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withdrawals

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.

Health

Bloomberg: Tuition Insurance Sounds Great, Unless it Doesn’t Cover Covid-19

November 16, 2020

As Covid-19 outbreaks continue to pop up nationwide, college campuses are no exemption. Naturally, college parents are anxious about their kids’ health. Olivia Raimonde, Janet Wu and Katherine Chiglinsky took a deep dive for Bloomberg into the health and financial worries of Covid-19 and college.

The feature, ‘Tuition Insurance Sounds Great, Unless It Doesn’t Cover Covid-19’ includes an interview with a GradGuard member, Marcy Fischer, about her decision to send her daughter to Emory University with Tuition Insurance. Covering her daughter’s tuition and off-campus lease comes to about $30,000 per semester.

“You know, if they just get sent home from school and go virtual, that’s one thing,” Fischer, who lives in Massachusetts, told Bloomberg. “But if they were to get sick and have to withdraw from university for the semester, we’d be out that money.”

To cover the risk of losing tens of thousands of dollars, Fischer bought a tuition insurance plan from GradGuard, she told Bloomberg. The plan can cover what would have been otherwise lost tuition expenses and other fees if a student is too sick to finish the semester.

Atlanta-based Emory University is one of the nearly 400 colleges and universities that partner with GradGuard to offer college students and their families the best rate and coverage for tuition insurance. Fischer was able to protect a semester’s worth of expenses, $30,000, for around $300. Any student attending a four-year non-profit college or university can purchase a policy, however, the policies are underwritten by Allianz Global Assistance and are more costly if purchased directly online.    

Interest in tuition insurance has jumped significantly over the year, as the pandemic made the financial risk of college even more apparent, according to John Fees, CEO of GradGuard.

“Families are more aware than ever before of the risks of paying for college,” Fees said.

Epidemics and pandemics are typically excluded from GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance coverage. However, until further notice, GradGuard is choosing to accommodate claims for students who completely withdraw from school due to becoming ill with Covid.

In addition to Covid, Bloomberg goes on to explain that tuition insurance can also cover withdrawals due to other types of illness, including mental health conditions.

But it’s important to note that tuition insurance won’t cover costs if a school moves from in-person classes to online-only learning.

“It’s a medical withdrawal, not a change in how schools teach,” Fees said. “It’s not a business interruption insurance.”

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance is an affordable way for college students and families to protect what’s often the second-largest investment in their lives. Covid outbreaks on college campuses highlight further proof of how costly it can be for these families when a student is forced to withdraw.

Health Other

These four common medical conditions affect thousands of college students

June 26, 2020
Student medical conditions on the rise

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of college students across the country to adjust to online-only learning. Although the virus has disrupted classroom instruction, the reality is that every year, ordinary medical conditions lead to students leaving school and losing money. And we’re not talking about having the common cold, or making a trip to the on-campus health clinic. These medical conditions are proving to have a major impact on students nationwide.

The 2019 National Student Health Assessment from the American College Health Association data reveals some of the risks that college students and their families face today. As we all adjust in the time of COVID-19, you can see the common illnesses that have a big impact on students. The assessment surveyed more than 30,000 students across 58 different schools.

Common illnesses have a big impact on college completion

The most commonly reported illnesses that had an impact on completing a degree include concussion, mononucleosis (mono), pneumonia, and flu or flu-like illnesses.

student health conditions and academic progress

During a normal semester, most schools provide a pro-rated refund through the fifth week of classes, according to a national study from Dec. 2019. This same study reports that 70 percent of schools have reported a growth in student medical withdrawals.

The ACHA assessment confirms the scale and impact of health conditions on college completion is real. The calculations are based on a total of 8.16 million full-time undergraduate students attending four-year non-profit institutions. 

These four conditions that students report delayed their academic progress are estimated to have cost students and schools more than $1 billion annually! And that’s from preventable financial losses.

Health conditions may lead to an unexpected withdrawal

The ACHA data reveals other student health conditions that may also disrupt an academic term or lead to an unexpected student withdrawal. Nearly a quarter of students reported experiencing anxiety, followed by just under 20 percent reporting depression. Celiac disease, PTSD, eating disorders and bipolar disorder followed. 

If you’re experiencing one of these health conditions while in college, you should know that that there are resources to help you get back on track to complete your education. GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance can provide refunds for tuition and academic fees if you unexpectedly need to leave school for a covered reason.

Other Transition

Half of Students Entering College Worry They Won’t Graduate

August 13, 2017

Forty-Eight percent of students and their parents think they may need to withdraw from school.

According to recent survey results announced by Allianz College Confidence Index, “prospective college students are arriving on campus already doubting their ability to reach graduation with nearly half anticipating the need to either temporarily or permanently withdraw from their degree program.”

The findings reveal that 48 percent are less than very confident they will finish college without dropping out permanently and 55 percent think they will need to take at least some time off.

The Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index survey results also revealed:

Nearly half (43 percent) of current students indicate they’ve thought about withdrawing; The majority (53 percent) are less than very confident they will graduate within four years; and Parents, too, anticipate the likelihood that withdrawal might be necessary. More than half of all parents surveyed (52 percent) lacked full confidence that their student will graduate within four years.

A lot at stake for parents
“There’s a lot at stake for parents and students, including the possibility of suffering a financial loss from dropping out. If students want to return to school, some families may not be able to fund the additional semesters needed to graduate,” said Joe Mason, chief marketing officer at Allianz Global Assistance. “Over one-hundred colleges and universities rely on Allianz to provide tuition protection to increase their students and families’ confidence and peace of mind.”

Students and parents alike realize that the implications of additional, unplanned semesters are significant: 85 percent agree that the financial repercussions of withdrawing could be severe. Among those surveyed, the average financial loss resulting from college withdrawal was estimated to be more than $11,000. Additionally, 10 percent of respondents estimate their potential loss to be at least $25,000.

Current and prospective college students identified the following as the most likely reasons they may withdraw from their college program:

Family emergency – 69 percent
Stress – 66 percent
Mental health condition – 66 percent
Physical health condition – 60 percent

“After a certain point in the semester, most universities refund only a partial amount of tuition paid by students and their families. Fortunately, tuition insurance provides a refund to families for both tuition and other academic expenses when students unexpectedly are forced to leave school for a reason covered by their policy,” said Mason.

Additional survey findings reveal:
Just 52 percent of students said they’re “very confident” they won’t permanently withdraw from college at some point; Parents and students often aren’t aware of their current (or prospective) school’s refund policy – half indicate no awareness, and just one in eight respondents (16 percent) say they are very confident they know it; and
Nearly 8 in 10 parents (78 percent) say they’d be worried about making student loan payments if their child had to withdraw from their college program.

 

Methodology
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz in May 2017. For the survey, a sample of n=2,004 Americans (college students age 17-25: n=1,001 and parents n=1,003 were interviewed online via Ipsos’s American online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian credibility interval. In this case, with a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had all American college students (prospective and current) and parents been polled. The credibility interval will be larger within sub-groupings of the survey population.