenge for higher education administrators nationwide – at no real surprise. 

College Refund Policies

Adding to the chaos are college refund policies. The majority of colleges and universities provide no refunds for tuition beyond the first few weeks of classes, according to an Ipsos poll for Allianz Global Assistance. Virtually none provide refunds for academic fees and room and board. That same poll found that about 85% of parents and students said they would be hurt financially if there were no refund at all. 

As Walker states, it’s important to know what policies generally exist:

• When a student withdraws during a semester (because of illness or for some other reason) the college’s refund policy may include reimbursement, especially if the student withdraws within the first month.
• Colleges and universities typically offer refunds on a sliding scale. Most schools won’t give any money back at all after the fifth week of classes.
• On the other hand, if a student is expelled for a specific cause, such as not following the college’s Covid-19 guidelines, there’s no refund. 

Typical School Refund Policy

Tuition Insurance To The Rescue?

Tuition insurance provides refunds for students withdrawing from school for medical reasons. This is particularly helpful for students who withdraw in the middle of or late in the semester. Typically, they may not receive any tuition reimbursement at all. But tuition insurance can handle the amount not covered, including other fees that are typically excluded from college refund policies, Walker states. 

Tuition insurance doesn’t apply if a student leaves for academic or disciplinary reasons, or because they can’t afford the costs.

GradGuard, with nearly 400 school partners, is the largest provider of tuition insurance in the country. Plans exclude epidemics but the insurer issuing the policies, Allianz Global Assistance, announced in June it would cover students who had to withdraw due to contracting the coronavirus.

It’s important for students and families to know what’s covered and what’s not in terms of Covid-19 coverage:

  • Policies must be purchased prior to the start of classes. 
  • Don’t expect it to cover in-person classes moving to online-only instruction. 
  • Fear of attending class due to the virus isn’t covered.

Questions to Ask

Making sure you understand your school’s refund policy as it relates to Covid-19 and beyond will save you some surprises that may come up later on. Some of this may seem like a lot to take in, but with college being one of the largest investments most families will ever make, it’s smart for college students and families to look into the answers to these questions.

1. What is the college or university’s room and board refund policy? 
2. Is it possible to get a tuition refund if a student withdraws? What is the “sliding scale” of the refund-to-withdrawal time line?
3. What are the college or university’s current Covid-19 policies?
4. What disciplinary action occurs if a student doesn’t follow the Covid-19 policies?
5. What are the student loan options with the CARES Act?
6. Are there more options to pay for college if families’ employment situations have changed? Can the financial aid office take another look at the student’s financial aid package?
7. What are some ways students can make money in college or through off-campus jobs?

College students and families are prudent  to individually assess their own personal situations when it comes to tuition insurance.

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.

Health Other

Considering tuition insurance? Here’s why one family calls it a “lifesaver”

August 24, 2019
GradGuard member Camrey and her mother, Mindy explain how tuition insurance helped their family

The National Student Clearinghouse, which follows the status of undergraduates at institutions eligible for federal aid, publishes the most reliable data on college completion measures including something called the “persistence” rate. This is the percentage of students who return to college at any institution for their second year. 

According to the organization’s most recent report, of the 3.5 million students who enrolled in college for the first time in fall 2017, 74% returned to any U.S. school the following fall. That means one in four students who start college, do not return to any college the following year. That’s nearly 900,000 students went through all the trouble and expense to enroll, possibly borrow money, apply for and receive government grants, purchase books, and perhaps even move, but did not return to school the next year. They also did not transfer to another school.

This helps put in perspective the value and need for tuition insurance. Though the primary reasons students do not return to school appear to be factors related to academic readiness and capacity to pay, the truth is other life events get in the way.

This is where GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance can help. When a student needs to withdraw for legitimate reasons such as unexpected illness, injury or accident, tuition insurance can provide a refund when colleges may not.

The best way to see the value of tuition insurance is to hear from a member who enrolled in the program. Indeed, as one of GradGuard’s customer reports:

“Tuition Insurance was such a lifesaver. It should be an option on every college and university website,” – Mindy D., GradGuard member

Watch below to hear her explain how she considered protecting her daughter, and how tuition insurance enabled her to avoid a large financial loss when she became ill during the semester.

“It saved our family’s lives. I would tell everyone to get tuition insurance.”

Thanks to GradGuard’s collaboration with Allianz Global Assistance – it is now easier than ever before for college students and their families to receive valuable protection for the investment they make in higher education.

If your school does not provide 100% refunds, it is useful for parents to ask the school to do so. Most school leaders surveyed agreed that it should be as convenient for families to protect a $30,000 or more investment in college as it is for consumers to protect a $300 vacation with travel insurance.

We are thankful that we worked closely with the school where Mindy’s daughter, Camrey, was enrolled. As a college parent, she clearly expresses the value of tuition insurance and the peace of mind it provided to her and her family as they cared for Camrey’s well-being.

This article was updated in May 2020.

Health Other

What would happen if your college student unexpectedly needs to withdraw from college?

August 7, 2019

GradGuard’s tuition insurance provides a refund when schools don’t.

Nationwide, college families are busy preparing to pay their final tuition bill before arriving on campus.  Among the many questions, families of college-bound students are smart to ask is – What will happen to my tuition payment if my child must withdraw from college?

According to John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard™, a leading authority in helping students and their families protect their investment in higher education for over a decade, “The thousands of dollars students and families are paying for college are at risk. As a result, it is a smart move for anyone paying tuition to understand their school’s refund policy and to consider protecting their investment with tuition insurance.”

In fact, a survey of university bursars and health administrators confirmed the vast majority of colleges and universities (about 84%) do not provide a complete refund should a student withdraw after the first few weeks of school.  Many schools may refund a portion of tuition through the first few weeks of school, but you can safely assume tuition will likely not be refunded after the 5th week of classes and academic fees are usually not eligible for a refund.

This risk can often surprise college parents. In fact, according to a 2018 College Parents of America survey, only 24% of parents surveyed indicated that the college refund policy was disclosed to them during the enrollment process.

Families are often aware that their college student may be vulnerable to the stress of college life. The National College Health Assessment produced by the American College Health Association demonstrates growth in chronic illnesses and rapid growth in serious mental health incidents during the past five years.

It is important for families to note that student health incidents force thousands of students to withdraw from classes annually without the ability to recover the thousands of dollars paid for classes and housing.

The Top Three Reasons GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance Is A Smart Decision:

  • If the school does not provide a 100% refund  – Do you know your school’s refund policy? A majority of school refund policies do not extend beyond the fifth week of school, and many don’t refund the full cost of tuition after the start of classes.  
  • If the student has more than $1,000 of academic expenses – Even if the school provides a 100% refund for tuition, most do not refund academic fees or student housing costs. Many tuition insurance plans provide coverage not only for tuition but also for expenses related to academic fees and student housing.
  • If the student or family is taking out a student loan – Student (and parent) loans must be repaid even if a student must take a medical withdrawal. Tuition insurance can be used to repay the balance of these loans or help pay for the next term when the student is healthy enough to return to school.

“With so much money at stake, it is vital that families develop a plan in case their student has to withdraw from school due to a serious illness or injury,” said Mr.  Fees. “No matter where a student attends college, families deserve the opportunity to protect their investment in higher education and nearly all students will benefit from securing a minimum level of coverage. Just remember tuition insurance must be purchased before school starts.”

The good news is that college families can easily protect their investment by purchasing tuition insurance through GradGuard.

Adulting Other

WSJ – Tuition Insurance Catches On as Costs Rise, Students Struggle to Adjust

August 19, 2018

Appeared in the August 20, 2018, print edition as ‘Demand for Tuition Insurance Is Surging.’

‘The cost of college is driving this,’ ‘

Families cannot afford the loss of $30,000, John Fees – Co-Founder of GradGuard.

As college tuition rises so too has demand for insurance to cover what in many cases is among a family’s biggest investments.

For Mindy DiCostra, a tuition-insurance policy was a life-saver last year after her daughter withdrew mid-semester in her junior year at Marymount Manhattan College in New York following an allergic reaction to an anxiety medication.

Because Ms. DiCostra agreed to pay $238 for tuition insurance when doing paperwork for the school, she was eligible to receive a full reimbursement for the $16,000 in tuition she and her husband had paid for the semester.

“I had no idea how important it would be when I checked that box,” she said.

Tuition insurance protects families in case their son or daughter has to drop out of school past the point at which a school offers tuition reimbursement, usually around halfway through the semester. Driving the increased demand are higher college costs and, to a lesser extent, rising mental-health disorders among college students that have raised concerns among parents that their children may struggle away from home.

About 70,000 policies were written across the U.S. market last year, up from 20,000 five years ago, said John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, which started selling tuition-reimbursement insurance seven years ago. It works with campuses including the University of Pennsylvania, Auburn University and New York University, its website says.

“The cost of college is driving this,” said Mr. Fees. “Families cannot afford the loss of $30,000.”

The average published tuition and fees at a private college has increased to $34,740 in 2017 from $15,160 in 1988 according to the College Board. The numbers are adjusted for inflation.

“I think a lot of families don’t fully grasp that if they have to withdraw midterm it can have a significant financial impact,” said Paige Lee Director of Tuition Insurance at Allianz. College is “the second largest investment most families will ever make” after a home.

Most schools have some sort of reimbursement policy but they generally don’t cover withdrawals during the second half of the semester. At Vanderbilt University, a student will be reimbursed for some portion of his or her tuition and room and board up until about halfway through the semester. After that, they don’t receive anything.

Tuition and housing at Vanderbilt costs about $59,000, and 80% of that can be reimbursed with insurance, which costs about $530, said Chris Cook, who oversees the financial accounts of students at the school.

Several companies provide tuition insurance, Most policies charge in the neighborhood of 1% of the cost of school. A semester that runs $30,000 would cost about $300. At least 200 schools now work with insurers, offering the coverage to families when the pay the tuition bill.

Liberty Mutual Insurance started offering tuition-reimbursement policies this year, in part because of consumer demand. When a student drops out mid-semester parents are often “very surprised to learn that you may not get anything back,” said Michele Chevalier, a senior director at Liberty Mutual.

Not everyone thinks the plans are necessary. Jodi Okun, a college financial adviser in Los Angeles, said she has so far steered her clients away from tuition insurance because she doesn’t feel it is necessary in most cases. However, she has but counseled them to be aware of the timeline for withdrawals, so if a student is struggling with a mental-health issue they can leave in time to recoup the cost.

“I tell them, make sure you know when the deadlines are, especially if they are going far away to school,” she said.

Plans don’t typically cover students who drop out for academic or disciplinary reasons but will for medical reasons. Generally, insurers don’t ask about pre-existing conditions, either mental or physical. The idea, GradGuard’s Mr. Fees said, is: “If a student is healthy enough to start to a semester, they qualify.”

Insurers say that the number of claims they receive citing mental health incidents has risen. As many as one in four students at some elite U.S. colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental-health issues such as depression or anxiety, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and interviews with schools.

Carmen Duarte, a spokesperson for A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. which has been offering tuition-reimbursement policies since the 1930s, said claims have remained flat for physical-health incidents but increased for mental-health reasons. She said policies are most likely to be bought by families of first year students. Allianz Insurance, which began selling the policies in 2015, said about 20% of claims were for mental health and 70% were for physical health.

Write to Douglas Belkin at doug.belkin@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Michele Chevalier is a senior director at Liberty Mutual. An earlier version of this article misspelled her first name. (Aug. 19)

 

Other Safety

Testimonial – “Tuition Insurance Was Such a Lifesaver”

July 20, 2018

The best way to understand the value of GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance to schools and college families is to hear from a customer who enrolled in the program. Indeed, as our customer says:

“Tuition Insurance was such a lifesaver. It should be an option on every college and university website,” – Mindy D., parent of a college student daughter who used Allianz tuition insurance.

Watch below to hear her explain how she considered protecting her daughter and how tuition insurance enabled her to avoid a large financial loss when she became ill during the semester.

Thanks to GradGuard’s collaboration with Allianz Global Assistance – it is now easier than ever before for college students and their families to receive valuable protection for the investment they make in higher education.

If your school does not provide 100% refunds, it is useful for parents to ask the school to do so.  Most school leaders surveyed agreed that it should be as convenient for families to protect a $30,000 or more investment in college as it is for consumers to protect a $300 vacation with travel insurance.

We are thankful that we worked closely with the school where Mindy’s daughter was enrolled.  As a college parent, she expresses clearly the value of tuition insurance and the peace of mind it provided to her and her family as they cared for the well-being of her child.

Adulting Other

Can you afford to pay for an extra semester? If not, consider tuition insurance today.

July 8, 2017

College can be costly and stressful. For as many perks and peaks as there are, it does have its fair share of stress.

With bulks of work and the frequent demands to prepare for the future, balancing your life in and out of school can be a tough task.  Sometimes you overdo it to the point where you get ill with the flu, mono, depression or any other school and stress related side effect that you can think of. If you get sick or injured and you’re forced to withdraw from school, what happens to your investment? Most times, you will not be refunded the thousands of dollars you are paying for college.

Most times, you will not be refunded the thousands of dollars you are paying for college.  As a result, it is smart to consider purchasing tuition refund insurance and nearly essential if these statements apply to you.

  • If your college does not provide 100% refund?  – Do you know your school’s refund policy?  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.
  • 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 the expenses a student gets sick, injured or have to leave school due to the death of a parent.  Tuition insurance can cover those costs and help get back to classes, without the added stress of a financial loss.
  • If students 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.

Tuition insurance can help you minimize the risk of financial loss due to withdrawal. It’s not “drop-out” insurance, but should you need to withdraw from school for a covered medical reason, tuition insurance can help protect that investment – your tuition and other fees. Helping safeguard your investment, tuition insurance can help give your family greater peace of mind this semester.