Tuition Insurance: How to Protect Your Student in the Age of COVID


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Has there ever been a more stressful time to go to college? As the delta variant continue to sweep the United States, more than 14,000 people vaccinated with cases of COVID-19 have been hospitalized or died, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As students return to in-person learning on campuses across the country, the specter of the disease casts a shadow over the coming semester – even for those vaccinated. In fact, CDC data shows that the college-age cohort has one of the highest numbers of cases in the United States.

While it remains to be seen how effective vaccinations and other protections will be in keeping campuses and students safe, there is a way for families to protect themselves financially against COVID-19 and other illnesses: l insurance for tuition fees. These insurance policies reimburse tuition fees to students who experience an accident, illness, injury, or mental health issue that prevents them from completing the semester.

While this type of insurance has been around for decades, the new realities of the COVID era and increased attention to mental health issues in academia are raising its profile. Read on to learn more about tuition insurance, how it works, and if it’s worth the price.

Who sells tuition insurance?

Many universities partner with insurance companies for tuition fees, including AWG Dewar and GradGuard. If your school does not partner with these carriers, you can go to them individually and purchase a policy.

AGW Dewar has offered tuition insurance since 1930. In addition to tuition fees, it also offers reimbursement policies for students in private schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Another leading carrier is GradGuard, which partners with Allianz Global. It offers insurance for tuition fees (and insurance for renters) to students.

How much does the education insurance cost?

Typically, these plans cost around 1% of your tuition, and they can offer up to 100% reimbursement coverage if you can’t complete a semester for a covered reason. You can purchase plans for a single semester or for the entire year. To check if your university offers these plans, visit your school’s student finance office or check the office’s website online.

What types of expenses are covered?

Tuition Fee Insurance reimburses tuition fees and fees paid at the start of the semester. It also reimburses tuition fees in the event of the death of the covered student. GradGuard and Dewar both include additional coverage for room and board if you choose to purchase it, but Dewar only covers it if the student lives in an on-campus dormitory.

You can choose the amount of coverage you want and the amount of your maximum benefit, which in turn will affect the amount you can get for reimbursement of other school expenses, such as books, once the plan has ended. paid the tuition fees. For example, under GradGuard’s policy, if the maximum amount of your allowance covers all of your tuition fees and there is money left, GradGuard will reimburse you for other school expenses up to the maximum amount of the allowance. ‘allocation.

What illnesses are covered?

Most policies cover three main categories: critical illness or injury, chronic illness, and mental health issues.

Coverage for chronic illnesses can include autoimmune disorders and diabetes, while mental health issues can include stress, depression, or anxiety. Injury or serious illness can include things like meningitis, lupus, or head injuries, and carriers like Dewar and GradGuard now include COVID-19 on that list.

Apart from these three main categories, tuition insurance will not reimburse you for other interruptions in your academic semester. This includes poor academic performance such as the student having to drop out, disciplinary issues, or if the student takes time off for other reasons including lack of money to complete the semester.

Are there any fine print?

Pre-existing conditions are usually included. But GradGuard says it will only cover withdrawals for pre-existing conditions if the student had no symptoms and was able to attend school when the policy was purchased.

Is Tuition Insurance Worth It?

The average cost of tuition and fees is $ 10,560 per year at a state public university, $ 27,020 per year at an out-of-state university, and $ 37,650 per year at a university. private not-for-profit, according to a College Board study. It’s an expensive business, and those numbers don’t even cover other expenses associated with higher education, including books, transportation, and accommodation.

In light of these numbers, if your policy charges 1% of your tuition amount, you are looking at a minimum of around $ 105 for the year. The stress of college can have a huge impact on your mental health, so tuition insurance may be useful for this reason alone. But especially if you are a student with an autoimmune disease or if you have medical factors that put you at an increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, tuition insurance may be a good idea. even if you are already vaccinated.

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