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Tuition Insurance Policies Even More Vital in Face of Delta Variant

Nationwide, college families are once again finding themselves evaluating the ever-changing updates on how schools will protect students from COVID-19 as the Delta variant becomes a growing concern, according to a recent press release. As parents prepare to pay their final tuition bill before arriving on campus, among the many questions they are smart to ask is: What will happen to my tuition payment if my student is forced to withdraw from college due to becoming ill with COVID or other illnesses and unable to continue their term?

For many families, college is one of the largest investments they will ever make. As a result, it’s a smart move for anyone paying tuition to understand their school’s refund policy and to consider protecting their investment with tuition insurance.

“The thousands of dollars students and families are paying for college tuition, housing and academic fees are often at risk,” said John Fees, parent of a college student and the co-founder of GradGuard, one of the largest providers of student insurance programs in the country with 400+ college and university partnerships. “The idea of losing money can create even more financial stress for students and their parents. GradGuard enables students and families to make the decision on whether to withdraw is based on the well-being of their student and not just the money at risk.”

The COVID pandemic and its surging Delta variant have brought important attention to the risk of investing in college and particularly, how schools manage refunds. Neither schools nor tuition insurance provides refunds for a change in the form of instruction (such as the move to online classes), and families may be surprised that they will likely lose thousands of dollars if their student’s semester is disrupted by a health event and forced to withdraw.

In fact, only 6% of schools surveyed in 2019 provided 100% refunds for tuition and virtually none provide refunds for academic fees or housing. Many universities may refund a portion of tuition through the first few weeks of school, but most schools will not provide a refund after the fifth week of classes. Academic fees, deposits, and housing are usually not eligible for a refund.

The risk can often surprise parents. Less than a quarter of parents surveyed in a 2019 College Parents of America report indicated that their student’s college refund policy was disclosed to them during the enrollment process.

Families are also often unaware 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 the frequency of incidents such as illnesses, accidents, and injuries that can require a student to complete a medical withdrawal. 

“If a student has a controlled pre-existing condition like serious anxiety or mental health conditions, and they are medically cleared to attend school, GradGuard’s tuition insurance can cover them,” said Fees. “If they must withdraw under the recommendation of a licensed professional in their state, tuition insurance can reimburse the out-of-pocket costs associated with their housing, tuition, and student fees. GradGuard’s tuition insurance can help reduce the stress students face in these situations and help everyone focus on the well-being of the student.”

Despite the stress and changes caused by the coronavirus to higher education, the good news is that college families can protect both their student and their investment by purchasing GradGuard’s tuition insurance, with rates as low as $106 for $10,000 of tuition insurance coverage at participating schools. Coverage must be purchased prior to the first day of school.

“Students and their families can take confidence in schools that provide GradGuard’s insurance programs to help protect their investment in college and are prepared to overcome the unexpected events that may otherwise disrupt their semester,” said Fees.

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