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Essential Questions Regarding Tuition Refunds & Tuition Insurance

August 14, 2016

Back to school season brings with it the usual media discussion about the cost of college, and what is necessary and what might not be needed for families to be best prepared for the fall semester.

Many insurance products aren’t essential… until you need them. Then, they can be a lifeline that helps protect your family from potentially devastating losses; always ask yourself about the risk you are taking for your investment in higher education. Can you afford to pay for an extra semester of college if something happens?

We suggest that all college students and families ask three questions prior to the start of college:

  1. What is the financial consequence if your student is unable to complete the semester due to a serious illness, injury or death of a parent?
  2. Does your school provide 100% refunds for medical withdrawals?
  3. Can you afford not to protect your investment with tuition insurance?

When selecting a school, it is imperative that you know that schools tuition refund policy.

A 2016 survey of 510 college parents found that many parents don’t know the answer. More than 2/3 of parents surveyed have no idea how the school they attend would handle a refund if their student was unable to complete the semester due to an unexpected illness or injury.

Determining the Need for Tuition Insurance:  Medical withdrawals are an infrequent, but costly event for students and their families. A 2015 survey of college officials estimated that 41% of campuses report having more than 1% of students complete a medical withdrawal a year and 59% indicating less than 1%. Data from the 2015 Association of College Health Administrators (ACHA) national student health reports also highlights the frequency of events that students indicate may disrupt their education:

Protect Your Student & Your Investment:   Unless schools provide 100% refunds for medical withdrawals, GradGuard suggests that parents’ purchase at least some tuition refund insurance coverage for their student.  Starting at $33.75 for $2,500 of coverage the cost of even a small amount of coverage provides some comfort in case your student is forced to withdraw from school.

Check for the coverage options available at your school.  Note that certain school programs offer different pricing and coverage options and there are limitations to tuition refund insurance coverage.   Remember that coverage must be purchased prior to the start of school and may are not available to residents of all states. Remember to see your personal policy for complete details after your purchase!

Health Other

What to Eat on Exam Day

October 29, 2014
What to Eat on Exam Day

Since it’s the middle of the semester our school work is definitely piling up. That means it’s time for exams. Doesn’t it seem as if your teachers put all of your tests in one week?? It sure seems that way to me. The most important thing about exam day is keeping your body healthy and strong. And what is a better way to do that with something we all love… FOOD! Below are some helpful tips to prepare your brain for exam days!

Brain Foods

One of the best foods to eat to increase your mental alertness is protein rich foods. A few examples are eggs, nuts, yogurt, fish, flaxseed, and cottage cheese. Blueberries are also very good brain food. They help reduce any effects of age-related conditions and also is found to help increase your learning capacity. This is extremely necessary for a college student!

Brain Boosting Drinks

If you want to do well on exams these drinks are perfect for you! Staying hydrated is important and the best way to do that is to drink water and tea without sugar. Drinking these drinks will help increase your alertness, concentration, and energy! How awesome is that? Drinking tea can also help other parts of your body. For example, if you can’t fall asleep before an exam you should drink lavender tea to help you calm down. A lot of people get restless the night before exams so this tea will help calm your nerves as well as increase your concentration!

Light Meals

The best way to optimize your brain activity is to eat light meals. If you eat too much food it can make you drowsy. If you’re drowsy, you’re not fully alert during your exam which can hurt your grade. An example of a healthy, light breakfast to eat is steel cut oatmeal and some eggs (preferably egg whites). These foods have choline in it which will help your mental performance and will improve your memory in the long run. Sounds pretty good to me!

Foods to Avoid

Foods with white flour like cakes, cookies, and muffins are bad foods to eat on exam day. You should also stay away from foods with high refined sugar like chocolate or other desserts. These foods are bad to eat because your body processes them quickly and can cause your blood sugar levels will drop. If you’re blood sugar levels drop during your exam, you’ll have a harder time concentrating and staying alert.

Drinks to Avoid

There are also some drinks to stay away from on exam day. Staying away from alcohol and sugary drinks will help you be able to retain information and stay focused. I know a lot of people like to drink caffeine. However, drinking caffeine actually increases your anxiety. Most people get nervous for exams so why add something that will increase your anxiety even more?


Let’s be honest, college students aren’t the best at eating balanced meals. Since this is happening, your daily intake of vitamins and minerals are low. This can hurt your mental health on exam days as well as your every day life. Supplements are a good way to make sure that you eat the required intake. A good vitamin to start taking is Vitamin B. Vitamin B strengthens your brain activity. This is found in soy milk, tofu, beef, chicken, eggs, and cereals. Iron, calcium, and zinc are also good because it boosts your ability to handle stress. This is perfect during exam days! Changing your diets to these simple tips can really make a difference during your day as well as during your exams. Eating healthy foods help create a healthy brain!

Health Other

Healthy Foods to Fight Flu Season

October 14, 2014
Healthy Eating to Fight the Flu!

Fall is finally here and that means the changing leaves, Halloween decorations, oversized sweaters, and our favorite Starbucks drinks. However, it also means that flu season is beginning and about to peak. Instead of spending our time waiting for the first symptom of the flu to come upon us, a few easy changes to our diets to add more vitamins can help prevent the flu. Eating healthy=less of a chance of getting the flu! There are many benefits to each of these vitamins and minerals, here are a few that I find are the most important to staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong.

Many people don’t meet the required daily intake for these vitamins with their diet alone, even though this is the first step to being healthy during the flu season. Nutrient dense food is so important in building up your natural immunity. Keep in mind that if you’re not a fan of the foods listed for each vitamin, then a supplement could work as well. Multivitamins are one of the best choices because they contain all of the vitamins in one dose. So which vitamins and minerals do you need this season? Read on!

Vitamin C

The most common vitamin that everyone knows to eat during flu season is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a great supplement for antioxidants, healthy bone, muscle, and ligament growth, and protection from free radicals (determined by how the bonds are formed). The best foods to eat to optimize your Vitamin C intake are citrus foods (orange juice, lemons, limes, grapefruit), broccoli, and green peppers.

Vitamin E

Another vitamin that you want to eat during flu season is Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a great vitamin to take for your immune system, and it is also good for healthy skin and eyes! How could you not want to take something that is good for your overall health of your body?! Some also think that eating Vitamin E is good for preventing various diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and the not so serious cold sores. Sounds like a good vitamin to eat to me! Vitamin E is found in mostly the legume family. This is sunflower and corn oil, sunflower seeds, and nuts (almonds and peanuts). It is also in spinach, avocados, and beet greens.


Zinc is a mineral that is good for your body during flu season as well. Zinc is one of the most important minerals because it is found in every single part of your body. The main health benefit to having zinc in your body is that it is one of the biggest antioxidant that helps fights cancer. Not only does it help fight cancer but it also helps maintain your hormone levels, which is extremely important for your overall health. This is especially important for athletes because your hormone levels help develop your muscles and strength. You can find Zinc in meats, chicken, and peanuts and peanut butter, though be careful to eat these foods in moderation, focusing on eating lean meats to optimize your overall health.

Keeping your body healthy is one of the most important things that you can do while at school. Eating these healthy foods can help prevent or decrease the severity of the flu. Healthy foods=healthy body! 

Health Other

5 Steps to Healthy Dining Hall Eating

October 7, 2014
5 Steps to Healthy Dining Hall Eating

Your first year at college is always stressful. Stressful from leaving home, stressful from having harder classes and stressful from time management. Because there is all of this stress, we tend to not think about what we’re eating and thus the notorious “Freshman 15” becomes a problem. A lot of people think that eating healthy in the dorms is basically impossible. This is not the case! I’m here to help give you some helpful tips about how to avoid the freshman 15 and be healthy while living in the dorms!

1. Choose the right snacks for your room.

Most people do a little shopping before they get to college of some foods that they can eat in the residence halls that have a longer shelf life. I know a lot of people (and me as well) bought a lot of easy to cook noodles, chips, crackers, canned foods, etc. Buying foods with long shelf life is a good thing to have but you should know which ones are healthy for you, like: nuts, seeds, dried fruit (with no added sugar), rice cakes, multi-grain crackers, and canned fruit in no syrup and with no added sugar.

2. Give yourself time to eat.

A large part of being healthy while living in the dorms is figuring out what to eat at the cafeteria. Most cafeterias love to advertise their not so healthy foods and forget about the healthy foods. This is probably because most unhealthy foods are easier to grab and go. While you’re going to the cafeteria make sure you give yourself enough time to get your food and be able to eat it. Eating quickly is bad for your body because it can cause heartburn or stomach aches and can also cause you to overeat. Not good for anyone!

3. Look for unprocessed foods and snacks.

Everyone probably knows that vegetables and fruits are considered healthy foods. However, they can also be considered unhealthy foods as well. Carrots or celery that is found in a prepackaged container with sauces to dip? Not healthy! Carrots or celery in their raw form? Healthy! Apples in a prepackaged container with caramel sauce to dip? Not healthy! Apples that aren’t precut and in (usually) a basket found with other fruits? Healthy! The key to determining what is healthy and what isn’t healthy is taking the time to question it. If you are thinking of getting packaged food with a lot of preservatives and sauce poured over it, it’s likely not going to be healthy.

4. Beware of less obvious, high-calorie choices.

A lot of people love their sauces and condiments. This includes ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, Alfredo sauce, hot sauce, etc. I know a ton of people who love their ranch dressing and put it on basically everything (salad, pizza, bread sticks). Eating this foods are okay to do but in moderation. There are also other alternatives to these foods that you can choose. If you want a salad with dressing? Use the vinaigrette dressing instead of ranch dressing. If you want to have pasta? Use a homestyle marinara instead of Alfredo or vodka sauce. These little changes can make a difference!

5. At meal times, choose lean protein, not carbs!

For lunches or dinners a lot of people that live in residence halls are tempted to choose pasta or pizza for their meals. While that is okay once in awhile, the best foods to eat at the cafeterias are lean proteins like salmon, grilled chicken or tofu, and vegetables, preferably raw or steamed. Salmon is extremely good for you and is generally a light food to eat if you remember to not douse it in high-calorie sauces or butter. Try adding balsamic vinegar or glaze for a healthier dose of flavor. Grilled chicken instead of fried chicken is the healthy way to go, even when those chicken fingers look so tasty. While looking at the nutrient facts for each, grilled chicken wins in basically all of the categories. The key to good eating in school is… less carbs=more focus and better sleep. It also keeps your body healthy and to say goodbye to the freshman 15!